Intro: 3D Printed Fidget Spinner - TinkerCAD / Cura
A Fidget spinner must have 2 things to work properly : A bearing in the middle and a spinner shell with equal ( preferably weighted ) ends!
IT MAY seem simple, but getting everything to work correctly is a matter of trial, error, and patience! We will start by building a simple spinner, but you can take this concept and change your design to make any type of spinner you want including a more rounded look or even ninja stars like the examples above!
Parts you will need :
- Wheel Bearings ( I'm using REDS precision skate bearings )
- 1/2" Steel Ball Bearings
- 3D Printer
- Tape Measure
Step 1: MEASURE YOUR BEARING :
Take our your TAPE MEASURE and let's measure our bearing size
We know judging from measuring across the diameter is 22m ( I'm using REDS precision skate bearings )
The height is 7mm from the bottom to the top of the bearing.
This is the most common bearing size
Step 2: Optional : Measure for Bearing 'caps'
If you want to create 'caps' for the bearing ( to hide the bearing center and put logos on top of it , measure the inside hole and get the radius of that as well.
On this bearing its approximately 11mm diameter ( 11mm x 11mm ) minimum to cover the hole, you can build the cap as large and tall as you want but it should not go outside of the bearing area.
The hole on the inside is about 8mm in diameter
Step 3: MEASURE THE DISTANCE FROM YOUR FINGER TIPS TO YOUR PALM :
You should always take into consideration how much spacing you have between your finger tips to your palm. Making small fidget spinners means more people can spin them!
I see that from the center of the fidget spinner I should have a radius of 46 mm at the very maximum, but I will open for something smaller and use a 45 mm radius ( from the center, meaning from end to end it should be 90mm maximum
Step 4: WRITE DOWN THE MEASUREMENTS :
Bearing: 11mm radius ( 22mm across ) x 7mm height
Bearing Hole Cap : 5.5mm radius ( 11mm across )
Bearing Hole : 7mm diameter
Radius of case maximum : The length is up to you but don't make the height any bigger then 7mm height or less. Try and make it so it has plenty of room between your fingertips and the rest of your hand.
If you are using weights in your spinner, please take accurate measurements of them as well so that we can make space in each of our 'wings' for them ! ( For us we are using the 1/2" ball bearings )
Step 5: Online Research / Concept Phase
Let's try and figure out what we want to 3D model before getting into TinkerCAD !
- Start by doing an online search with the term 'Fidget Spinner Design'
- Checkout some unique designs of different fidget spinners that have 3 wings ( our design will have 3 sides )
- Leave a couple pictures open as reference and use that information to design your own fidget spinner. Use some markers, pens or pencils and draw out your idea on paper so that you can use is as inspiration as you 3D model.
Posted above are some examples of common and not so common fidget spinners I found online with a quick search!
Step 6: TinkerCAD : Making the Center Ring
Let's go step by step for each phase!
- Drag in a CYLINDER and a HOLE CYLINDER ( The transparent one ) and increase the sides until they look very smooth.
- The HOLE CYLINDER should be the exact measurement of our ballbearing BUT let's add .7 mm to each side so we have a little extra wiggle room ( 22.7mm x 22.7m x 7mm height )
- Make the colored thick CYLINDER 26mm x 26mm x 7mm height , this will act as our main 'ring' You can make this slightly smaller or slightly larger depending on how big you want the ring effect around the bearing.
IMPORTANT : To make sure both objects are aligned, highlight both of them and click the Align ( L KEY ) and a grid should pop up with lines and circles, hit the circles in the middle to make sure that the hole fits exactly in the middle of the CYLINDER. Then group them together.
Step 7: CREATING THE SPINNER WINGS
- Now that we have our inner circle we can start building the shape of our TRI-SPINNER
- I will use a BOX and measure the distance from end to end to be 90 mm, I will make it 25mm wide so it matches the ring. The height of the wings is up to you, in this example I make it 6mm
- I then grab both objects and use the ALIGN TOOL ( L KEY ) and hit the middle circles to align them together
- I click on the center ring, then hit UNGROUP , and then select all of my objects in the scene and group EVERYTHING in the scene together. This way the HOLE CYLINDER we first made cuts through everything!
Step 8: CREATING YOUR FIRST WING
CUT YOUR DESIGN IN HALF :
- Grab a BOX HOLE and measure half the distance of your fidget spinner, we are going to use a hole to cut it in half. ( mine is 90mm long , so I make this box 45mm and make sure its wide/tall enough to cover the rest )
- Delete half your fidget spinner. ( You should only have your left side on the screen )
- Take your time here and add any fancy details you want to this side since it will turn into all your sides!
- CREATE A BALL SPHERE - This will act as our 1/2" ball bearing into 12.7mm all around. ( Let's round it up to 13.4 for wiggle room )
- Use the align tool to make sure the ball is in the center of the wing height wise and width with, then move it where you want the bearing to be placed, in my example it's 5 mm away from the edge of the wing on each side.
- FINISH YOUR DESIGN HERE! Before doing anything else, take some time and work on the design of your wing here. Afterwards we will cut the bearing hole out of it. In this example, I will create a cylinder to get my nice fidget spinner look!
- I turn both bearing balls into hole objects and then group it with the wing.
Step 9: Getting Your Wings Ready!
- Now select all your objects and hit the DUPLICATE ( CTRL + D). Rotate your two new objects 60 degrees clockwise.
- DUPLICATE the new rotated pieces ( CTRL + D ) , and then FLIP THEM ( M KEY )
- Delete the 3 sides you don't need and you have your spinner! Just double check to make sure it all looks even across all 3 sides. Don't worry if their are any mistakes, you can always click undo a couple of times and check where you made the mistakes!
- Once you're done checking, make sure your fidget spinner is flat on the ground!
NOTE : If you want more wings, then keep them! Just make sure they're balanced for a good spin!
Step 10: Optional : Custom Spinner Caps
- Let's start with making the cylinder that will go inside the bearing. We will call this CAP A
We know from our measurements it's 8mm diameter ( length / width ) but let's make it 7.5mm to give it a bit of room. 7mm is the height. To make the top cover for CAP A let's use another cylinder must be 11mm in diameter MINIMUM ( Maximum 17mm ) to cover the hole and metal inner ring. I make the height 2mm for this example but you can make it thicker if you prefer
- Select both parts and use the align tools ( L Key ) and make sure the cover is centered, then move it on top!
- Now lets DUPLICATE ( CTRL + D) so we have CAP A and CAP B
- Let's shrink the cylinder of CAP B - 4mm diameter and make sure it's still lined up using the align tool with it's cover which we will keep the same size
- Duplicate the cylinder of CAP B just that small cylinder and turn it into a HOLE object.
- Put the CAP A cylinder into the center of the CAP B cylinder. Then group it together to get your FINAL CAP A
- Go to CAP B - and turn the cylinder from 4mm to 3.7mm just so it's snug but has some room. Group it !
- Rotate both CAPS upside down then create a BOX HOLE ( about 0.75mm width ) and chop a long hole down the middle of CAP B's cylinder, not the cover
You're finished! When you print these parts you should be able to push them together through the center and have your own fidget spinner caps!
Step 11: Printing Time!
NOTE : To those who made spinner caps, but the biggest pieces against the ground as per the example above, this ensures a better print for your caps! Do this by grouping them and rotating 180 degrees.
- In TinkerCAD, Export your file as an STL and bring the file into CURA
- It should already be sized exactly how you need it.
- Export the Gcode file and begin printing!