Möbius Rollers, Blender 3D and Fusion 360

A bunch of Möbius Rollers

I think I was first introduced to the concept of a Möbius strip in high school. This simple yet weird thing that can be made from a single strip of paper, one end given a 180º twist, and then the ends taped together. If you trace the surface of the resulting object, it has only one continuous face, and there’s only one edge. There are also weird results when you cut it different ways.

A Möbius strip is actually an ideal mathematical construct, like a point, plane, or cube. One you make out of paper is a physical representation of that ideal construct, but paper actually has thickness. But, that’s interesting, because what you’ve actually done is made a long, thin rectangular solid into a Möbius cube, which has one surface, and one edge. I made the Möbius Roller to answer a question in my head: What would it look like to inflate the side (edge) of a Möbius strip? (Then I had to add the channel that follows the side with balls that roll in the channel – because it was cool 😀.)

What has that to do with Blender and Fusion? Well, I originally learned Blender in order to make this object. I don’t know if you can make it in Fusion. (I genuinely don’t know, I’d like to see how, if it’s possible.) Anyhow, it wasn’t too hard to find a tutorial for Blender that showed how to make something like this shape, and I adapted it.

Does that make Blender better than Fusion? No. There are advantages to each. For example, making an object from a dimensioned drawing (like an engineering or architectural drawing) is much easier in Fusion than in Blender.

You can buy a Möbius Roller on my Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/listing/648795534/mobius-roller

Möbius Roller Update

Part One Here


Finally realized that trying to cut or zip the channels open is just overly complicated, and that (although it seems a little less magical) I should just print in two pieces and glue together. There are multiple benefits:

  1. It looks better. Being able to control the edges of channel where it intersects the outside of the of the cube gives a very clean look, probably better than I’ll ever get trying to open it with mechanical means.
  2. Channel walls come out very smooth. This is mostly the result of the way the slicer processes the model when it’s when it’s a monolithic piece.
  3. Easier to model. There are a lot more considerations when trying to make internal structures in an enclosed piece.
  4. Easier to paint, especially on the inside curves. Although, I do have to take a different approach than primer/sand/spray, which was giving some really nice results.

It’s not done yet, though. As you can see in the picture of it being printed, I did not use supports, and that caused the channels on the top of the arcs to be distorted just enough that the bearings fall out. Reprinting with supports now, and that should add dimensional stability (along with my emotional stability). 🙂