Ferris Wheel

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I have created a Ferris Wheel to integrate into the amusement park, which I usually build around Christmas Tree. Well, it's a multipurpose exhibit, while our youngest has a birthday at the beginning of New Year. This means that any installation has to be good enough to pass my wife's aesthetics test and furthermore to pass the crash test of about 10 or so kids from 4 to 6 years old. (Yes, after this year's part, the site looked just like Tokyo after being visited by Godzilla for ten times in the row:-)

This picture is taken before the "incident."


I have used mostly technic axles. The wheel is made out of two rings and then connected to the center by axles and technic connectors. The axle of the wheel is supported by three arms on each side. The construction is not so sturdy, however it survived the severe attacks by kid-mobsters (no, the kids were great, they of course disintegrated the whole thing but only due to curiosity. So no AFOL was hurt during the party).


Ferris Wheel has a motor and a few lights. The height of the wheel is over 80 cm (around 32 inches). It's quite light and stable for this type of construction. Nevetheless, it could be felt that this type of construction is not quite sturdy enough for larger wheels. I guess it would be hard to make it twice the size (with the same technology). The next picture shows the wheel in motion.


At the bottom is the ticket office and the engine room (actually engine room is a battery box dressed in a house). Please also note the yellow line, which is attempted to ensure minifigs safety:


The wheel is moved by XL motor, which is geared down by clutch gear (sorry, it is hidden in this picture):


The view from the bottom is intimidating (for minifigs):


However, the view from the top is worth waiting for:


More pictures here (when it's public).

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What a nice display for your family! :thumbup: Lucky kids! If you decide to build a larger Ferris Wheel, you may consider using these parts to have a grid of "hub-and-spoke" triangles connected to each other in a radial pattern. See the bottom of this Eurobricks topic (Lego Geodesic Dome) to get the idea:

2695 "Wheel 30mm D. x 13mm (13 x 24 Model Team)"

41532 "Hinge Cylinder 1 x 3 Locking with 1 Finger and Technic Friction Pin"

30553 "Hinge Cylinder 1 x 2 Locking with 2 Fingers and Axle Hole On Ends"

2 ea. (typical) Technic axles, such as the 3737 "Technic, Axle 10"

6538c "Technic, Axle Connector (Smooth with x hole + orientation)", placed between the two axles



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Thanks for kind words.

I've used 8 spokes per side due to axle connectors of 157.5 degrees. This produces the 16-segment "ring," so 3, 6 or 12 spokes will not work in this case. Nevertheless, the hinge cylinders are - based on my testing - even weaker than my arrangement. During the "kids siege", the wheel was operational even when about half of the spokes were pulled out. I think that benefit of hinges is larger degree of freedom of connectors (they are very suitable for out-of-plane constructions as geode but this is not the case in my version of Ferris wheel.

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Very nice wheel! It is quite an efficient construction, the (double) rim looks sturdy, even if it is only axles and technic connectors. What is the weight of the wheel? 600g?

When going bigger the constraints are the weight/tension the spokes need to bear, so a bigger number would be better, but even more the dirve will have problems powering a larger wheel. It needs to produce a lot of torque to start turning it!

I did a wheel myself with a diameter of around 148 studs and a weight of around 1800g, I tried also to power it through the hub, with a axle up through the colums, that failed miserably even wen puting 2x2 roundbricks there to reduce the torsion, finally i settled for the common mode of drive, a small wheel against the rim.

If you want to add more spokes I have a look at this sample here, it provides 24 spokes within a 4-wides space. I think more is not possible in this space. But if you find out, let me know!


Center_AllSpokes4 by 1wave, on Flickr


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I've been on that party and must say that Teflon has nerves of steel. If you'd seen the demolition..but that's what brick are for !

It WAS great lego instalation anyway! :-)

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