PLA Spring Motor

After spending years designing and programming video games for Tandy, Atari, Electronic Arts, and many others, plus even more years designing flight control systems, Greg Zumwalt retired, purchased a 3D printer and started designing models for 3D printing.

"In my early 3D printing days, most of my time was spent trying to determine what I could and could not 3D-print in PLA on a 3D printer. In early 2014, I began testing whether a 3D printer could print a PLA spring motor, and the PLA Spring Motor Demonstrator was the result."

"I was impressed enough with the PLA Spring Motor Demonstrator test to attempt to design, 3D-print, and assemble a variety of wind-up vehicles, including a wind-up car, wind-up bunnies, wind-up helicopters, and more."

Wind-up Helicopter

"I recently decided to revisit the original PLA Spring Motor Demonstrator design, using Autodesk Fusion 360, and the PLA Spring Motor Demonstrator II is the result."

"The design incorporates the use of Fusion 360 ‘parameters’, allowing me to alter sizes and clearances between the gears, axles, and axle mounting holes, with ease. As a result of this update, it will be much easier to design and print PLA Spring Motor-based models."

If you fancy making your own spring motor, Greg has shared instructions to make it, including the design files at For lots more designs, check out Greg's YouTube channel.

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