Here is a design for all you fans of all things mechanical!!!
This is a steampunk themed desk toy consisting of a cube with 28 gears, all of which rotate in a mesmorising pattern by just rotating one of the gears. In the middle of the cube is a tray that can be used to hold paperclips and other small things. This object is 3D printed in one go, already fully assembled when it leaves the 3D printer!
The design also comes with a stand so it can stand up on a desk and a lockable lid which is placed on the top of the cube and is locked and unlocked by rotating the gears (the lid locks at the centers of all 4 sides below the gears in the lid).
Interchangeable mechanical add-ons may be designed in the future that can be put in place of this lid and driven by the rest of the cogs.
How it works...
This design consists of a cube with 28 gears, on each of 4 sides of the cube are 7 gears: 2 large outer ones that move in opposite directions, the outermost gear has handles on it so it can be easily rotated, the motion between the 2 large cogs is reversed due to 5 smaller gears set within the cube in a similar layout to a planetary gearbox to reverse the gear's direction on each of these 4 faces. Each of these sets of gears on the 4 faces are all linked through the big gear on each of the 4 faces meshing at 90 degrees with the big gear on each of the 2 neighboring sides. This means that if any one gear is spun, they all spin in a memorizing pattern.
For a smoother motion of the Geared Cube use a lubricant suitable for plastic parts, I used a PTFE (also known as Teflon) lubricant from an aerosol can and this was very effective in reducing the friction.