3D Print a Fidget Spinner

Want your own fidget spinner, but want to put a custom "spin" on it? Print your own on the library's 3D printer.

The following files have been modified from the versions I found on Thingiverse. There are many fidget spinner designs, but not all of them may print well on the first try. The following files have been adjusted for our particular 3D printer and filament. If you want to try a different design (and I encourage you to!), please allow more time for some trial and error. More designs will be added below as they are successfully tested on our printer.

3D files:

Customizing the Buttons

Screenshot of attempted custom button shapes

Create a shape in Tinkercad.com to decorate your button. The best shapes are simple and have rounded edges. The skull design above worked best. The triangles lost their precision, and the octopus was just a jumbled mess when printed.

Screenshot of the original design transformed into negative space.

While your design is selected, click on the "hole" button in the Shape box. This will turn your design into negative space.

Screenshot of the hole overlap.

Move your hole to partially overlap with the button. Adjust the height so the hole does not go all the way through the back of the button.

Screenshot of the align tool in action.

Select both your hole and the button. Use the Align tool in the toolbar to center it in the button. Click on the dots in the center on the x and y axes.

Screenshot of the completed custom button.

While both objects are still selected. Click on the Group tool in the toolbar. Wait while Tinkercad processes the change, and then your button should have the negative space of your design carved away from the surface of the button.

Make sure your design allows a rim of plastic all the way around the button or the design will not print well.

Assembling your Spinner

Photo of all of the parts needed to make a spinner.

Now that you have finished your 3D printed parts, you will also need 12 pennies, superglue, and a skateboard bearing.

Photo of the empty spinner and 3 piles of 4 pennies each.

You will need 4 pennies for each pocket on the spinner. I choose 3 very shiny matching pennies for the top of each stack.

Photo of superglue.

Place a bit of superglue in the pocket of the spinner. It doesn't take much! Then press a penny in place.

Image of a penny being super-glued to another penny.

Keeping adding a dab of superglue, and another penny until you have 4 in the stack.

Photo of spinner with all pennies glued in.

Keep gluing until all pockets have 4 pennies. Please note that the currency is not being defaced. All it takes is a little nailpolish remover to separate the pennies again.

Photo of the button being placed into the bearing.

Make sure your button fits the bearing (sometimes they don't; don't worry, we'll reprint if it doesn't).

Photo of the bearing being inserted into the spinner.

Push the bearing firmly into the spinner. If it doesn't fit, you may need to use sandpaper to smooth out the inside.

Photo of the back of the spinner.

Flip the spinner over and add the second button. If you use the twisted locking buttons, make sure their edges are lined up correctly.

Animated Gif of the spinner spinning.

Enjoy your spinner!