Re: [rp-ml] Quadrax and Cubital ball in cage and gear tree

From: Marshall Burns <>
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 2017 16:36:28 -0500

Elaine! How great to hear from you. I did the history preservation thing, but since I didn’t have a production machine, I only had very simple StL files for building on our prototype. Is it possible you have the original Quadrax ball and cage file?




From: rp-ml [] On Behalf Of Elaine & Bill Hunt
Sent: Monday, October 23, 2017 15:51
To: Rapid prototyping mailing list
Subject: Re: [rp-ml] Quadrax and Cubital ball in cage and gear tree


Cubital was real private with their brain gear file. For years they were the only company with technology that could build the thing!! Not sure the file ever made it into the public arena. I built several ball and cage items over the years and will try to dig out any files I might have kept. I do still have a floppy drive somewhere in my archive. Wish I had preserved more RP history than I did.








On Oct 23, 2017, at 4:25 PM, Marshall Burns <> wrote:

Hi Charles,


                It appears that Thingiverse is not comparing files they receive to exclude duplicates. Thing # 370 submitted by “hoeken” in 2009:


is identical (as confirmed by DOS “comp”) to # 1532 submitted by “mappum” in 2010 (linked below). As I mentioned before, this is also identical to a file submitted to RepRapWiki by “Mappum” in 2008.


                As for floppy disks, I’d need some help in reading those. But would love to hear from Elaine whether she has the gear tree/brain gear or not!




From: rp-ml [] On Behalf Of Charles Overy
Sent: Monday, October 23, 2017 11:01
To: Rapid prototyping mailing list
Subject: Re: [rp-ml] Quadrax and Cubital ball in cage and gear tree




Brain gears history. I remember them popping up suddenly at Rapid. Last year it seemed like it was large prints of "Groot". Progress? I would imagine that the gear was replicated and optimized by many vendors like Z Corp did with the color version. I can not remember seeing the blocky ended one you point out.


The same brain gear as others have noted on thingyverse was originally posted by Zach "Hoeken" Smith in 2009. Thing # 370. It is interesting to look at his account and see the early progress of makerbot and what they were thinking. Have a look also at thing #16 !


But if you want to turn the wayback dial to 1991 you may have to get some floppy disks from Elaine....?









From: rp-ml [] On Behalf Of Marshall Burns
Sent: Saturday, October 21, 2017 23:13
To: 'Steven Adler (A3DM)' <>
Cc: 'Rapid prototyping mailing list' <>
Subject: Re: [rp-ml] Quadrax and Cubital ball in cage and gear tree


Hi Steven,


                The file the other person sent me is available on Thingiverse at:


and on the RepRap Wiki at:


The files at those links are identical. The one at Thingiverse has a date in 2010, the other one in 2008. They were both contributed by someone using the name “mappum” or “Mappum.”


                This is definitely not the original. If you compare it to the photo I linked to below, you’ll see that the original design had much thicker axle junctions with flat ends, as well as a smaller base. Aside from the geometrical differences, it’s also interesting to note that the Mappum design is supplied oriented upside down. This might be intended to make it more easily compatible with devices that use support structures, in which case they would want the lightest part of the object built above the heaviest part. Cubital would not have had to think about such things since it was building in a solid environment.


                So I’m still looking for the originals (or reasonable facsimiles, if necessary). The photos I linked to below are of objects I obtained in 1991, so the STL files to make them were created in that year or earlier..





From: rp-ml [] On Behalf Of Steven Adler (A3DM)
Sent: Saturday, October 21, 2017 18:21
To: Rapid prototyping mailing list
Subject: Re: [rp-ml] Quadrax and Cubital ball in cage and gear tree


Hey Marshall


Blast from the past ... can you forward the Brain Gear file to me. I have been searching my archives but have yet to find it..,


What year was it ?

Steven Adler

Mobile 503-250-3324 <tel:(503)%20250-3324>



On Oct 21, 2017, at 6:33 PM, Marshall Burns <> wrote:

Hi Jan,


                That would be fantastic.. I only got one other response so far, which sent me a copy of the brain gear file from Thingiverse. I was wondering about the possibility of reproducing the CAD from the photographs. It does seem like that would be pretty simple (for someone well experienced in CAD) for the ball in the cage. I would really appreciate that.




From: rp-ml [] On Behalf Of Jan Andrzejewski
Sent: Saturday, October 21, 2017 14:29
To: Rapid prototyping mailing list
Subject: Re: [rp-ml] Quadrax and Cubital ball in cage and gear tree


Hi Marshall

If you have problems getting this I will offer to recreate the CAD for this, I'll send you what I can do from the picture. (Ball in Cage)

I have an STL model that comes from 1990 I do not know what the original file name was But I have always called it the G-Cube <> .

A German Field Engineer called "Gunther" let me have the STL file whilst I was learning to operate the SLA250 at Lasercad (Feb 1990)

If anyone from Germany knows where it came from originally I too would like to know this.

The actual model was very helpful when I went from Lasercad to Formation Engineering Services Ltd in 1991 as I got two CAD software companies to try and model from the actual object and The Anvil 5000 struggled as at one corner 3 edges came together with each edge having a 5 mm radius and this was something that that software package struggled with at that time. But Euclid from Matra Datavision was able to do this in solids as well as surface modelling.

How 3D software has changed!


Regards Jan Andrzejewski




On 21 October 2017 at 00:04, Marshall Burns <> wrote:

Hi folks,


Does anyone know where to find these two original STL files from 1991, or close replicas?


                * The ball in a cage made by Quadrax,

                                photo at


                * The gear tree (or brain gear) made by Cubital

                                photo at


There are similar models at Thingverse and some other places, but none of them is quite like the originals. I want to make a physical replica of one of them as a gift for a friend.


Thanks if you can help out.



Marshall Burns


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