3D Chop Cup Routine

One of the Facebook groups that I belong to is a Magician’s 3D Printing group. It’s an interesting group, a few people in it are making some cool stuff. Recently someone asked if anyone had made a chop cup before. I mentioned that I had and made stack of nested cups as a final load for it.

I no longer have the set of cups, but here’s an idea of what they looked like:

nested cups and balls final production

This set was 100% inspired by Gary Ouellet‘s column Fulminations in Genii Magazine where he had a series of nested cups as the ending for a cups and balls routine. This led to my Russian Shell Game trick, which is a Three Shell Game that ends with a ton of shells on the table.

The fun thing about the time we live in, is with a little bit of tinkering around, you can make virtually any prop you’ve ever wanted with 3d printer!

Catch your whale

Right now we’ve all found ourselves with a lot of extra time. I’ve been using mine to try to catch my “Great White Whale” of tricks I’ve always wanted to create. This trick has been in my head for over a decade and a lot of things had to come together to for it to happen.


Here’s the trick, and be sure to watch the whole thing:


I’ve been fascinated by the idea of using a nested replicas of the main prop as a final load ever since I read Gary Oullett’s cups and balls routine in his Fulminations column in Genii magazine. Then about 10 or 15 years ago I thought about applying it to the shell game. The hurdle was getting shells to nest and enough of them.


Then the breakthrough came when I got a 3D printer. I could print the shells, however the problem was they didn’t look like shells. They looked like plastic things that kinda looked like walnut shells. A friend of mine sent me a link of how to make molds and I tried to learn off of youtube videos with limited success. I ended up taking a 4 hour class on making molds and resin casting that really helped speed up the learning curve.


I kept making baby steps to get towards the end result and finally got there. I’m not done yet, ideally in the future I’ll have some shells that look a little bit better, but for now I have a workable version of the trick!


Unusual Magic…

One of the things that I’m always on the lookout for are quirks that I can exploit for a magic trick. Ideally small things that people don’t notice, or things that they accept and don’t think about. In this month’s Genii Magazine I have a magic trick and it’s based on something small that I … Continue reading “Unusual Magic…”

One of the things that I’m always on the lookout for are quirks that I can exploit for a magic trick. Ideally small things that people don’t notice, or things that they accept and don’t think about. In this month’s Genii Magazine I have a magic trick and it’s based on something small that I noticed and turned into a magic trick!

What happened was a long time ago I noticed that when you take a picture with your phone’s front facing camera, Instagram takes is as a mirror image. That means that any text will appear backwards in the picture. This is a small thing and everyone accepts it and no one thinks about it.


I love tricks that involve manipulating an image on someone else’s cellphone, and this quirk in Instagram is a great thing to exploit. I learned a long time ago that people don’t really look at specific things (other than themselves) in selfie style pictures. If you have something that looks right before the picture and is the same basic shape in the camera’s screen, their brain doesn’t really process it and fills it in with what they expect to see.


The basic principle for using someone else’s camera has three parts. First you show them the object and then switch it for a similar one. Second you take a picture of the switched object. Finally you switch the object back to the original one. To them, nothing has changed, you simply then do your magic and alter the picture. Now go out and do some phone magic!