Tiny Escalator Complete

Date:
November 23, 2022
Category:

Special Tools

Taking big ideas and miniaturizing them is a fascinating process, and boy did I learn that while building this tiny escalator.

It took a lot of effort to complete but it was well worth the time! I've shown the model to lots of friends and they are all in complete amazement when they see it working. If you're reading this the tutorial video is most likely available to watch on YouTube, or you'll find it on the videos page here: https://www.bouldercreekrailroad.com/youtube-videos/building-the-worlds-smallest-escalator

Here are some stats on building the escalator...

Time:

I don't have an exact clock recording the hours spent however it is certainly over 100 hours spent on this model, and that's not including the very first design I did that was completely scrapped! I probably spent at least 50+ hours on the first version and that one was stopped before the halfway mark.

The first design was abandoned due to a flaw in the design, I tried to make it a true replica of a large escalator however some things just don't scale down so easily.

Parts:

All up... there are

  • 69 M3 Screws
  • 5 M3 Nuts
  • 3 M3 Washers
  • 72 Steps
  • 144 Step Links
  • 72 Short Piano Wire Rods
  • 72 Long Piano Wire Rods
  • 21 Laser Cut Pieces
  • 29 Additional 3D Printed Components (Not including Steps and Links)
  • 1 Motor
  • 1 Switch
  • 1 AAA Battery Holder
  • 2 Pieces of paper

So all together in total the escalator as you see it is made up of 492 separate parts! No wonder this thing took so long to build.

A lot of 3D printed and laser cut details make up this project, I've made the original TinkerCAD file public so you can download and build this escalator yourself as well. Even if you don't have a 3D printer or laser cutter there are companies that provide those services on demand.... However.... I definitely recommend only trying this build if you at least have your own 3D printer because you'll almost certainly need to make minor adjustments and changes to parts as you progress with the project.

Here is a link to the TinkerCAD project page: https://www.tinkercad.com/things/hqU0v5olf49

Not all 3D printers print with the same tolerances so there's bound to be things that need minor adjusting depending on the printer you use, the resin you use and the settings you have.

With that said, this is a very rewarding project and for those who give this project a try I hope you enjoy the process 😎

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