Mechanical Orrery

Mechanical Orrery

Nov 01, 2023

Nathan Fournier

I recently found this project on Prusa's Printables website after considering doing an orrery for a few months as a potential project. This model can be found on the Printables website at this link. Within the print, the positions of the Sun, the Earth, and the Moon are represented and their relation to each other depending on the time of year. As you turn the crank on the side of the base, the gears will rotate the moon and earth around each other and the Sun. While the Earth and moon revolve around the sun, the base follows along with a pointer showing the month and day. With each rotation, there is a counter on the opposite side of the crank that can indicate how many years have passed.


Printing this project was fairly simple as the creator uploaded pre-laid out plates that only needed to be ran through a slicing software. With each plate, the creator also included the printing instructions for the z resolution (being how tall each layer is) as well as if there were any color changes within each plate. You can also assemble your build plate as all the files for each part are included.


There are also instructions on how to calibrate the position of the Earth, Moon, and Sun by manually adjusting their positions to where they would be during the solstices.  After completing this project, I am fairly interested in printing an orrery that contains the entire solar system which would require far higher tolerances as well as intricate gear placements.