What can we say about fidget spinners that hasn’t already been said?
I mean, not much… but let’s talk about 3D printing your own custom fidget spinner, step by step.
Fads come and go (it’s kind of the definition, in fact) but while the fidget spinner fad is alive and well, there are some cool maker projects you can do.
Here’s how to build your own 3D printed fidget spinner from the ground up using a 3D printer. If you’re not lucky enough to have your own 3D printer, a Makerspace, school or library in your area might have that which you seek.
The real beauty of 3D printing your own fidget spinner is that you can create something entirely unique; your fidget spinner can look a little different from every other one on the playground.
This is a great parent and child project that might sow the seeds to grow a tinkering mindset which, with any luck, will long outlive the specific fidget spinner fad.
Step 1 – Find a model
Thingiverse is the online repository for all things 3D printed. Just search for “fidget spinner” and see what’s on offer. You’ll find you’re spoiled for choice. We made the three weight variation of the Trick Fidget Spinner but see what else is out there.
If you’re looking for recommendations, the Pokeball Fidget Spinner is more of an advanced build but it’s also undeniably cool.
Check out some of the great fidget spinners the “Cool Kids Coding Club” made in the first Ting Makerspace in Westminster, MD.
Step 2 – Load your model
The 3D printer needs to know what to print, and that’s where Cura 3D from Ultimaker comes in.
Load the model into Cura 3D and go through the steps in the software to send the model to the 3D printer.
If you’re in a library or a makerspace (like Ting Makerspace: Westminster), you can ask for a walk-through. Otherwise, check out some of the great 3D printing tutorials on YouTube. Like this one from Core Electronics.
Step 3 – Print
Go through all the calibration steps for the printer. Hit print and walk away for a while. The 3D printed fidget spinner we made was printed at standard quality on the Lulzbot Mini and took well over an hour to print. Once your model is done, carefully remove it from the table.
Print a pair of fidget spinner bearing caps by following the same steps. You can choose to print them at the same time as you print the fidget spinner body.
Step 4 – Fit your bearings
Get some 608 bearings, AKA skate bearings (Amazon’s got options)
Remove any plastic pieces that might cover the ball bearings. Degrease your center bearing (a soak in WD-40 will work). Pop in your printed bearing caps and fit the bearing assembly into the center of the fidget spinner. The three outer bearings don’t need to be cleaned or degreased since they’re only really there to add weight. Fit those in too.
If you have any trouble getting your bearings into the fidget spinner, a clamp or vice will help. Failing that, a light sanding of the holes will give you a little more space to work with.
Step 5 – Spin it
Go to step 1. Seriously, there are so many options for cool and unique 3D printed fidget spinners… and you probably ended up buying a multipack of bearings anyway.