May 31, 2017 | By David

The humble fidget spinner, used by many people to keep their hands occupied so they can relax and more easily focus on tasks, has gradually turned into one of the major gadget crazes of the year. It was only a matter of time before makers got involved, and we have reported before on efforts to crowdfund various 3D printed fidget spinners. A recent project posted by a hobbyist on the Youtube channel "Beyond the press" aimed more for prestige over money, and successfully set the record of the world’s largest fidget spinner.

As well as being a whole lot of fun to play with, fidget spinners are said to have various health benefits, being particularly helpful for people with ADHD. While a little impractical for everyday use, this world’s largest spinner could provide quite an intense workout for anyone who wanted to fidget with it, as it weighs in at around 50 kg. Starting with a huge ball bearing track that he claimed to have lying around, the Finnish creator of the fidget spinner set out to 3D print the rest of this gargantuan gadget.

The help of Finland’s number one 3D printer manufacturer Prenta was crucial for this project, as its huge M3 machine with a cubic meter of build volume was needed to create the fidget spinner’s main outer parts. Before the print job could be started, a CAD model of the spinner needed to be drawn up, and here the maker from Beyond the press was also supported by Vertex. The 3D design made in Vertex’s CAD software was similar to most fidget spinner designs, so not the most complex shape, but the formidable size of the toy meant that total print time was around 5 hours for each of the 4 parts, over 20 hours in total.

Once the plastic parts were completed, some minor assembly was required. Adhesive was used to fit them all together, as well as fitting extra steel rings for the outer circles, which were machined in a separate process. With the spinner fully assembled, a couple of handles were screwed onto the central circle, to help anyone who might feel up to the challenge of lifting the giant object and taking it for a spin.

The makers decided the best way to demonstrate that the spinner actually worked would be to use compressed air, as its giant proportions make it a bit unwieldy for regular finger fidgeting. Smaller compressed air devices are actually often used to test out regular-sized spinners, but this one called for something on a larger scale. As a leaf blower is turned up full power and pointed at the toy in the video, we see it rotating away like a giant green wind turbine being help up by a man from Finland.

The fidget spinner craze shows no sign of going away, and neither does the passion of the online 3D printing hobbyist world.

 

 

Posted in Fun with 3D Printing

 

 

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