Ferris Wheel Project


I started a new project yesterday and wanted to share it with everyone, I can post frequently when there are updates to share. It was suggested I start a new topic for this so everyone can see the progress.

I was playing Forza 6 on the X-Box One S and in the distance I seen a colorful Ferris Wheel, that is where this idea came from. I wanted it to be more like the ones when I was a kid, so I am modeling based off of memories as well as some random images I find throughout the web, this will mostly be my own rendition of the Ferris Wheel. The intent is to have it motorized and it will be very large for a 3D Printed model.

I have already had 3 revisions at the spokes and the connectors as well as the center hub. This will also incorporate some bearings (I believe) to be sure it spins true and free.

Here is a quick screenshot of the project. This is a work in progress and could change multiple times as I test print parts for fitment and size.


Here is a quick glimpse of the parts I modeled to create what you see so far.


Got the wheel part mostly complete. Printing some test parts before going to far to be sure it works as planned. So far there are 218 parts in this model, and many more to come.


Last night I printed a few of the parts to test fit the connection concept in the image above. I have more parts printing but I wanted to share an image of how large this will be. As you can see in the image below it is at 410mm for just half of the diameter of the wheel. Still lots to do but need to test a couple more things before moving on.


I didn’t like the stability of the single screw mounting of the spokes so I remodeled the spokes and connectors. I am printing enough parts to test assemble one side of the wheel before moving forward.

Here is a screenshot of the wheel. According to the model, it is 825 mm in diameter.


Well I now have a good portion of one of the sides printed and assembled. I thought I would share an image of it so you can see how big it really is. Also you can see both printers printing away.


The first side is now complete for test fitting. I have also re-modeled the spindle to accept bearing, it is printing now and I should be able to test by tomorrow.


Well the spindle redesign didn’t work out so I spent time yesterday working on it some more. It took 2 more revisions to get it right.

Here is what I have come up with so far.


I haven’t had much time to work on this the last few days to a week as work is pretty busy. But I managed to get a bunch of parts printed yesterday and I was able to assemble some of it today. I had to make a jig to mount it to the table to hold it as it is rather large.

These parts are not the final parts, these are just the test prints to allow me to size up the frame I am going to need to model and print. Also this allows me to gather some ideas on how I will model and connect the seats. This is going to be a long project, but I think the end result will be well worth it.


After installing the threaded Rods on the outer half of the wheel, I realized I just don’t like that method. It creates too much effort for adjustment, which makes assembly far too time consuming.

So I went to work on a couple other ideas and visually settled for what you see below. I am test printing some pieces now to see if I like them. This project is much more time consuming do to designing as I go.


Here is a set all printed. These are just for testing do the print resolution is lower and I didn’t do any cleanup. I just wanted to test them out. I will install them and share a couple more images. I started on the modeling of the stand/frame, I am test printing my idea, that will hopefully be shared soon.


Here they are installed, I like this much better.


After many many hours of printing parts to change out the joiners (Still in progress), I was able to print the 1st draft of the leg design to get an idea of how I will support the wheel. There is much work left to be done, but I have it in its rough draft.

Here is a video of it free spinning.


I wanted to give a quick update for those who are watching this project. I haven’t abandoned the project and am still working it. I have been having some decent weather so I have been out riding the Harley when not working.

In the process I have been printing the final parts for the majority of the wheel. They are much stronger than the prototype pieces you see in the previous images. I have also figured out how I am going to drive this wheel and have the main gear almost figured out, I hope to have images soon. I am also now working on the seat models and hope to have something to share.

In the mean time you can see how colorful it will be in the images below.


I haven’t given up on this project. As this is a hobby for me it has been delayed as riding season has started and I have been enjoying my bike. However I anticipate finishing this in the near future, so updates should start to come again soon.


Very impressive concept to design and then execution.

Any chance you will consider adding some gondolas? Maybe tiny LED RGB strips to… you know… overdo it! :wink:

Looks fantastic!



Thank you.

The intention is to add 6 gondolas as well as motorized the Ferris wheel.

I have some concepts of how I will do it and hope to model it soon. I will be sharing this as I have something share worthy.


Anxious to see it… by the way, really like the efficiency of your design.



Here is a very rough idea of what I am working on. This by no means is the finished idea, as I am still deciding on shape and size. I want it to be as practical as possible as well as pleasing to the eye. Still much to refine here.

This just gives an idea of the look, still have to come up with a way to mount and location too. The stand is also in its beginning stages.


That looks fantastic. I would think hobbyists who are building train sets or dioramas would love the idea to creation abilities.

Out of curiosity, what are the steps taken to go from project within Shapr3D to actual printed object?

if you have time.