A 3D-Printed Block And Tackle For Those Annoying Lifts

Perhaps the humble block and tackle — multiple parallel pulleys to reduce the effort of lifting — is not such a common sight as it once was in this age of hydraulic loaders, but it remains a useful mechanism for whenever there is a lifting task. To that end [semi] has produced a 3D-printed block and tackle system, which as can be seen in the video below the break, makes lifting moderately heavy loads a breeze.

It’s a simple enough mechanism, with the 3D printer supplying pulleys, chocks, and attachment points, and steel bolts holding everything together. It’s demonstrated with a maximum weight of 20 kilograms (44 pounds), and though perhaps some hesitation might be in order before trusting it with 200 Kg of engine, we’re guessing it would be capable of much more that what we’re shown. Should you wish to give it a try, the files can be found on Thingiverse.

The block and tackle should hold a special place in the hearts of engineers everywhere, as the first product manufactured using mass-production techniques. It shouldn’t be a surprise that this early-19th century factory came from the work of Marc Brunel, father of Isambard Kingdom Brunel who we’ve made the subject of a previous Hackaday piece.

11 thoughts on “A 3D-Printed Block And Tackle For Those Annoying Lifts

    1. You are already at the hardware store to buy the bolts, nuts, and rope. Literally sitting right next to that stuff are pulleys (with bearings) and metal brackets. For a little more money, and a fraction of the time, you could build something out of traditional components that lifts much more. Lifting is one of the most dangerous things builders and makers do, and trusting it to 3D printed parts doesn’t seem wise.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m not they type to yell “IT USED PURCHASED METAL SCREWS SO IT ISN’T 3D PRINTED!!!” but I don’t like hype over something that uses 3D printed parts in places where it doesn’t make any practical sense.

  1. Yes, it woks, but why go though the trouble of making something *&^%$#@! like this?
    If you want a proper build of a block & tackle, then build something like:

    It’s mostly wood, but with load bearing steel parts where they belong.
    The next step up would be to put real ball bearings in the pulley’s, but the steel pieces of pipe on the axle give this build some decent lifetime.

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