Introduction: 3D Printed Wave Pendulum

About: I make things, some of which work. Full Tutorials: Email:

In this Instructable, we are going to make a 3D Printed Wave Pendulum. A wave pendulum is a great desk toy that displays mesmerising illusions. It also demonstrates many physics principles such as harmonic motion and periodicity.

The toy is easy and quick to make.

Step 1: Materials

Parts List

  • Fishing Line or Thread
  • Drilling Machine
  • 3/8 and 1/8 Drill Bits
  • Access to 3D Printer(I'm using a CubePro Trio)
  • Nine 8-32 Bolts (Preferably 1/2 inch)

Step 2: Print Out the Parts

Print out all of the STL files on your 3D Printer.

  • Axle.stl
    • This file contains the axle. All of the weights are attached to the axle.
  • Base.stl
    • This file contains the base structure of the toy. It has a hole, on either side, for the axle to run through. The structure has four mounting holes.
  • Pendulum.stl
    • This file contains a weight. You will need to print 8 weights for this toy. Making the weights a different colour will improve the aesthetics.

*I have attached the ipt files of all the parts in case you choose to make edits*

Step 3: Clean Up Holes

Ensure the holes on your parts are the correct size.

Run a 3/8 drill through the side holes on the base.

Run a 1/8 drill through the holes on your axle.

Run a 1/8 drill through both holes on all of the weights.

Step 4: Attach Axle to the Base

Insert the axle through the side holes on the base.

Ensure the axle holes are perpendicular to the base.

The friction between the two pieces will hold the axle firmly in place.

Step 5: Attach Weights to Axle

This is the trickiest portion of the Instructable.

Run a thread through both holes of a weight. Secure both ends of the thread to adjacent holes on the axle. Secure the threads by inserting an 8-32 screw into the axle hole.

Repeat this process with the remaining weights.

Ensure the weights are offset by approximately half an inch.

Step 6: Test Out Your Wave Pendulum

Congratulations! You have successfully built a wave pendulum.

Go ahead and test out your new physics toy. Give the weights a firm push and watch them swing.

Step 7: Future

Increasing the number of weights will improve the toy's illusion. I have attached the ipt files in case you would like to modify the toy's design.