Clackers: the Toy of Doom

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Introduction: Clackers: the Toy of Doom

Things were so much interesting when toys were dangerous, right?

Wait, what?

Clackers were toys popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They are formed out of two hard plastic balls, each about 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter, attached to a tab with a sturdy string. The player holds the tab with the balls hanging below and through up-and-down hand motion makes the two balls swing apart and back together, making the clacking noise that gives the toy its name. With practice one can make the balls swing so that they knock together both above and below the hand (and honestly I was very good in knocking my hand as well... OUCH!).

Clackers were taken off the market in the United States in the 1970s when reports came out of children becoming injured while playing with them. Fairly heavy and fast-moving, and made of hard acrylic plastic, the balls would occasionally shatter upon striking each other: this resulted in shrapnel flying everywhere. There was anyway a comeback of a more "civilized" version in the 1980s with upgraded materials and geometry.

This is a (much safer) 3D printed version that will delight joyful parents with hours and hours of very loud clacking noise.

Supplies

You will need:

  • 3D printer
  • STL files
  • glue

Step files are available here should you want to modify my geometry.

Step 1: Here We Go!

The version I designed introduce a geared mechanism with synchronized rotating arms: you can't go wrong! They will always strike each other exactly halfway as long as you take care of aligning the gears correctly when assembling the device.

Assembling the clackers is an easy task:

  • glue the handle on the plate
  • fit the gears with the arms laying parallel to each other and perpendicular to the imaginary line connecting the centers of rotation
  • glue the cover to the plate only (the arms needs to be free to rotate obviously)

Done!

Now grab the handle, shake the clackers up and down until the oscillations pick up the rhythm... and enjoy the music! :)

If you enjoy it why don't you vote for me in the contest?

Thanks!

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    15 Comments

    0
    Penolopy Bulnick
    Penolopy Bulnick

    1 year ago

    This is fun! What program did you use to design the files?

    0
    hombremagnetico
    hombremagnetico

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks Penolopy! :) I used SolidEdge.

    0
    AllenInks
    AllenInks

    1 year ago

    You forgot to include a 16 page (legal paper size, 1.5 line spaced) disclaimer of liability in the event anyone is injured using this device .... even if the injury is due to a parent, significant other, or cubicle mate throwing something at said user, sriking said user with a body part or with a hand-held object, or causing the death or serious bodily injury of said user through manual or ligature strangulation to stop such use of the aforesaid device, since such an injury is a forseeable and ordinary consequence of the use of such aforesaid device in close proximity to others.

    0
    hombremagnetico
    hombremagnetico

    Reply 1 year ago

    16 pages that must be read and signed by the interested parties of course. Kids included... XD

    0
    donholtz
    donholtz

    1 year ago on Step 1

    Why no video of your clacker in action?

    0
    hombremagnetico
    hombremagnetico

    Reply 1 year ago

    Good question! I just added it... not much to see anyway :)

    0
    donholtz
    donholtz

    Reply 1 year ago

    Awesome,
    Thanks

    0
    dpeach
    dpeach

    Reply 1 year ago

    He wasn't allowed to actually play with it when someone else was around to film it. Noise-making toys are great for the one playing with it, but tends to annoy the camera person. :-)

    0
    hombremagnetico
    hombremagnetico

    Reply 1 year ago

    You're right, my girlfriend loves it! XD

    0
    nearly_trainable
    nearly_trainable

    1 year ago

    "will delight joyful parents" wins Best Line in an Instructable!

    0
    hombremagnetico
    hombremagnetico

    Reply 1 year ago

    Don't trust me! It's a trap! :)

    0
     Oncer
    Oncer

    1 year ago

    I would have been less than ten years old when I was given a set of these. They were made from a pair of 2.5 cm (1") diameter STEEL BALL BEARINGS!!!! They were attached to a rather flimsy plastic cord which was crimped into a cup retainer which was then GLUED to the ball bearings. Even I could see they were a disaster waiting to happen. I played with them once and then they magically disappeared though I think my Mum was more worried about the windows than my health. How did we ever make it out of the seventies?

    0
    hombremagnetico
    hombremagnetico

    Reply 1 year ago

    STEEL BALL BEARINGS?? Well, at least they were easy to clean from the blood... :D

    0
    tinwellpaul
    tinwellpaul

    1 year ago on Step 1

    Oh. Health and safety overdrive...
    Seriously though, I remember the originals very well. In the UK the balls were glass and it was a right-of-passage to successfully operate them (or wear a plaster cuff as a result of the broken wrist)! It was fun. Seriously. Every kid had them and I've only positive memories, despite the obvious pain. Mine were bright yellow and I can still remember the noise of getting it right...

    0
    hombremagnetico
    hombremagnetico

    Reply 1 year ago

    Health and safety is fundamental, but you know... sometimes you win, sometimes you learn! :)