Introduction: HeliSphere - a Mesmerizing Desktop Toy

About: I am a medical student from Iraq and I do all sorts of projects from simple arts&crafts all the way to complete electrical devices and everything in between. follow me on Instagram and check my story highl…

This desktop toy is a great accessory for any desk, as well as being a relaxing thing to watch and play with.

It is fun and easy to make and when you have it near you, you can't stop yourself from spinning it and watching its mesmerizing movement.

All you need for this project is mentioned in the "Supplies" section below.

You can find the ball bearing and hex nuts at any nearby hardware store or online from Amazon, eBay or any other site.

*this is an old project of mine and I didn't have it fully documented, so I took some new pictures to give a full clear guide.


3D printer (can use online printing services)

1x ABEC7 ball bearing (normal skateboard bearing)

4x M16 hex nuts (optional for added weight)

5x M10 hex nuts (optional for added weight)

Step 1: Slicing

Download the attached 3D model and import it into your favorable slicing software.

At the time of making this, I used Cura slicer v15.04.2 but you can use any slicing app as long as it has (pause at height) function where you can pause the printing at a specific layer to add something to the print and hit continue (there are plenty of tutorials online for that). However, this step is optional if you don't intend to add the hex nuts for the added weight and longer spinning duration.

So, after importing the 3D model of the sphere body, add pauses at the end of each layer of hex nuts as showing in the photos.

I used 0.2mm layer height so pausing at 18mm height meant stopping at the layer 90 which is exactly where the first layer of the (5x M10 hex nuts) ends and the following layer caps it off and proceeds into creating the outline for the next (3x M16 hex nuts) insertion locations.

So you should do the same 3 times (adding 3 pauses) to insert the nuts each time to the print and hit continue.

The 3 pausing heights are:

- 18 mm

- 32.2 mm

- 46.6 mm

Other ways to pause the print would be by modifying the gCode using any text editing software and inserting the pause command as explained in this topic:

I did this for the 3 pauses as showing in the images.

Step 2: 3D Printing

While designing the model I made sure to make the space for the nuts a bit larger than the actual size of the nuts so I wouldn't need to force them into place and risk moving the print or detaching it from the print bed. so if you find them too wiggly, just use a drop of glue to hold them in place.

As you can see on each pause I add the hex nuts into the location and then hit continue on the printer.

*these pictures are old so I apologize for the quality!

Step 3: Post Processing

After printing the sphere body and the base, I decided to give them a little sanding and paint them black. This is optional.

Step 4: Assembly

After the paint dried, it was time to assemble the parts together.

I inserted the ball bearing to the bottom part of the sphere where I designed it to fit tightly.

Then insert the base into the bearing's inside hole and make sure it's in there tight. Use a little glue if necessary.

Step 5: Done!

Now your HeliSphere is done!

give it a spin and watch those lines move!

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