Instructables
Picture of Undroppables
Who here likes to fiddle with their stationary while at school, college, work or home?
And who's teacher/lecturer/boss/wife get's annoyed at this (when you drop it)?

Well, there's me, and I'm sure a few others.

To solve this problem I came up with a small metal object that you can make that keeps your fingers busy while listening, but you won't accidentally drop.
And thus the undroppable was born.
This is just one of many possible designs

 
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Step 1: Design

You can toy with a normal pen for only a few minutes before you get bored with it. I guessed this to be because it's shape is regular, and your hands quickly become associated with it's shape. Thus, you lose interest and move on to something else in your box of stationary.
Accordingly I came up with a set of design principles.
  1. Must not be too regular
  2. Different parts of it should have different "feels"
  3. Should have moving parts (not always possible, but hey)
  4. Must be small
  5. Must be durable
  6. Must not be able to tear/break something else.
Regularity.
No, it can, and should be symmetrical, but there must be corners, different sorts of corners.
On the one I made I has:
   Two cylinders (of differing radius')
   A Square
   A tapered pyramid
The joints between these sections, as well as the edges of the shapes provide irregularities that keep your fingers interested.

Different feels:
When you work with metals, you can get different textures.
   If you polish the metal you get a smooth surface
   If you grind the metal without polishing at all you get a directional grain
   If you use sandpaper you can get a sort of cross-hatch
Those are just the surfaces. For edges:
   Edges can be sharpish
   Edges can be rounded
Again this increases the irregularity, to keep you amused longer.

Moving parts:
Things that move work better too. This is evident by the fact you click pens, spin them, and end up dropping them. By giving the undroppable a moving part, you prevent yourself from dropping it to much. The more movement a part has, the less likely you are to drop it. I used a nut on a threaded section, which you can spin in and out. It is prevented coming off by deforming the thread at the end. A nut is a good choice as it not only rotates, but moves in and out as well. it also has a good selection of edges to toy with.

Sizing:
As you may be able to guess, it is good to be able to carry it with you in a pocket, pencil case or just in your hand. For this reason it is good to keep it to about 5cm x 1.5cm x 1.5cm. Not so small you will drop it, but not so large as to distract others, annoy teachers, or be inconvenient to carry with you.

Durable:
Assuming you're are at college or school you'll be touching it for a couple of hours a day, and plastics would tend to break after a couple days constant fiddling (look at your pens and count how many aren't missing the bit to latch over a pocket). So, metal or stone it is. I've never worked with stone before, so I decided on metal.

Mustn't tear or break anything else:
Because it would be just great if you put it in your pocket or pencil case, it tore a hole, and vanished. So edges can be somewhat sharp (gives a nice feel to it), but I don't want any edges to be "sharper" than about 60 degrees: an equilateral triangle.


Below is the design I ended up making.
darrenhall1 year ago
Cool, clever and well thought out - - big respect.

DZ
freeza361 year ago
How much I would have loved to have this through geometry...
sdfgeoff (author)  techmonster1 year ago
I've not noticed, but then I don't sniff my hands very often.
I can't even smell.
If you are worried about smell you could make it out of stainless steel. Stainless steel is used in the kitchen as "soap" to remove onion, fish, garlic and other strong smells so it would have the added effect of making your hands smell better. Aluminum should also work better then steel might at preventing your hands from smelling. I would avoid brass or copper.

You can buy a stainless steel bolt at the hardware store, they range from $2-4 a piece depending on size and the store. Stainless steel will be a lot harder to shape then regular steel so have a new/sharp file handy.
Aluminum would be ideal to use, it is fairly cheep and available, most hardware stores will have rods of various diameters. It will also be a lot easier to shape using a file then any other metal. You can not use a bench grinder with aluminum, because it is so soft it clogs up the cracks in the grid stone and will ruin your grinder.
samuraigem1 year ago
I have needed one of these for years, inherited fidgeter.
Lasrin1 year ago
Where can I order one? :)
'like'
simply awesome. you see something new everyday.
hitachi81 year ago
i dont want to live on the planet anymore...
STCVKR1 year ago
Correct me if I'm wrong, but can't you unscrew it, thus creating a bolt that can be dropped?
Dad always carried a worry rock. I guess he was the organic type. If he had seen this he would have switched! Gotta go make me a fidget-thing!
facklere1 year ago
I absolutely love this. In a very weird way.
pclplante1 year ago
I'm a little susceptible in that it looks like a shank weapon. Who knows if a person gets mad at another they can just throw it at them. Just an observation not an opinion or to be mean, just poking holes in the theory.
sdfgeoff (author)  pclplante1 year ago
Hence the reason that the end is squared off, not left a point. Besides, it may be a little small to inflict damage!
But yes, if you really were desperate you could throw it at the lecturer, and hope no-one notices it was you....
l8nite1 year ago
cool ! I used to carry a bolt with 3 nuts and a couple washers, I mangled the last few threads on the bolt so the nuts couldn't spin off.. it got me through many a lecture.
noahw1 year ago
You could sell this - seriously. The rate of fidgeting is way up these days. Nervous leg syndrome everywhere - offer it as a package deal with something for bouncing knees and you're a millionaire!
Mitten noahw1 year ago
Slap a bottle opener on it and you really reach out to the collegiate market.
hjjusa1 year ago
Little more work and it looks like a nice desin foe a small hammer.
Kiteman1 year ago
That's a great idea.

If you made it as some sort of jewellery, it would be absolutely undroppable!
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