You know how it goes. You make one Archimedes screw and it goes missing. You make another Archimedes screw, it goes missing and you discover a small band of pygmy gopher people have been stealing them for their underground rhubarb growing racket. You want to deal with it, but… THEY’RE JUST SO DANG CUTE and those rhubarb pies are to die for.

Fortunately, the Makerbot Learning crew has put together an awesome physics + engineering + history lesson to give you and others the ability to 3D print as many miniature Archimedes screw devices as you need. It’s a fantastic (Helenist-astic, HA!) project for anyone interested in building simple machines or bringing an understanding of engineering principles and 3D design to younger minds. As they describe it:

The Archimedes screw is a device believed to be invented by Archimedes, one of the world’s greatest scientists, in the 3rd century B.C. It was most often used to transport water from lower ground to higher ground for purposes of irrigation, flood prevention, and more.

We’re pretty sure Archimedes used it to transport piles of grapes from the floor to his mouth though… Oh wait, that’s what I use it for. The project is much like other Makerbot Learning lessons. They provide the complete overview and detail behind the design, the lesson plan and activities, and the 3D print files, of course. This model was created using Onshape and is a perfect model for learning and understanding more about 3D modeling.

YouTube video

You can download the files from Thingiverse. Or from Thingiverse! (Bonus! They’ve also made the Onshape file public. You can view and use the model here!)

Have a model you think everyone needs? Share the link and details with us here!




Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.