The best Star Trek 3D print yet: A Bajoran Orb with magnetic levitation
While we’ve seen 3D prints of every single USS Enterprise from all the Star Trek properties, this single print and combined electronics may be the most impressive one so far.
Maker Marcin Poblocki has recreated the Bajoran Orb of Prophets, complete with levitation and a screen-accurate casing that can be opened up.
Poblocki, who has a background in physics, tackled this project to learn Fusion 360 so he could start making his own Star Trek props.
The orb and its vessel were worked on in two hour increments every day for two weeks. With the modelling process complete, a scaled down version was printed, finished and painted to make sure everything fit together.
The larger version you see on this page measures in at 17 X 17 X 25 centimetres, which took around 50 hours to print.
After being scaled up it needed an extra week of remodelling to create space for the electronics and the spinning orb.
Four neodymium magnets keep the orb suspended with three Hall sensors installed to detect slight changes. Electromagnets then kick in to counteract these changes.
The result is a smooth spin you can see in the video above, but Poblocki admits that the custom levitation platform was costly and time-consuming to create, and suggests simply buying a commercial one online.
The impressive lighting was accomplished by printing the orb and “gemstones” in clear PLA, which are then lit up with LEDs.
There are seven LEDs in total, four in the gemstones and three in the orb itself with a 12V battery powering everything.
The fitting of these electronics and the painting added ten more hours to the build time, but they add a lot of life to the build and make it a real standout on any shelf.
If all of that doesn’t sound too intimidating to you, the files to print your own version are available for free on Thingiverse.
If you’re going full size for your print, it may take even longer than 50 hours as Poblocki was using a homemade printer based on an upgraded Prusa design with two extruders.
We’ve also prepared a gallery below where you can see the model, as well as that scaled down version and a couple extra shots of the final design.