Introduction: How to Create 3D Model of Mechanism

It was never such easy to create mechanisms for hobby as it is now with 3D printers. But there is still a challenge to create 3D model of a mechanism.

There are many free and commercial software products which can build 3D models - some of them robust but complex or expensive, other are free and easy to use. PTC Creo Elements/Direct Modeling Express is one of such free and easy to start software product, however it has most features needed for hobbyist.

Let's assume we need to create a mechanism where a step-motor drives the pulley with a gear. The step-motor, a gear, bolts and a bearing exist but other parts need to be made on a 3D printer. Video-tutorial in this instruction consists of a few video-clips helping to start building 3D model for further printing.

Step 1: Introduction of the PTC Creo Elements/Direct Modeling Express

This is a "quick start" for this product. The way of making the 3D model is different than in polygonal modeling.

Step 2: Build 3D Model of the Step-motor

Measure the existing step-motor or use known dimensions taken from the drawing and use it to build the 3D model. This model will be a basis for next parts of the mechanism.

Step 3: Bracket for the Step-motor

This bracket holds the step-model on some base which carries the mechanism. The 3D model of this bracket can be saved as STL-file to be printed on a 3D printer.

Step 4: The Adapter Between Step-motor Shaft and Worm of the Gear

This adapter connect the shaft of the step-motor and the axis of the gear's worm. Diameters of a shaft and an axis could be different. The 3D model of this adapter can be saved as STL-file to be printed on a 3D printer.

Rest of the mechanism can be build same way.

This tutorial is another quick introduction of the PTC Creo Elements/Direct Modeling Express.

This instruction shows how to build 3D models of gears for 3D printing.