3D Printed Rope Maker

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Introduction: 3D Printed Rope Maker

About: I'm a Qualified Electrician, with a love for designing and making things whenever I can.

Hi Makers!

Heres a very cool project. Inspired by one of my favorite YouTube creators, Grant Thompson! I dedicate this project to you, as thats where I got the idea from. RIP Grant... Loved and Respected by so many!! 1980-2019.

I haven't seen anyone create this project for a 3D Printer yet, so here is my version. It'll make Rope, any size/any length as long as you have the space!! So lets crack on...

Materials Needed:

- 2x 370mm Lengths Aluminum "L" Angle 20mm x 1.5mm

- 15x M6 Nuts

- 6x M6 Washers

- 2x M6 Bolts 30mm

- 1x Wood screw (10-20mm)

- 10x 606zz Bearings

- 8x M10 Nuts

- 4x M6 Eye Bolts 60mm

7x M6 Hex Bolts 50mm

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Step 1: 3D Printing Your Parts

Here are all the STL Files I created in TinkerCad. Youll need 1x of each file to complete this project.

Step 2: Assembly of Main Mechanism (Part A)

Okay, So 1st we'll start assembling this main mechanism. The actual part that will spin and coil the rope.

1a.) Grab your 3D Printed Front plate, and place 3x of your Eye Bolts through the frame as shown.

1b.) Also place 5x M6 50mm Bolts through the frame.

2.) Slide 1x 606zz Bearing over each Eye Bolt and push into the frame.

3.) Slide 1x M10 Nut over each Eye Bolt (Will work as a spacer).

4.) Slide your 3D Printed Cogs over each Eye Bolt.

5.) Now in Reverse, Place another M10 Nut, followed by another 606zz Bearing, followed by another M6 Nut and tighten well. Make sure the bearings spin smoothly.

Step 3: Assembly of Main Mechanism (Part B)

Now we need to make the centre gear, as show in the first photo.

1.) Slide an M6 Nut along an M6 50mm Bolt and do up tightly. (This will be the main operational gear and will be where you put your drill or socket, to turn the gears).

2.) Slide on a 606zz Bearing, followed by an M10 Nut.

3.) Slide on your other 3D Printed Gear, followed by another M10 Nut, 606zz Bearing and do up tighly with an M6 Nut.

4.) You can now place this gear into the frame, making sure the head of the bolt is on the opposite side to the Eye Bolts.

5.) Now... Place the other side of the frame on top.

6.) Put 1x washer on each of the 5x M6 50mm bolts followed by an M6 Nut and do up tightly.

The Main Mechanism is now complete. Check everything turns freely and all bolts are tight enough not to unscrew themselves while in operation...

Step 4: Assembly of Rope Tower

So here is the Rope Tower. This will serve the purpose of 2x jobs. It will keep tension on the strings whilst they're spinning, causing them to coil evenly, and it'll also slide forward along the rails. This will happen because the more you twist the string, the more tension it'll have, causing the rope to contract and become shorter.

1.) Grab your 3D Printed parts, and bolt them together as shown in the photos using 1x M6 30mm bolt and 1x M6 50mm Bolt.

2.) Make sure to thread the String Hook in place too. You will then screw your "1x wood screw" into the other hole of the String Hook to secure it.

2.) Tie a length of string around the hook securely as shown.

3.) Now, thread some string or small chain around/through the holes in the Weight Trough, and tie to the other end of the string. (The length of the string will depend on how high your working platform will be). Keep reading to the end to find this out. (PICTURE HEAVY!!)

Step 5: Assembly of Slide Rails

And now, for the slide rails. This is pretty self explanatory from the photos, so have a quick look at them. It'll serve the purpose of locking onto the edge of the table and allow the Rope tower to slide forward keeping that much needed tension on the strings.

1.) Grab your 3D Printed rail ends, and Pressure fit them into Aluminum Angle. (A clamp or a few gentle taps with a hammer were enough to lock these innto place for me).

2.) Grab your pulley, and screw into place using 1x 30mm M6 Bolt and secure with an M6 Nut.

That's it! Now we can set all this up and start making some rope :-)

Step 6: Set Up Your Rig!

You'll need to add some weight to your "Weight Trough". Coins, Nuts & Bolts are all good for this, and the more you use, the better really.

Place the Slide mechanism at one end of the table.

Place the Main Mechanism at the other end and using the space provided at the bottom of the "Main Mech", Clamp down to your table.

Grab a drill with a 10mm Socket and test your Mech works nicely.

We can now thread our boring thin String through the eye bolts. You can have either 1,2,3,4,5etc strings on each eye bolt on the Mech, and they all go back to the "Rope Tower Eye Hook"...

Make sure your Trough is weighted and is keeping the Tower at the back of the slide rail before twisting any rope.

Place the Rope Seperator infront of the Rope Tower.

Connect your drill and start spinning "some soon to be" Rope. After you've spun your rope and it's under quite a bit of tension, you can pull your "Rope Slide" towards the Main Mech, and watch as your string turns into some hefty rope! It's as simple as that. Have Fun!!

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    20 Discussions

    0
    markk9119
    markk9119

    6 weeks ago

    I thought your design was very elegant and looks amazing. Obvious clear headed planning, patience, and care went into the details to make sure everything would work as intended, without surprises, but you didn't go crazy and Dremmel polish the gears for example! Anyway, appreciate the artistic and engineering touches (for me the two are very related).

    It looks like you used some polymer core material in the white support structure, like airplane panels of laminated hexcel, or are the geometric lines just printing artifact? This is a nice visual element regardless, suggesting strength. The gears look a little unreliable though, only because of the plastic -- it looks like the printing temperature was a little high for the gears, they look like the plastic was pushed too far into the liquid regime and settled into their final form with a bit too much freedom. The Pirate's treasure counterweight looks right though... it is the same material in both, right?

    As a final comment, I also make machines and automation components with my 3D printer, and wanted to make sure you knew about the performance polymers available for printing things like gears. PEEK is on the extreme end of things, pricey and not user friendly, but tough enough for a Mars mission. There's also glass filled nylon (glass microshpheres or silica fume, I think), carbon fiber dust filled nylon (better properties than the carbon filled PLA), also either POM or polycarbonate make excellent gears even down to 0.5 modulus with reliable results, these have teeth about 1/5 the size of your black ones.

    Really great work, thank you!!

    Mark

    0
    b33ma247
    b33ma247

    Reply 13 days ago

    Hi Mark, Thanks for your comment. It's very nice to hear all the work put into this has been appreciated by many!
    I have actually had a comment before about the black PLA I was using, and they too said it looked like it may have been printed a bit hot. This was a slightly rushed attempt as it was a "Speed" competition I was entering. Had I had a little extra time, I probably would've re printed and changed up a few things. But yes, the "Weight Trough" was also printed in the same material at the same temperature, so I'm not quite sure what happend there.
    Also, I definately will be looking at the other printing Materials! I've seen a few I maybe interested in trying, but literally i've only really picked up this printer in the last 3months or so, so everything has been a huge learning curve for me :-) but i'm still learning! (Everyday is a school day right)
    Thanks again for your comment, Really appreciate it!
    Graham

    0
    world of woodcraft
    world of woodcraft

    5 weeks ago

    Top stuff.
    I have seen some rope making in different places but having a how to along with files all in one instructable is a game changer for someone like me, who is interested, but the barriers of making, finding etc would mean a proper investigation wouldn't happen. .
    I have a pretty good idea that these files will be being printed by me soonish.

    0
    b33ma247
    b33ma247

    Reply 5 weeks ago

    Hey Pal,
    Thanks for your comments, they're reall great. I'm very happy to here this will be a project you would like to follow. If you need any help along the way, Just Ask :-)

    0
    blibr
    blibr

    6 weeks ago

    Hi, Mark. Nice project. I'm printing but the file Cogsx4 have just 3 parts insteady of 4.

    0
    b33ma247
    b33ma247

    Reply 5 weeks ago

    Hi Pal,
    Thanks for letting me know... I will change the files so it'll have 4 cogs...
    All the best,
    Graham

    0
    ill.ledking
    ill.ledking

    6 weeks ago

    Impressive!
    Could this be used to safely hide small electrical cables in rope.
    eg 'old rope' supported rustic, pendant light fixtures

    0
    b33ma247
    b33ma247

    Reply 5 weeks ago

    Hi,
    Good Idea! I think this would work if you used a flexible enough insulated cable.

    0
    mrstan
    mrstan

    6 weeks ago

    Very interesting indestructible! What is your 3d printer? I do not have a 3d printer, but am looking at getting one some day as I see more and more uses for it. Good job building this instuction and the video.. seeing helps a lot I think.

    0
    b33ma247
    b33ma247

    Reply 6 weeks ago

    Oh, Thanks MrStan,
    I have a Tronxy XY-2. It's a pretty good printer for the price and a lot of very good reviews online and youtube. Amazon were pumping them pretty cheap (about £120 at the time), because I think they were bringing out the next gen "Tronxy", so bargain had there! Ever since I had mine, honestly I haven't stopped using it :-)

    0
    b33ma247
    b33ma247

    Reply 6 weeks ago

    Thanks a lot 🙂👍🏻

    0
    garybrig
    garybrig

    6 weeks ago

    Awesome!

    0
    b33ma247
    b33ma247

    Reply 6 weeks ago

    Thank you! Hope it goes well if you give it a go ;-)

    0
    CRHolder
    CRHolder

    6 weeks ago on Step 1

    Hi. Im new to this so may have it wrong. I dont see an STL for the cogs. Have I missed something?

    0
    b33ma247
    b33ma247

    Reply 6 weeks ago

    Hi, CRHolder... Your Absolutely right! Files now uploaded, Thanks :-)

    0
    CRHolder
    CRHolder

    Reply 6 weeks ago

    Thank you. I want to get my 8 yr old grandson on this. Dont want him playing with drills and we are going to the Chatham dockyard where they have a rope making machine. want him to see how it used to be done.

    1
    grammabev
    grammabev

    6 weeks ago on Step 6

    I don't have a printer like yours. I just tie three strands to a chair back, insert the other 3 into my drill and pull the trigger, holding tension tight. Works good, too

    1
    b33ma247
    b33ma247

    Reply 6 weeks ago

    That's a good idea. If you twist the induvidual strands first, you will find the rope will stay braided, and not tend to unwind...

    0
    Aarushk1
    Aarushk1

    Reply 6 weeks ago

    I don't have a printer either - how exactly do you do it your way?