Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Save Your Breath and Blow Better Bubbles with the 3D Printed Bubble Box

ST Medical Devices

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bubblebox2I have a one year old son, and there is nothing he enjoys more than watching Mommy and Daddy blow bubbles outside. He usually runs and stumbles, trying to catch each little bubble before they pop or hit the ground. I must say that I have just as much fun blowing them as he does chasing them. One problem that we have, however, is that I get tried of blowing the bubbles before my son gets tired of chasing them.

Now, thanks to one man named Camilo Parra Palacio, this is no longer an issue. He is the inventor of a 3D printable bubble blowing machine that he calls the Bubble Box. It is completely 3D printable and available to download entirely free on Thingiverse.

Initially designed as a laser cutting project, the Bubble Box has been turned into a 3D printable toy, which consists entirely of 3D printed parts, and no need for any batteries.

“Since the initial design is for laser cutting, it is very easy to 3d print,” Palacio tells 3DPrint.com.

Palacio initially posted up the design files for his first version of the bubble box, but has now created a second version which reduces the total 3D printed parts from 19 pieces down to just 10.

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To design this brilliant toy, Palacio used Autodesk Fusion 360. He made sketches of how the mechanism should be, and went through many options such as bars, planetary gears, and a variety of different propellers, and settled on a very simplistic design (at least by his standards).

“The objective was to move a centrifugal fan as fast as possible,” Palacio tells us. “After some analysis [I] finally found an interesting combination of crank input, gears for high revolutions, and an automatic immerse system [which uses a] crank mechanism that [utilizes] a reciprocating motion. It takes bubble solution from the bottom storage [and moves it] to the top where the impeller output is blowing air.”

bubblebox4The end result was a creation unlike anything that I have seen before. It’s a bubble toy that can be fabricated on virtually any FFF-based 3D printer. In order to 3D print your very own Bubble Box Version 2, you can download the files now on Thingiverse, and then head on over to Fusion 360 to get the assembly instructions. I look forward to 3D printing one of these myself sometime next week.

As for Palacio, he isn’t finished yet. He plans to create designs for even more bubble toys in the near future. What do you think of the Bubble Box? Have you 3D printed one? Discuss in the 3D Printed Bubble Box forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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