Introduction: LED Fidget Spinner Made Out of Paper!
Hey folks, today Im going to show you how to make an LED fidget spinner out of paper! Now if you haven't read my other instructable, https://www.instructables.com/id/Paper-Fidget-Spin...
I would highly recommend you do. It teaches you how to design and put together a paper fidget spinner and will really help you if your looking at using a different design then the one I used. So you may be wondering how you could make something like a fidget spinner out of paper? Well the simple answer is layers, lots and lots of layers. This project uses a silhouette to cut lots of identical sheets of paper which you then glue together to form a solid and sturdy spinner. The project requires hardly any electrical components and the AAA batterys inside can be easily replaced. Over all its a fairly time consuming project compared to my other projects, I would say it takes a few hours, but I but its definitely worth it in the end. Now, if your ready to make your own read on!
Things you'll need:
1. Paper: I recommend using card stock as its sturdy and a bit thicker then normal printer paper. Please keep in mind that the amount of layers you'll need are meant for card-stock so if you use some other type of paper you may need more, or less, layers.
2. 3 AAA batterys: I used rechargeable ones but thats totally up to you.
3. 3 AAA battery holders: This is probably the most difficult thing you'll need to find. In essence you need to take the guts out of three battery holders which is basically just a spring and a plate. I got mine out of some solar garden lights i bought from dollar tree for an earlier project.
4. 2 LED: The colors don't really matter but you should know that blue and white LED's are brighter then red, green and yellow ones so if you put a white LED next to a yellow one the yellow wont be as noticeable.
5. A 220 ohm resistor: this is just a little resistor that keeps the LEDs protected from burning out.
6. Glue : Elmer's glue is the best because it comes in big quantites and works great.
7. Duck tape: The color doesn't matter and you don't need very much
8. Super glue: You just need a little bit.
1. scissors: To cut the wire.
2. weights: Just something heavy.
3. Ruler: You know, to measure things.
Step 1: Step 1: Design
The first step is getting a good design thats big enough to hold your AAA's and small enough to fit in your hand well. Again I really recommend you read my other instructable as it will show you how and why I make all these different sketches. So if you have any questions please refer to it before asking them in the comments. The first thing need is the basic necessities. One an outer border circle with a diameter of 3.5 inches. Three AAA battery sized holes arranged around a bearing sized hole in the center. The bearing hole should be .866 inch's in diameter while the AAA holes should be about 2 in by 0.5 in. Once you got the basics you need to sketch the shape of your spinner and delete the outside circle. Lastly make some holes for your LEDs to go in. Now replicate this design so there are six per page and print!
Step 2: Step 2: Manufacturing
You need to make about 36 prints of the design you just created. Once you've done that you need to glue them all together. The most important thing to keep in mind while gluing them together is to make sure their all aligned. I've found that putting the bearing in the center hole while gluing them together is a very effective and easy way to do this. Make sure each layer is pressed down well using your weights like I did in picture 3. After about 18 layers the paper should be about as thick as your bearing so you need to take your bearing out and align the other 18 cutouts. Lastly, glue the two halves together and let the creation dry.
Step 3: Step 3: Electronics
Once the frame is dry you need to add your battery holder guts and place your LEDs in their holes like in the first picture. Make sure that when you put the batteries in their holders that the batteries will be arranged in series. Basically what that means is that the positive end of one battery touches the negative end of the next battery. This makes sure all their voltages will add up so it's enough to power the LED's and make one big battery. Once every thing is glued in place using your super glue then twist together the wires that connect to the battery holder plates so the batteries connect in series but make sure to leave the two plate wires nearest the LED's untouched. These two wires are positive and negative ends of your new big battery, the plate wire with the spring is the negative end of your big battery and the other plate wire is the positive end. Now, a quick fact about LED's, they only work if the electricity flows through them the right way, so if you put them in backwards they won't light up. You may have noticed how one wire coming from the LED is longer then the other one. Well there is a reason for that. That longer wire is called the anode (meaning the positive wire) and the shorter wire is called the cathode (the negative wire). Electricity flows from positive to negative so you need to arrange you LED's so they go with the flow, so to speak. Thus, just like you connected the batteries in series (so that the positive end of one battery connected to the negative end of the other battery) you need to connect your LED's in series too. To do this connect the anode of your first LED to the positive plate wire. Then connect that LED's cathode to the other LEDs anode. Can't forget about that resistor though, so connect the cathode to the anode using the resistor and by the way it doesn't matter which way the resistor faces. You're almost done with the circuitry and all you need to do is connect the cathode of the second LED to the negative plate wire. Once you've done that your LED's should be lighting up like in the second picture. The end circuitry (without the batteries) looks like picture 3 and if you need any help just take a look at the pictures or ask me in the comments. Picture 4 shows what the spinner should look like when you flip it over.
Step 4: Step 4: Redesign
Now that you have your fidget spinners body done all you need to do is make the whole thing look a bit better. To do that you need to conceal all that messy circuitry by making some caps. To do this simply take your original design and remove the holes made for your batteries. Also you need to make a little slit at the top of where your battery hole used to be which I'll explain later. Once you've done that duplicate that design 6 times so it fills the page. Remember that only one side of the fidget spinner is going to light up so it makes sense that the covering cap for the other side wouldn't have LED holes. Thus you need to delete the LED holes on 3 of the 6 new designs. Now print it out.
Step 5: Step 5: Cover Up
While it would be nice to just glue these caps on and be done that would mean you couldn't replace the batteries when they died then your spinner would be done. However AAA do last for a while especially if they're powering something as little as an LED. So it's your choice, you can end here and be satisfied with your limited battery life or you can keep reading... both are good options. Anyway if you want to be able to replace your batteries then you just need to glue the cap with the LED holes on. Next cover it with duck tape. Now the reason for this is in order for you to take off the cap the duct tape has to come off and on and I figured out the hard way that duct tape doesn't just peel of of paper, no, it takes the paper with it. However duck tape does just peel off of duct tape so my solution is just cover the spinner in duck tape! In order to make the duck tape look good I recommend first putting three strips of duck tape on the three edges of your triangle. Then cover the rounded out points with a strip of duck tape and use your scissors to cut out the right shape. do that three times and you have a beautiful duct tape covered cap. Also don't forget to use your scissors to cut the right holes in the duct tape. Once you're done you should have one removable cap and one permanent cap like in picture 4. To keep the removable cap on just wrap some duct tape around each edge of your spinner.
Step 6: Step 6: Finishing Up
The last thing you need to do is put a center in your spinner so you can hold on to something. To make this thing you need to take a strip of duct tape and fold it over and over again until it's thick enough to fit snugly in the center of your bearing. There you have it! You make your very own LED fidget spinner out of paper! I hope you enjoyed this instructable and don't forget to drop me a comment below!