28-geared, 3D-printed cube

Shapeways user Maundy created the Steampunk Geared Cube, a magnificent geared confection that came out of the 3D printed fully assembled!

The cube contains a total of 28 gears, all of which turn from manually rotating only one (though the designer notes that rotating two gears results in a smoother motion). The outermost gear on each side has handles for easy rotation, and each is linked to its adjacent gear in an interlocking pattern. Once one gear is spun, the others correspondingly spin along.

In addition to the fascinating pattern and mechanics, the cube has a tray in the middle for holding various small objects. The product also comes with a stand and a lockable lid, which is placed on top of the cube and can be locked and unlocked by rotating the gears.

3D Printed 28-Geared Cube


  1. Don’t know much about 3-D printing yet but color me very impressed that it can print out something like that fully assembled.  Is this much less complicated then I think or is this a “very impressive feat”?

    1. i’m guessing (and someone will quickly correct me if my guess is wrong) but i believe this sort of thing is 3D printed each part separately, or separably, and then assembled wheels placed upon axles  etc.  (3D printing a pair of tight fitting coaxial independent moving parts i think is unlikely due to the brief molten nature of the substance …maybe)

      1. The article says “The piece comes printed as one fully assembled object straight off the printer.”

      2. No, it really does come off the printer completely assembled. Here’s some useful viewing.

    2. They print with two materials.. the one you see in the video, and a filler material to fill in the gaps while printing. The second material is water soluble  so you just dunk it when done and presto, a neat gizmo.

      The other impressive bit is the printer resolution.. to get that kind of detail you need a really high quality printer. 

      Plus there’s the challenge of designing it in a program prior to printing, and having everything work properly.

      1. That print was done with nylon powder that is laser sintered. It is only done with one material, with the unfused nylon supporting the fused parts.

  2. That would be cool even if it didn’t have to stuff the Steampunk buzzword on the front of it.

    I’m done for the night, going to go drink a steampunk beer and then see if my wife would like to steampunk while we watch steampunking with the stars.

    1. For all that this is impressive, somehow steampunk and white nylon plastic don’t seem to go together very well.

  3. 1. What’s the usefulness of this device or is it just a POC?
    2. Enough with the “steampunk”, people. Seriously.

  4. Sorry to say it but Cory is obsessed with “Steampunk” without being able to recognize what Good Steampunk actually is. Just because it haz gears, does not make it Speampunk. Just because something haz fiddly bits of copper plumbing, does not make it Steampunk. Just because it is made with leather, wood, brass, and a random assortment of meaningless gauges does not make it Steampunk. Anyone with a hot glue gun can stick random bits of scrap onto any object, but it haz nothing to do with Steampunk and by promoting such items as such denigrates the work of true artists who know what real Steampunk is all about. Sorry Cory, but as much as I love your books and works, it is true. Also, sometimes Cory, it is just a Banana and looking at it does not make it any more amazing. 

    1.  He didn’t assign the label “Steampunk” to it, the creator did.  He’s just copying their description.

    2. Perhaps. But you’re mildly annoyed by it.


      My version of it is checking steampunky posts to confirm that at least one such comment is properly in place. It’s been many years since I’ve had to post one myself.

  5. While certainly impressive from a technical point of view, what with it being completely assembled after print. I still think this thing looks like it will pop apart any second.

    And preemptively: No, I could not do better.

  6. Ok, agreed, not very steampunky… 

    In other news, there is a cool game on Steam called Gears that is basically puzzles to make the box shown. They give you the gears on the box and you have to rearrange them to do something (turn some wheels, have a gear strike a bell, etc.) to complete the puzzle. Fun on a bun!

    1. I think you mean Cogs.  It was part of a recent Humble Bundle, and has an Android port as well.

  7. I would have like to have seen this 3 minute video as a 5 second animated gif. I was seriously expecting some sort of ending!

  8. This is Geek ASMR.  The soft shuffling of plastic gears against each other, coupled with the visual of the interconnected mechanical motion powered by the fingertips of a clean, attractive hand, and the knowledge that someone technically inclined made this thing with a printer and a drawing… all of it conspires to give me a most pleasant spine-tingle of calm satisfaction at a job well done.  I could listen and watch this thing being twiddled softly all day long.

  9. what’s up with creepy silent videos? you can only hear the grinding of the gears and the manipulator’s breath. maybe some music instead, or an explanation? no, grinding and breathin, and other wise silence…

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