The Riesenrad ("giant wheel" or Ferris Wheel) is one of Vienna's many beautiful and best known landmarks. It is located at the entrance of the amusement park "Prater" in Vienna's second district.
The wheel was built in 1897 and was the worlds tallest wheel till 1985 (Now it is the Cosmo Clock 21 in Yokohama). Originally the wheel had 30 gondolas, but in the second world war the wheel was severely damaged and only 15 gondolas were rebuild to keep the cost of maintenance low. Since then it is still operated that way.
The Riesenrad is 65m high and you can ride on it most of the year andoverlook at the beautiful city of Vienna. The Riesenrad moves with a whopping speed of 2,7 km/h and thus takes some time to ride. The whole construction weighs in at 430 tons.
My motivation was to rebuild the giant wheel in such a way that it may easily adapted for a different sizes, that is why I chose to construct it in OpenScad.
Also, I wanted to design the wheel as near to the original as possible but with print-ability in mind.
I think that building the giant wheel at the time it was originally constructed was quite an accomplishment. A massive steel construction, that is round and moves, how could one not like and admire it?
Gondolas: The 15 gondolas with body and roof took about 6 hours to print.
Wheel: The complete wheel with the gondola holders and the wheels themselves took about 16 hours.
Stands: The two stands, front and back took about 12 hours.
I joined the challenge a week before the deadline and knew from the beginning that I will need to use time for printing effectively. The print times mentioned above do not account for prototypes I had to do for every part, just plain printing time of the parts.
After prototyping the single parts I arranged them in such a way that allowed me to print all or at least a considerable number of them together.
Before leaving home in the morning I started printing a batch which allowed me to do other things in the mean time. In the evening I used the time to quickly prototype the parts so I could do one or more batches overnight.
I use OctoPrint as my host software, which allowed me to send Push Bullet notifications when a print job is done.
I set an alarm for the notification coming from the printer to wake me up and remove the parts from the printing bed and start a new print job before going to bed again (or in my case the couch, since my girlfriend was not all too amused about waking up every couple of hours, and me coming back smelling like hairspray).
Each gondola took about 15 minutes which makes a sum of about 4 hours for all gondolas, not counting the dry time between each painting stage.
Assembly took about 8 hours, the most time consuming part was lining the wheels which took about 3 hours, because you have to be very careful to align the wheels to the center.
Depending on how you want your wheel to be, to the printed parts you will need some additional materials. I will list the mandatory items first and the optional materials later.
If you want to apply a paint job you will need the following colours:
If you want your wheel to turn you will need:
For the sake of time efficiency I suggest to print and assemble in the following order:
I uploaded all of the parts as singles so in case not all parts of a batch come out as you would like them, eg. they warp, you can print them one by one until they all look good.
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