Proxy Design Studio Creates a ‘Complex’ Gear Ball Toy

(3D Printing Industry) Proxy Design Studio’s Mechaneu v1 gear ball toy is a hollow ball made up of interlocking gears. When you twist one gear, the whole thing shifts. In designing its v1 gear system after concepts found in the biological world, the team behind it managed to embrace one of nature’s defining principles, as put by American architect Buckminster Fuller, “doing more with less.” Toru Hasegawa, designer and partner at Proxy Design Studio, explains that only with 3D printing could they create a toy that uses the least possible material to achieve the greatest possible complexity.  Watch a video of the gear ball toy in action.

Proxy Design wrote custom software that generates shapes based on an algorithm that models cellular growth patterns to make the Mechaneu porous and patterned. The team also had the goal of creating an object limited to 64 MB and 1 million polygon faces, a constraint they explain is placed on many 3D-printer files. Like many complex 3D-printed objects, the Mechaneu is printed as a single, intricate piece. The approximately 4x4x4 sphere is currently unavailable for purchase; however, when it does hit the market, you’ll be able to get your laser-sintered nylon ball in white, red, purple, pink or blue.