This video of Thingiverse user dougc314’s motorized cube gears caught my attention, this morning, on one of my co-workers’ blogs. It’s a modification of user emmett’s much-copied screwless cube gears which replaces one of the corner gears with a motorized pedestal that constantly drives the geartrain, endlessly folding and unfolding the shape.

Screwless cube gears, in turn, is emmett’s second prototype of the cube gears design (the first one used screws for assembly), for which he cites Greg Frost’s 2010 Broken Heart as inspiration. The Broken Heart, finally, was inspired by the kinetic papercraft sculpture of Haruki Nakamura, which we blogged about back in 2008. [via nerdstink]

Sean Michael Ragan

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

  • Travis Howse

    I printed that screwless cube gears. All the pieces came out great but the pins aren’t quite good enough to hold the thing together. Some are stiff, others are loose. The result is a horrible snarl when you try to turn it. I’ve spoken to others who’ve had this problem. The screwed varieties spin like ice on ice.

    • Shannon Hoover

      You know ice on ice freezes together right?

  • Dave Johnson

    For the record, the original papercraft version of this is by Haruki Nakamura (credit where credit is due). See…

  • Anonymous

    Do you remember those old acrylic picture cubes you could get? Imagine this with a Photo on each side of the cube.