3D printing guru WidgetWizard has created an intricate motorized orrery complete with 8 planets and their respective moons and over 100 parts. While these apparatuses have been used throughout modern history to illustrate the r elative motion, size, and orbit of the planets – both in relation to each other, and to the sun – it’s exceedingly rare to see one in 3D printed form.
“What I discovered is how coveted the information is on how to make one. The craftsmen who design these things do not like to share their information, particularly on what gear ratios they use [to] achieve the correct relative planetary orbits around the sun.”
Setting out to change all that, the enterprising WidgetWizard published an Instructable guide for his project, complete with a full set of instructions, necessary tools, gear ratios, and even a full list documenting each of the planetary orbits. The result is a precise, eye-catching orrery that’s as awe-inspiring as it is educational.
WidgetWizard’s feat hasn’t gone unnoticed. The 3D printed motorized orrery recently took home the grand prize for the “Design Now: In Motion” contest, held by Instructables, 3DHubs, and 3Dconnexion.