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Abacus, Soroban, そろばん, Suan Pan, 算盘, Chinese, Japanese

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3D model description

Abacus: Seven Digits, Two Versions, 90mm x 140mm, Chinese or Japanese, designed for easy assembly.

The abacus is an ancient calculator that comes in various styles, still used widely in Asian cultures as a way to help children build number sense or as a toy. It makes a nice-looking multi-wheeled toy car or a sound shaker like maracas!

The Chinese abacus has seven beads on a vertical bar, while the Japanese version has five beads on a vertical bar. As a general rule, each bead in the lower deck represents one when moved toward to center beam. Each bead in the upper deck represents five when moved to the center beam. On the Japanese abacus, each bar could represent zero to nine units. By contrast, the Chinese abacus allows the representation of zero through 15 units on each bar, thus supporting calculation using the base-16 system. For the base-10 system, the two beads at the very top and bottom are not used. About the decimal point, users could, in fact, choose their own place, depending on their specific needs. So as you can see, the abacus is a blend of concrete and abstract representations.

As always, small parts can be dangerous for small children; please educate young children not to put little parts in their mouth and follow all safety procedures when working with young children. Have fun making and playing on your abacus!

If you like Android apps, my Android app is at

Dilson, Jesse. (1968). The abacus: The world’s first computing system: where it comes from, how it works, and how to use it to perform mathematical feats great and small. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press.

3D printing settings

Resolution 0.1 to 0.2 mm
Infill: 20-50%
No raft or support

  • 3D file format: STL
  • Publication date: 2017/12/27 at 23:22



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STEAM educator, learning from and working with K-12 STEAM teachers to explore new ideas of teaching and engagement. I firmly believe ART is at the core of STEM learning or all human learning! I owe my ideas and designs to the hundreds of K-12 children and teachers and university professors I have had the pleasure of working with, in multiple disciplines-- math, science,engineering language arts, social studies, early childhood education and more! All mistakes, of course, are mine! There is no warranty or liability whatsoever implied or explicit behind the designs or ideas. They are all posted for their potential educational values.

When working with children, please strictly observe all safety and health procedures! Please refer to the NSTA safety guides:




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