3D Printing a Mechanical Water Droplet

Designing mechanical objects can be tricky, there is a lot of planning and calculations needed to make it work the way you anticipated. SOLIDWORKS Assembly is a beautiful tool which allows you to be able build you designs and test them out. See if there are any collisions of parts, if any dimensions need to be changed and if it all works smoothly.

So we wanted to illustrate this with a simple kinetic sculpture. a mechanical water droplet. Making something organic, mechanical can be tricky but if done well can look amazing.

To design this in SOLIDWORKS we created all the basic elements we needed, we started with the rings and then the frame, we them made all the little cogs at their different size. aligned them up and finished the model with a crank to turn everything.

We then saved each individual part and stated an assembly. We started the assembly with the frame. This is because the first part you import into an assembly is anchored. All the other parts you insert will move freely until you mate them.

We inserted all the remaining parts mated them up and tested the mechanism to make sure it works and it does!

We then proceeded to printing the model on out Prusa i3 MK2S in PLA. The only elements we didn’t print out were the rods. These we used aluminium rods. We then assembled the parts, using Super glue to fix everything and just like out test in SOLIDWORKS assemblies it worked first time.

Using SOLIDWORKS assemblies to test mechanisms and components can save a lot of time and money. Just like the saying, measure twice cut once. You don’t want to manufacture your design to realise it doesn’t work, having to redesign and manufacture it again. Testing in SOLIDWORKS assemblies can be a powerful tool for your business if used to its full potential. This was a simple use of assemblies, but this tool can do incredible things. just give it a try yourself.

Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. offers complete 3D software tools that let you create, simulate, publish, and manage your data. SolidWorks products are easy to learn and use, and work together to help you design products better, faster, and more cost-effectively. The SolidWorks focus on ease-of-use allows more engineers, designers and other technology professionals than ever before to take advantage of 3D in bringing their designs to life.