An Excellent Basic Spinner
I have two kids on the Autism spectrum who are exceedingly high-functioning but also tend to fidget quite a bit. Contrary to what you might have been reading in the news, fidgeting is not necessarily a bad thing! Yes, if you have a classroom of kids conspicuously spinning their fidgets, comparing them, doing tricks and the like, then yes, they are problematic. For kids with ADHD, autism, or those who just learn differently, a spinner can be a discrete, quiet means of staying on task by occupying their hands. Incorporated into an IEP, they can be exceedingly helpful.
After designing a couple of minimalistic spinners for my two kids on the spectrum, my other two kids thought it would be nice to have spinners as well (for home use, of course). This is one I designed with the input of my youngest son.
I'm particularly proud of the two-component construction for the wheel and tire. When printed in flexible filament, the tire should be relatively easy to put on the wheel, yet will "snap" into place and not come off too easily.
Trap those pennies!
I love designing "impossible" things for my 3D printer. One thing that truly baffles those unfamiliar with FDM printers is the idea of "trapping" objects inside a print. My spinners all make use of this concept.
Instead of using comparatively expensive bearings, my spinners all use trapped pennies. Pennies are, well, cheap! They also weigh a decent amount, allowing you to use quite a few while still keeping costs down.
This particular print makes use of 21 pennies - 7 sections of 3 pennies each. It results in an exceedingly heavy spinner resulting in some great spin times, if you invest in the right kind of bearing or just do a good job cleaning a cheap one.
Make use of your printer's pause function if you have one. I'm actually a fan of manually splitting my gcode files - something I wouldn't advise unless you know the commands fairly well or you might end up ruining your print.
I would recommend examining your slicer to find out where to pause the print - just before it bridges over the penny cavities. I can't tell you the precise layer because that'll depend on what layer height you choose along with whether or not you use a raft.
One disadvantage of pennies is imbalance. Pennies have changed composition quite a bit over the years. As such, their weight varies considerably between the "olden years" and those "modern" pennies.
You might consider collecting all pennies from one year. Alternatively, pair pennies from the same year on opposing sides. The better you pair them, the more balanced your spinner will be.
I have my printer tuned in fairly well. The tolerance on the center bearing is only 0.1mm for the radius (0.2mm for the diameter). I have to actually tap my bearings in using a flat block of wood and a hammer but once they are in, they tend not to come out! The same is true for the pennies.
Given the variance of printers I can't guarantee your printer will yield the same results as mine. Your pennies may be too tight. Mine are extremely snug. Your bearing might be too loose. Mine is tight. All I can say is you might need to play with your scaling factors should things not work the way you expect.
That said, with some effort, this spinner can give that special someone you know a little bit of fun. My kids like theirs, even if it is just to play in their spare time.
Where's that letter?
Well, that letter was in the original design for the caps. I'm not including it here in case you want to use Meshmixer or the like to "emboss" some other letter.
You know the drill. You are printing something on your printer. You are responsible for what you print. Don't give spinners to kids, adults or pets who have a tendency to pull apart things and place them in your mouth. Several components of a spinner would be rather nasty to your health should one try to ingest them. Don't throw a spinner at someone - it hurts.
Use common sense. Be responsible. Have fun!
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