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Twist one way and this toy turns shows a slow spiral pattern. Spin it the other way and you get a very different stairstepping pattern. It's all a matter of playing with angles of rotation. Thanks to parametric design and 3D printing it's a quick path from idea to reality.

This project was inspired by John Edmark's Helicone.

Step 1: OpenSCAD

OpenSCAD is a horribly ugly little program that can do wonderful things if you like thinking in arrays and loops. The process of learning it takes a couple hours, but it's free and worth the time. Here's a quick overview of how I got into it.

  1. Download OpenSCAD. It's free for OS X, Windows, and Linux
  2. Connect it to a real editor like Sublime Text 2. Here's how.
  3. Go through some tutorials.

I'm a math geek so all of this appeals to me, but I understand if you're normal and don't want to do it. The print files are coming up soon, I promise.

OK, parametric folks, let's do this.

<p>Best of the Best, really well said</p>
<p>Unique and perfect</p>
<p>It seems like this would make a good demonstration of how dial-type padlocks work. You could align the top few branches with each other, but only if you turn it the right amount.</p>
<p>Don't know if its the right website, but you should put this on kickstarter or some other website to sell them.</p>
<p>Thanks, but I'd need to find some way to make this without relying on 3D printing. I could sell it on Shapeways now, but it would cost over $50 and require some work by the buyer. If I resold it as a finished piece it would then cost at least $60 before making any money myself.</p><p>Right now I just prefer to open source it. The next option would be to get some injection molds made and those aren't cheap.</p>
Awesome and simple!
<p>Awesome stuff, sir! </p>
<p>Thank you!</p>
<p>Does it make a cool clicky-clacky noise?</p>
<p>A subtle one. If you turn up the volume on the video you can hear it.</p>
<p>ALL THE GIFS! Really beautiful toy though. Hey bud!</p>
<p>Couldn't resist a GIF for this one. Hey, Audrey!</p>
<p>cool</p>

About This Instructable

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Bio: I like to make things for the internets. I also sell a pretty cool calendar at supamoto.co. You'll like it.
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