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Animated Snowman

Creation's quality: 5.0/5 (1 vote)
Evaluation of members on the printability, utility, level of detail, etc.

3D model description

Animated Snowman, abominable style. Stands a "huge" 22cm (approximately 8.25") tall.

Video of prototype is here:

Video of final version here:

Video of underlying mechanism is here:

I designed this for the elementary school I attended 50 years ago to illustrate what can be accomplished with mathematics, imagination, creativity, and a 3D printer.

Designed using Sketchup 8 (free version) and printed in PLA using Makerware and a Replicator 2.

3D printing settings

Purchased items:

1) "6VDC 45 RPM Pinky Finger Sized Gear Motor 1" Long x 15/32" x 3/8"" from either or directly from Other sources are available, I've not tested them though.

2) Coaxial Power Jack - Radio Shack part number 274-1583.

3) 3 Vdc Power Supply - Radio Shack part number 273-315.

4) 22 gauge wire.

5) Stick on rubber feet.

Assembly notes:

Study "Assembly.skp", a Sketchup 8 (free version) file.

The body parts and hat were designed at a thickness of .8mm in order to minimize both weight and print time. I've included both "Body.stl", and the separated body pieces "Body Upper.stl" and "Body Lower.stl". If "Body.stl" does not print on your printer (e.g. it is too tall), print the separate pieces "Body Upper.stl" and "Body Lower.stl" and glue them together using cyanoacrylate glue.

Roughen the contacting surfaces of the two "Eccentric Large.stl" parts and "Lifter.stl" part with 120 grit sandpaper. After roughening, if your Snowman does not swing the full 90 degrees, glue a disc of 120 grit sandpaper to the bottom surface of "Lifter.stl" (I ended up doing this).

Glue "Hat.stl" onto "Head.stl" in whatever position you desire.

Once the mechanism is assembled and tested (see video), slide the body (either "Body.stl" or "Body Upper.stl" and "Body Lower.stl" glued together), onto the mechanism, and insert the arms through the openings in the upper body into "Arm Pivot.stl". The body hangs freely on the arms which is intentional in order to minimize amplification of the noise generated by the gear motor, and to allow a rocking motion during animation. Operate the mechanism and when working, tack glue the head assembly to the top using cyanoacrylate. Only a couple of drops should be used in order to allow removal of the head with a modeling knife in case maintenance and/or adjustment is required.

I used a permanent ink marker to color the eyes, nose, mouth and buttons onto the final assembly. Everyone has more artistic capabilities than I, so I'm expecting to see a serious improvement in this area!

Finally, to keep the Snowman from walking off the desk, I applied stick on rubber feet to the underside of "Base.stl".

Don't hesitate to comment if you have any questions.


  • 3D file format: STL and ZIP
  • Publication date: 2018/06/19 at 13:28



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