Following the Pokemon Go craze and the water bottle flipping madness, the latest fad taking over is… Fidget spinners! Just like hacky sacs and yo-yos did it the past, these cool little toys are quickly gaining popularity with kids of all ages. And stores are constantly running out of stock!
Enter the YouTube videos: There are thousands of DIYs online on how to make fidget spinners; with zip ties, with shoe laces, with bearings, without bearings, the list goes on.
Our kids tried most of these alternatives when they couldn’t find the spinners in stores. However, they still wanted the real deal. So, after we lost our cool status as parents, yet again, when we refused to purchase them online and pay double the amount in shipping and handling, they decided to place a 3D printing order with the local library.
And they were not alone!
The Peoples’ Place Library has been swarmed with 3D printer requests for fidget spinners and the Highland Bike Shop has been ordering bearings non-stop.So how are they made?
The Lulzbot Taz5 3D printer uses a PLA (polylactic acid) plastic derived from corn starch. The 3 mm filament is melted to a temperature of 205°C and the build platform on top of which the object sits, is kept at 60°C. The platform slides along the X axis as the print nozzle moves along the Y and Z axes to form one layer at a time in order to build the spinner.
Play the short video to watch the printer in action.
The fidget spinner can be assembled once it’s dry and cooled to room temperature. The bearing is then placed in the center and tapped in gently with a rubber mallet.
The rest of the pieces are added in, the hexagon nuts and the bearing caps.
And there you have it, the final product:
Simple, inexpensive and thank-goodness-for-this-3D-printer-because-my-kids-were-driving-me-bonkers fist bumps all around!
Thank you Sarah O’Toole for all your help!!