Impossible Bearing Tutorial

Currently, we have people out there developing and working with 3D printing to create rapid prototypes and also people pushing 3D printing as technology to create final products. Below is an example of a design that can only be created with 3D printing.

There are many great advantages to use 3D printing to create final products. First off warehousing will be a thing of the past. A company will have a smaller building to house a few 3D printers and print the parts as they are needed. This can save companies huge amounts of money. 3D printing parts allow for a whole new way of design including generative design of models. We are finding new ways to create the same parts with less material that can withstand greater forces. You are not restrained by standard manufacturing restraints like overhangs, draft angles and wall thickness. This allows for more organic form to be created.

This is a great example of a design printed in it’s assembled form illustrating a design that if it was manufactured in any other way, it wouldn’t be possible. The only way to make this bearing is through 3D printing. Making this in SOLIDWORKS was super easy and done in few steps.




The part was printed in place and assembled, once taken off the bed it moves freely.


The curved gears makes this gear set hold itself together.

This is an example of how this process can help ease the need for assembly lines, just like the scenario with less warehousing, this can be cost effective for companies in the space needed for their manufacturing plants and warehousing.

3D printing is a technology that has been developed for decades and with the speed it’s developing now and larger companies are jumping on board which means it’s moving in the right direction. That means we get to create more awesome designs in SOLIDWORKS.


Kirby Downey

Kirby Downey

Lead Designer at MyMiniFactory
I am a product designer from South Africa, currently based in London. I specialize in taking objects and adding a technical and mechanical side to it, first making it work mechanically before adding a story to the product using shapes and forms. This can be seen with the props from games I have modeled. I enjoy working with my hands, completing each project myself and with each product I take special care to ensure that every detail is perfect. I have a passion for 3D printing and the capabilities it has in today's world.
Kirby Downey
Kirby Downey

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