Products and Design, Shapeways

The Beautiful Math of 3D Printed Mobiles

Beautiful, delicate, finely balanced mobiles 3D printed to dance on the breeze.

3D Printing mobile on Shapeways

These 3D printed mobiles are the result of a collaboration between Marco Mahler and Henry Segerman, available 3D printed on demand through their Shapeways Mobiles Shop

3D Printed mobile on Shapeways


We met via Twitter in early February 2013 when Henry was looking for suggestions for a motor for one of his 3D printed kinetic sculptures. A conversation ensued about the possibilities for making 3D printed mobiles. After about 300 emails, several conversations over Skype, hundreds of lines of code, and a number of test prints and trial-and-error experiments, the result is the collection of mobiles that is now available through our shop at Shapeways. After an extensive Google search, it appears that these are the first fully 3D printed mobiles in the world.

Shapewasy 3D printing amazing mathematical mobiles

These mobiles come out of the 3D-printer completely assembled as shown. The balance points for these mobiles were calculated to 1/1000th of a millimeter (1/25360th of an inch). The models for some of these mobiles were drawn up “by hand”, others were created utilizing custom mathematical scripts. Some of the mobiles, like Mobile 4.2, are designed with a very small increase or decrease in thickness from one part to the next, something that is not possible to do with conventional handmade mobiles. Utilizing scripts also allows for designs that would be very time consuming to make by hand, such as the Quaternary Tree Level 6 (pictured above), which has 1365 pieces.

3D Printed Math Mobiles

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Shapeways Designer Evangelist
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