Marblevator, Clouds.




Introduction: Marblevator, Clouds.

About: Our grandkids keep me busy!

"Marblevator, Clouds" is may latest Marblevator, avoiding the use of a track while including a gear mechanism that makes the "marbles" (ball bearings) appear to hop from cloud to cloud.

As usual, I probably forgot a file or two or who knows what else, so if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask as I do make plenty of mistakes.

Designed using Autodesk Fusion 360, sliced using Ultimaker Cura 4.12.1, and 3D printed in PLA on Ultimaker S5s.


Thick cyanoacrylate glue.

Soldering Iron and Solder.

Step 1: Parts.

I acquired the following parts:

  • Five 8mm ball bearings.
  • One 35RPM 6VDC gear motor.
  • One twin cell AA battery pack with switch.
  • Two AA batteries.
  • Six 6mm diameter by 1.6mm thick neodymium magnets.

I 3D printed the following parts at .15mm layer height 20% infill unless otherwise noted:

  • Six "Arm.stl".
  • Six "Axle, Long.stl".
  • Four "Axle, Short.stl".
  • Six "Bolt (M8 by 1.25 by 8).stl".
  • Six "Cloud, Cup.stl".
  • One "Cloud, Lower.stl".
  • Four "Cloud, Standoff.stl".
  • One "Cloud, Upper.stl".
  • One "Frame.stl".
  • One "Front.stl".
  • Six "Gear (1m 30t).stl".
  • Four "Gear (1m 15t).stl".
  • One "Gear, Motor (1m 15t).stl".
  • One "Gear, Sun (1m 30t).stl".
  • One "Mount, Sun.stl".
  • One "Sun, Face.stl".
  • One "Sun, Sunburst.stl".

This is a moderate precision 3D print and assembly model using at times very small precision 3D printed parts in very tight spaces. Prior to assembly, test fit and trim, file, sand, etc. all parts as necessary for smooth movement of moving surfaces, and tight fit for non moving surfaces. Depending on you printer, your printer settings and the colors you chose, more or less trimming, filing and/or sanding may be required. Carefully file all edges that contacted the build plate to make absolutely certain that all build plate "ooze" is removed and that all edges are smooth. I used small jewelers files and plenty of patience to perform this step.

The model also uses threaded assembly thus an M6 by 1 and M8 by 1.25 tap and die will assist with thread cleaning if necessary.

Step 2: Assemble the Front.

To assemble the front, I performed the following steps:

  • Glued four "Cloud, Standoff.stl" and one "Sun, Face.stl" onto "Front.stl".
  • Glued three "Cloud, Cup.stl" to "Cloud, Upper.stl" making certain the outer edge of the cups were parallel to the cloud flat side.
  • Repeated the previous step for "Cloud, Lower.stl".
  • Glued the upper cloud assembly to the upper two standoffs.
  • Glued the lower cloud assembly to the lower two standoffs.

Step 3: Assemble the Frame.

To assemble the frame, I performed the following steps:

  • Pressed one magnet into one "Arm.stl".
  • Pressed the arm assembly onto one "Gear (1m 30t).stl".
  • Secured the gear assembly to "Frame.stl" using one "Axle, Long.stl", making certain it rotated with ease, then pointed it downward.
  • Secured one "Gear (1m 18t).stl" to the frame assembly aside the first gear.
  • While holding the first gear arm pointing down, repeated the previous four steps for the remaining gears, carefully noting the position of each arm.
  • Slid "Sun, Sunburst.stl" into "Mount, Sun.stl".
  • Pressed "Gear, Sun (1m 30t).stl" onto the sunburst, making certain the assembly rotated with ease.
  • Secured the sun assembly to the frame assembly using two "Bolt (M8 by 1.25 by 8).stl", making certain the entire gear train rotated with ease.

Step 4: Final Assembly.

For final assembly, I performed the following steps:

  • Placed the two batteries into the battery pack.
  • Soldered the battery pack wires to the motor such that the motor rotated clockwise when viewed from the motor shaft end of the motor.
  • Pressed the motor into the frame assembly.
  • Pressed "Gear, Motor (1m 15t).stl" onto the motor shaft.
  • Slide the front assembly over the frame assembly then secured the two together using four "Bolt (m8 by 1.25 by 8).stl".

With assembly complete, I added the five ball bearings, one at a time, to the lowest cup in the upper cloud as seen in the video.

And that is how I 3D printed and assembled "Marblevator, Clouds".

I hope you enjoyed it!

Be the First to Share


    • Rice & Grains Challenge

      Rice & Grains Challenge
    • Puzzles Challenge

      Puzzles Challenge
    • CNC and 3D Printing Contest

      CNC and 3D Printing Contest



    11 days ago

    Greg, Thanks for publishing. Will try it soon.


    Reply 7 hours ago

    I'll be looking forward to seeing your results!



    1 day ago

    I must say this is the most interesting 3d printed work. Awesome work 👍


    Reply 7 hours ago

    Thank you very much, I truly appreciate it!



    Reply 11 days ago

    Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed it!



    11 days ago on Step 2

    You really do the most interesting 3d printed work. Great inspiration! I’ve made a few of your projects and have them in my classroom. The kids love to watch them. I’ll have a go at this one soon! Keep up the brilliant work.


    Reply 11 days ago

    Hi mr_hodgson!

    I am very grateful you enjoy these models, and truly grateful you share them in the classroom! Thank you so very much!