Gyroscopic Fidget Rings

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Introduction: Gyroscopic Fidget Rings

About: Hello, my name is Michael. I am an electrical and computer engineer turned educator. I have a lot of experience in embedded software and hardware design. I am taking my technical experiences and leveraging the…

In this tutorial, I will walk you through my process of designing these Gyroscopic Fidget Rings. They are meant to be a fidget device to play around with while you are working, bored, or anytime you just need something with which to fiddle. It is a series of concentric rings that move independently of one another and rotate freely in all directions.

There are several different ways to go about designing it. In this tutorial, I will show you how to design it in Fusion 360 as well as in Tinkercad where you can design it using the typical design process or by using Codeblocks. I provided all of my design files and the 3D model for printing in the links below.

The design was first created in Fusion 360. Since print-in-place parts can be tricky to perfect, there ended up being a few different revisions for this design. At first, I made it using a series of concentric circles (as discussed in the video). However, I found that the rings did not move as freely and the outer rings would slip off easily. Eventually, I determined that keeping a consistent diameter on the circles that would be revolved produced the best results.

I also created alternate designs in Tinkercad using the default 3D design workspace as well as Codeblocks for those who don't have Fusion 360 or are just learning CAD. The Tinkercad design does not work quite as well as the Fusion 360 design but still is rather fun!


Thingiverse Design and Model Files: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:5100727

Gyroscopic Fidget Rings Demo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2m2740Aiak

Fusion 360 Tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsqhRoSK4zc

Tinkercad Tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CweVhtV08c

Tinkercad Design: https://www.tinkercad.com/things/b5nIJZgfCo2

Tinkercad Design with Instructions: https://www.tinkercad.com/things/1YKv7lpum9e

Tinkercad Codeblocks Design: https://www.tinkercad.com/codeblocks/51DJH6VURuy

Supplies

  • Fusion 360 (students/educators qualify for free) or Tinkercad (free for everyone)
  • 3D Printer
  • PLA filament

Step 1: Designing With Fusion 360

First, I will walk you through the process of designing the Gyroscopic Fidget Rings in Fusion 360. This design consists of a single sketch and a single revolve feature being applied to the sketch. Watch the tutorial video and/or follow the steps described below.

Fusion 360 Tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsqhRoSK4zc


Part 1 - Sketching the Rings

The sketch consists of a 10mm center-diameter circle at the origin, ten 20mm center-diameter circles placed along the X-axis, and a series of lines to bound the height of the ring profiles to be 10mm. See the image above to better visualize.

Create the sketch on the "front" or X-Z plane. Start by creating a 10mm center-diameter circle at the origin. Create two 20mm construction lines extending to the right and left of the origin along the X-axis. You will place the series of ten 20mm circles along these lines.

Place the first 20mm center-diameter circle to the left of the origin along the construction line. It does not necessarily matter where; we will apply dimensions after creating the circles to place them at the appropriate location. Be sure to avoid snapping the circles to a specific point when creating them so a dimension can be applied later. Apply a dimension of 4.2mm between the center point of the 10mm circle and the center point of the first 20mm circle.

All subsequent 20mm circles will be placed to the right of the first 20mm circle. Place the second 20mm circle 2mm to the right of the first 20mm circle. Place the third 20mm circle 0.8mm to the right of the second 20mm circle. You will repeat this process until you have ten 20mm circles alternating between 2mm (ring width) and 0.8mm (gap width) spacing between the circles.

After all circles have been created, draw a line starting from the origin and going up the Z-axis 5mm until it intersects with the 10mm circle. Create a similar line starting from the origin and going down the Z-axis 5mm until it intersects again with the 10mm circle. Finally, draw two lines extending from these intersection points to the outermost circle on the right. This will create all of the enclosed profiles we need for the ring. Click "Finish Sketch".


Part 2 - Revolving the Rings

To create the solid geometry, we need to revolve the profiles we just sketched. Select Revolve from the create menu. Select the five ring profiles along with the semicircle profile at the origin. Be sure to select the tiny parts of the semicircle that are excluded from the main profile due to the intersecting circle. There should be eight profiles in total. Select the Z-Axis as your revolve axis. Double-check that the preview matches what is shown in the image above and click OK. You should now have a complete series of gyroscopic fidget rings.

Step 2: Designing With Tinkercad

Now, I will walk you through the process of designing the Gyroscopic Fidget Rings in Tinkercad. This design consists of a series of concentric, hollowed-out spheres grouped together appropriately. Watch the tutorial video and/or follow the steps described below. You can also copy and tinker my design in Tinkercad or follow along with the instructions I set up in Tinkercad.

Tinkercad Tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CweVhtV08c

Tinkercad Design: https://www.tinkercad.com/things/b5nIJZgfCo2

Tinkercad Design with Instructions: https://www.tinkercad.com/things/1YKv7lpum9e


Part 1 - Creating Spheres

Start by creating the 11 spheres identified below and shown in the pictures.

  • 10mm Sphere
  • 11mm Hole Sphere, 14mm Sphere
  • 15mm Hole Sphere, 18mm Sphere
  • 19mm Hole Sphere, 22mm Sphere
  • 23mm Hole Sphere, 26mm Sphere
  • 27mm Hole Sphere, 30mm Sphere


Part 2 - Align and Group Pairs

Next, align the pairs of holes/spheres by centering them on all three axes. Once they are centered, group the hole/sphere pair and move on to the next pair. Do this for all five hole/sphere pairs. Double-check to make sure the pairs are grouped together properly or they will not properly combine in the next step.


Part 3 - Align and Group Hollowed Spheres

Now, align all five of the hollow spheres with the 10mm sphere by centering them on all three axes and group them together. If you want to double-check that they were grouped properly, cut the grouped shares in half. The cross-section should show concentric spheres.


Part 4 - Create Boxes

Next, create two hole boxes that are 30mmx30mmx10mm. Center them width and length-wise on the sphere, then use the align tool to place one at the bottom and one at the top. The sphere is 30mm in diameter so the boxes should cover the bottom third and top third leaving the middle third open. and place one at bottom and one at top.


Part 5 - Group & Finish

Group the two hole boxes with the sphere to cut the share into the concentric rings. You should now have the completed gyroscopic fidget rings. Type "D" to drop the object to the workplane.

Step 3: Designing With Tinkercad Codeblocks

Now, I will walk you through the process of designing the Gyroscopic Fidget Rings in Tinkercad using Codeblocks. Codeblocks are a new feature that allow you to generate 3D models using a drag-and-drop programming language. You can copy and tinker my design in Tinkercad or follow along with the instructions below.

Tinkercad Codeblocks Design: https://www.tinkercad.com/codeblocks/51DJH6VURuy


Part 1 - Initializing Variables

Start by creating a variable called rings to represent the number of rings and initialize it to 5. Create a variable called height and to represent the height of the rings and initialize it to 10. These can be modified after the fact. These are the only two values that will need to be changed. All other measurements are calculated in relation to these values.


Part 2 - Calculating Radius/Diameter

Now, we want to calculate the radius/diameter of the outermost ring. The height variable determine the diameter of the innermost sphere. We calculate out from that by saying each ring takes increases the diameter by 4mm (3mm thickness + 1mm air gap). From there, we divide the diameter by 2 to compute the radius.


Part 3 - Loop to Create Hole/Sphere Pairs

For every ring, we want to create a hole/sphere pair and group them together to make the hollow sphere shape. We do this from the outermost sphere inwards so that it groups together properly. Otherwise, the larger holes would erase the innermost parts.


Part 4 - Add Innermost Sphere

After creating and grouping together all of the hole/spheres to make the hollow spheres which will become the rings, we add the innermost sphere at the center.


Part 5 - Create Boxes

Finally, we want to create the hole boxes to cut off the bottom third and top third just like before. The size and position of the boxes are calculated using the given the variables: rings and height. After doing a final group, you have your gyroscopic fidget spheres!

Step 4: Printing Your Design

The .STL file was generated with a Z-up configuration. The design was optimized to be printed with a 0.2 mm layer height and a 0.4 mm nozzle width.

It was designed to be printed with a 10% infill; however, you can increase the infill as much as you want if you want the cube to have a bit more weight. 10% infill is more than sufficient to withstand regular use and the occasional drop.

On a Makerbot Replicator+ with default settings, it took about ~35 minutes to print and required ~10 grams of PLA filament (including a raft). A raft is not necessary; however, our printer is older and has poor adhesion so they were printed with a raft.

The rings should move and rotate freely off the build plate. No post-processing is necessary.

Step 5: More Projects

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4 Comments

0
monguin
monguin

1 year ago

Really neat, simple design. I think it might be more of a "gimbal fidget".

0
Easy Paper Hacks
Easy Paper Hacks

1 year ago

I LOVE fidgets, my friend helped my make these, and I'm OBSESSED. You've got my vote! :D

0
bsmorgan
bsmorgan

Question 1 year ago on Step 4

Could you please post the .stl files?