Introduction: Rotating Marble Labyrinth

This project is open to anyone with access to a 3D Printer and a Laser Cutter. I'll be guiding you through the process of making a rotating marble labyrinth, from the designing/modeling phase all the way to the final product. I'll also attach the files so you have the option of using my design rather than customizing your own. Let's get started!

Step 1: Materials/Software/Appliances

For designing:

  • Autodesk Fusion 360
  • RDWorks
  • Cura


  • 3D Printer
  • Laser Cutter
  • Computer

For Assembling:

  • Either wood or cardboard for the laser cutter
  • Hot glue gun
  • Two wooden dowels, 3/8" diameter and at least 16" in length
  • Four small skewers, smaller than 1/4" in diameter and any length (will be cut)
  • String
  • Two small rubber bands
  • Wire

Step 2: Open Autodesk Fusion 360

For the designing process, we'll be using Fusion 360.

Step 3: Begin Modeling the Main Labyrinth Board

Create a 12 in x 12 in square. Then, on this square, begin designing your labyrinth. You have some creative license here - you can make it as hard or easy as you want. Just keep in mind that the walls must be 1 cm in width, and the holes must be 12 mm in diameter.

Step 4: Getting the Wall Pieces

Once you have the finished labyrinth sketch, cop it and move the copy away. On the copy, extrude the walls 1 inch upward. Exit the sketch. You should now have the wall pieces.

Step 5: Finishing the Walls

On each of the walls, you're going to open up a sketch on the bottom face and draw a 1 cm by 1 cm square at the ends of each wall. You'll then extrude it up 5 mm. Once this is done on both ends of every wall piece, you should have pegs that will allow for stability in the actual labyrinth. Now you can export each wall piece as an individual .stl file so you can print them.

Step 6: Printing the Walls

Once each wall has been exported as an individual .stl file, you can open Cura on your computer and import the walls. Assuming you have background knowledge with printing, I won't guide you through the steps of that. You can do multiplle walls at a time.

Step 7: Preparing the Labyrinth Board

Now go back to Fusion and select the board with the wall slots from earlier. This time, under the "Make" drop-down menu, select Slicer for Fusion and export it there. Once in Slicer, select Stacked Slices for the technique and make sure the measurements are correct (you'll most likely need to de-select "uniform scale" and manually input all dimensions.) After you've adjusted everything, select "Get Plans" and export as a .dxf file with the units in inches.

Step 8: Getting the Other Laser Plans

Go to Makercase to get the other plans. You'll be making the outer box and the inner tilt, plus the box for the actual labyrinth board that you made before. For the first box, make it 12" x 12" x 1". Select "Finger" for the type of Edge Joint. Get the plans.

Step 9: Getting the Other Two Boxes

Create two more finger joint boxes. The first one (which will be the middle ring for tilting) should be 13" x 13" x 1" and the second (which will be the outer box) should be 14" x 14" x 3".

Step 10: RDWorks

Once you have the .dxf files for each part, you can open the files in RDWorks and prepare for lasering.

Step 11: The Labyrinth Board

Import the labyrinth board file and save it. Then import the smallest box plans. In that file, bring in the saved labyrinth board as well. Match up the two bottom pieces so that the labyrinth design now matches up with the bottom of the Makercase box. Once you have them positioned correctly, you can delete the outer square from the original labyrinth board. Your finished labyrinth board plans will look like the image here. (NEED TO BE ABLE TO OPEN RDWORKS TO GET SCREENSHOT AND UPLOAD IT)

Step 12: Middle Ring

In another file, open up the medium sized box and delete the bottom face so you only have the four walls.

Step 13: Outer Box

Open up the last, largest box and save it.

Step 14: Files for Lasering and for the Walls (just in Case You Don't Want to Make Your Own)

Step 15: Laser Cut the Boxes

Laser cut all of the prepared files, making sure the speeds, powers, and layers are correct. Don't leave the Laser unattended.

Step 16: Begin Assembly

Now you can assemble each box. The joints will match up and you can use a hot glue gun to ensure that they stay put-together.

Step 17: Wall Pieces

Insert the walls through the slots on the labyrinth board and glue them from the tabs.

Step 18: Getting Rotation

Line up the outer walls around the labyrinth board with the middle tilt box/ring, and then drill holes on two opposite sides through each and stick a short skewer stick through each set of holes. Glue it in place and cut the ends.

Step 19: Getting Rotation Cont.

Do the same with the middle box/ring and the outer box, using the other two sides that you didn't drill on. Make sure that these two skewers only go through the outer two boxes and not the inner one.

Step 20: Getting Rotation Cont.

Drill holes in the lower half of all four sides of the outer box. Then stick the 2 larger wooden dowels through each set of opposite holes.

Step 21: Getting Rotation Cont.

Using the wire, fashion four hooks and glue them to the center of each edge of the underside of the labyrinth. Then, attach a rubber band to two adjacent hooks, and tie string to the other two. Take one string, wrap it around the dowel multiple times, then tie it to the rubber band across from it. Do the same with the other string. It should look like the image here when complete.

Step 22: Knobs

Using the saved hole cutouts from the laser, glue four of them together and then drill a hole through the center, then attach it to the dowel that should be sticking from the outside of the labyrinth. Repeat this for the other dowel. Once this is complete, you should be able to rotate it.

Step 23: Finishing Up

Fasten the bottom of the outer box to the out walls. Now, your labyrinth should be complete. You should be able to turn the knobs to get full rotation. The underside should look like this.