3D Printing Ball Bearings

June 24th, 2013 by admin

Youtube member Loczster asked for a ball bearing demonstration. Can the MakerBot Replicator 3D printer print working ball bearings? The short answer? Yes! In…



  1. BusyBotz says:

    Smaller layer heights provide a smoother finish. What layer height are you using?

    Other than sanding, and smaller layer heights, you can make the finish shiny smooth with acetone (if you are printing ABS). Be careful of the fumes and skin contact, brush or rub the model with acetone and the outer layers will begin to melt and the ridges go away. You will have to experiment to discover the technique that delivers your desired results. Do this outdoors and use gloves and eye protection.

  2. mike mun says:

    hi i want to print out a tardis stamp in
    but it dont come out right can you help me with this problem thank you so much

  3. BusyBotz says:

    What is the Thingiverse thing number, I will take a look. Also, what is failing in the print?

  4. mike mun says:

    14533 its a tardis stamp every thing in that page come out ok but when i do a stamp it look like its wrong when i g code it . IT dont come out so i have to change the setting

  5. mike mun says:

    if you still cant find it just look for dr who or tardis stamp it should pop up

  6. 88SANCHEZ88 says:

    just wondering as this printer can use Water Soluble PVA filament,coulnt you use it as a support for your bearings and then wash it away leaving behind perfect bearings?

  7. BusyBotz says:

    I have not heard of this being done successfully on a Replicator. Soluble support is one of the main advantages of the big commercial 3D printers.

  8. Ryan Giovacchini says:

    Hello would you be able to make a video that shows how to go from a soldiworks assembly to a working printed assembly

  9. Sarunas Lizdenis says:

    Could you try printing a cylindrical bearing instead? I think you wouldn’t have the problems you are having now. I am waiting for my 3D printer to arrive.

  10. BusyBotz says:

    If you have an STL file or a link to a cylindrical bearing, send me a PM and I’ll give it a go. Get ready for some late nights with your new 3D printer!

  11. blaze122775 says:

    Can you make figurines with movable parts like arms or neck?

  12. BusyBotz says:

    Yes, but generally with some assembly. The body and arms are printed in separate pieces, and are connected with a printed peg or pin.

  13. BusyBotz says:

    Hi. I don’t have SolidWorks, so I can’t help you with a video.

  14. Aaron Holmes says:

    Would you mind checking out a CAD for me? I designed it but not having any experience or a 3d printer to test it on I don’t know if it will work. Its a modular organizer with shelves and drawers etc. my main concern is that the drawers will be too tight of a fit and not slide out, also the modular pieces, will they connect properly, I tried to make it simple. if you like the design and want printable versions I have separate STL’s for each piece but I’m not asking you to print it, just judge it.

  15. Aaron Holmes says:

    I dont have a 3d printer but from what i’ve seen nearly any dual extruder can be calibrated to use one head for supports and one for printing so you could load one side pva and achieve that result.

  16. BusyBotz says:

    Aaron, I will send you a PM. In general mating parts need a gap in order to fit together. .2mm is a good place to start. With tolerances that tight, fit will vary on each 3D printer, depending how it is calibrated. The same STL might print perfectly on one printer, and have tight fit on another. I suggest making things a little loose at first. I have seen parts that slide together with some force, and are very difficult to separate without causing damage.

  17. merccc1 says:

    thingiverse (dot) com / thing:53451

    This would probably be easier and do the same thing.

  18. BusyBotz says:

    Yes that is a nice design, and reportedly prints well. Of course, it was published after I made this video 🙂

  19. merccc1 says:

    Had not checked the dates, but still gives anyone viewing another option.

  20. pandaman5569 says:

    why dont you just print them vertically?

  21. BusyBotz says:

    I have made a few of these now (Emmet’s Gear Bearing), and they are a huge improvement over spherical bearings.

  22. BusyBotz says:

    That is an interesting question. I’m not seeing the advantage. Can you explain your question a little bit?

  23. andres chavez says:

    hey men notice there is a new plastic that allows you to make supports that are solvable with water it is great you have to trie that:)

  24. andres chavez says:

    MakerBot® Water Soluble PVA its the name of it or maybe you already know that Anyway thanks for your tips

  25. BusyBotz says:

    The soluble PVA sounds good, but I have not tried it. I’m seeing reports of limited success and mixed results, so there must be more to it than just print and go.