Create a Parametric 3d-printable Slew Bearing With Fusion 360




About: I was born in Zurich, Switzerland, grew up nearby. After finishing my studies in Electrical Engineering at the ETH in Zurich with the masters degree, I was working as a software developer - initially in semi...

Ball-bearings are very popular for 3d-printing. However they often fail for real applications. Using Fusion 360 I've created a parametric design of a "Crossed Roller Slew Bearing". The result is a pretty accurate and robust bearing. The bearing including the rollers is 3d-printed in separate parts. There are a few screws needed to clamp the two halves of the inner race together.

There are now two options for you to use this project:

  • Step through the video-tutorial, develop your personal design
  • Use the design as it is, adjust parameters, 3d-print a Slew-Bearing

Step 1: Design Your Slew-Bearing in Fusion 360

Click on the video above. I've recorded the complete design process (only 15 minutes), and packed it in this video. The video includes important hints for making your own 3d-printable objects. The Slew-Bearing is just a very useful example. You will learn various good practices for working with Fusion 360. It's not a beginners tutorial. To get started with Fusion 360 I recommend the official tutorials.

Step 2: Just Download the Design and 3d-print It

If you don't yet have Fusion 360, I recommend to install the Student version (for free). Download the desired fusion file, and create a "New Design from File". In order to change the parameters, I recommend to watch my video at 13:16. The video also shows, how to export STL-files. 3d-printing is straightforward. A normal FDM 3d-printer will do the job (I'm using an Ultimaker 2).

  • "Slew Bearing.f3d" is the version which is developed in the tutorial. The rollers have cylindrical shape. The design works well for large bearings with many rollers.
  • "Slew Bearing Conic.f3d" is an improved version with conical rollers. It works well also for smaller bearings with only a few rollers, where the basic design fails.

Alternatively you can also download the STL-files of 2 specific versions (48 rollers, or 10 rollers) from my Thingiverse project.



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    11 Discussions


    6 weeks ago

    Hi, I tried changing the number of rolls in the conic version but the overall diameter did not change. The cylindrical version works fine however.


    1 year ago

    Do you think friction and wear would be reduced by making a cage to keep adjacent rollers from rubbing against each other?

    This is neat. Thanks for posting.

    2 replies

    Reply 1 year ago

    Ok Thanks. Just wondering because cages seem common on commercial units.

    John in Ottawa

    2 years ago

    This is excellent! I am building an enclosure for an old, salvaged harmonic drive that did not use crossed roller bearings as modern ones do. Very difficult and expensive to find a match. Until now!

    Thanks for doing this, and the Fusion video is outstanding.


    3 replies
    John in OttawaElectroFrank

    Reply 2 years ago

    A harmonic drive is a gear reducer that uses an elliptical drive inside a flexible spline, with a slight difference in tooth count such that each engagement of the rotating drive forces the spline rotate the opposite way.

    Because the drive is sn ellipse, there are always two points of contact between drive and spline, so backlash for many applications is considered to be nil.

    The reduction ratios can be huge. I have 50:1 on my CNC 4th axis and even with NEMA 23 stepper powered, the chuck resists torque way beyond what I need and allows micron level step precision, even in the event of a dropped step.

    I hope this helps. John


    2 years ago

    WOW! VERY IMPRESSIVE! Masterful!


    2 years ago

    This is really impressive!

    Did you have a specific application in mind to where you plan to use this? Or is it just a proof-of-concept sort of thing? Either way, it's great! :)

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    I had a robot in mind, or maybe a turn-table ...