Universal Constructor Set

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It is important to print out scale models of GVCS machines to verify the designs from Sketchup. These can be printed from the actual Sketchup models after conversion to STL and gcode.

To assist prototyping from Sketchup models, one can also print out a set of parts for physical modeling. These physical models can assist in prototyping, as one can make models to show otherwise difficult to see geometries.

Both design in Sketchup and prototyping from physical building blocks can be carried out in parallel to accelerate the design of the GVCS.

Building Blocks

There are 3 main building blocks - the tubing, plate, and pivot plate. In real life, these are 1/2" thick steel. The tubing is 4"x4" in real life. The plates and pivot plates are 8"x16". All holes are 1" in real life, and the pivot hole is 3" to accept a 3" shaft. 1" shafts and bolts fit in the 1" holes. Holes are on 4" centers for the plates and tubing. The holes are 2" off the edge.

These 3 building blocks can create a Backhoe or the Scalable Ironworker Machine, plus many others.

Scale Printing

  • Design the model kit so we have the corresponding tubing to 1, 2, 3,..., 10, 11, 12 foot members. This means about 3/8" square tubing. This means 1-1/8" to 11-1/4" tubing lengths printed out.


  1. Generate the tubing and plates in Sketchup
  2. Convert to STL
  3. Convert to Gcode
  4. Print!