Everyone has taken to boast that their spinner can spin for the longest, so I decided to put them all to shame. I have designed a fidget spinner that spins whilst you pump the button caps. With a mechanized heart this dual bearing beast will spin for as long as you dare hold it!
I am still new at 3D designing and at the time I started this project I only had access to the online Tinkercad CAD software to visualize my idea. After some practice I was able to start my final project. After a few weeks I became more and more interested in 3D designing and eventually tried out more advanced programs. After weeks of testing different programs I still believe the little underdog Tinkercad is the best in my opinion. It is simple and easy to use and all your progress is constantly saved to their server. For this reason I chose to stick with it for this build. I have no doubt that the more advanced programs will be better for more complex designs and renders like the cover image. However, for beginners or people who just want to tinker, I believe Tinkercad is perfect.
THE DEMO VIDEO AND ACCOMPANYING PICTURES OF THE FINISHED SPINNER ARE AT THE END OF THIS INSTRUCTABLE!
- 3D printed parts (shell, ratchet, 2 x ratchet caps, 2 x buttons, "doughnut" seal)
- 2 x 22mm skateboard bearing (with 8mm inner diameter and 7mm thickness)
- 2 x spring (@ approximately 3mm diameter and 5mm length) *Note: These springs must be compression springs. These can be salvaged easily, however, if you are unable to salvage them then a hobby store should stock. I suggest printing and assembling the initial parts first without permanently affixing them together with super glue then going to look for the springs to try them out. Once you have found suitable springs then of course you can insert them and glue the rest of the parts together. I salvaged a spring from an A-0701 switch which I then cut in half. This works fine however I would've liked a slightly stronger spring. Also, the springs need to be small when compressed, yet strong too. Bare this is mind when searching for yours.
- 2 x metal pins (cut to size of roughly 5mm in length)
- super glue
Step 1: Printing:
To make this fidget spinner you first need to print all the parts using the included stl files - the O ring is not needed and therefor doesn't need to be printed. I have accounted for most tolerances, however, you will still need to smooth out some of the parts to ensure a free fit. I found after you have printed the parts some 400-grit sandpaper and an X-Acto knife clean up nicely. The only part with which I have included support structures is the inner mechanism, thus of course you need to remember not to generate extra structures for it prior to printing. Also take note that the buttons are identical and can thus be printed with the same stl file, the end caps for the inner mechanism, however, are not identical and thus 2 stl files are provided. Remember to keep track of which end each cap is the front and which is the back as it will benefit you later. Also, when printing the buttons I found that printing them separately preserves the quality of the print.
Note: The stl files are located below.
Step 2: Assembly: Ratchet Mechanism
After you have sanded down the parts and have made sure that all the central parts are able to move freely and the ratchet hooks and teeth fit snugly you will be able to assemble your spinner!
Make sure the teeth of the inner mechanism are able to bend inwards with little ease.Sometimes the teeth of the inner mechanism can fuse, preventing them from moving. These fused ends will have to be separated.
Insert the ratchet mechanism into the center of the 3 armed shell, making sure that the flat side of the 2 hooks make contact with the flat side of the inner teeth of the shell. When you rotate the inner ratchet clockwise you should notice it to start to apply pressure onto the shell forcing it to rotate. Rotating the mechanism anticlockwise should relieve pressure allowing the shell to move freely.
*The front is represented in the picture by the side which is in the foreground.
Step 3: Assembly: Seal
I found this adaptation to be unnecessary as it provides excess friction which slows the spin. However if you have enough time and you want to include it in yours you can...
Insert the O-ring from the front side of the shell into where the ratchet is located. This is to prevent the ratchet from popping out.
Step 4: Assembly: Bearings
Insert the two bearings in the center of the shell on either side of the inner mechanism. You should notice that the axles of the ratchet fit inside the bearings on either side.
Step 5: Assembly: Button and Ratchet End-Caps
Insert the button's axle into the separate ratchet end-cap, making sure that the nobs on the cap face away from the button grip. Then insert the pin into the hole at the end of the button's axle and secure it in place with super glue. Make sure that the rod ends extrude evenly on either side of the axle. Repeat this process with the other button, ratchet end-cap and pin. Note: The end cap should be able to rotate freely from the button. Also, remember which button contains the front cap, and which the back cap.
Step 6: Assembly: Button Attachment to Shell and Ratchet
For the front cap and thus front button: Glue a spring to the end of the button axle and wedge a piece of a cork between the button grip and the end cap. Then apply a small amount of glue onto the side of the cap where the nobs are, and fix it to the mechanism within the spinner shell. You should find the cork allows you to apply pressure to the cap and mechanism when affixing them together.
Wait for the glue to set and repeat the process on the opposite side.
*The small objects between each arrow in the diagram are the springs.
Step 7: Complete:
YOUR CONSTRUCTION IS NOW COMPLETE
Have fun with your new spinner!
Step 8: Finished 3D Printed Spinner
Apologies for the lack of colour - I only had access to clear and yellow filament!