To set the scene: I sit staring blankly at my computer screen, Chvrches (borrowed for free through the library’s hoopla service—check it out, it’s awesome) blaring in my earbuds, tapping my keyboard, adjusting the volume, picking up the failed 3D prints that litter my desk, putting them down somewhere new…picking them up again. Picking up my coffee mug, holding it for a minute, setting it down again. Spinning my rings on my fingers (and then crawling around on the floor when I inevitably drop them). All the while my brain chugs along in the background, happy to be out of the limelight and left to its own devices.
The Fidget Cube made some waves late last year when the Kickstarter took off and people realized “Hey, I think better when my hands are occupied!” The neat little cube is currently fully funded on Kickstarter and available for pre-order, however, never ones to wait around (or buy something you could so easily make), the intrepid makers and designers over on Thingiverse created hundreds of designs for similar (and some wildly different and original) fidget cubes, spinners and devices.
Many designs require a little post-processing or additional materials (think ball bearings), but here are a few of our favorites that don’t require too much fiddling post-printing:
Trick Bolt Fidget by AmazingSpanoMan – This one is the perfect thing for clumsy fidgeters because it’s all stuck together with an end cap and lashed to your keys.
Elliptical Gear by cohlwiler – The gears pop on after printing and you’re on your way, very little elbow grease needed.
Print-In-Place Fidget Cube by mathgrrl or Another Fidget Cube by mistertech – Both of these nifty little cubes print in place, which means that as soon as you pry them off the printer and loosen the hinges, you’re ready to go.
Fidget Cube by CThig – I love this little guy; it’s a one inch cube with a different fidgety bit on each side, and requires only a little bit of assembly and just a dab of super glue.
Gyroscopic Relaxing Keyring by Gianfranco – This is high on my to-be-printed list. It’s a quick print, and another one to be added to the keys (or the pile of fidgets on my desk).
Tri Fidget Spinner Toy by 2ROBOTGUY – For the more advanced fidgeter. This design requires ball bearings and a bit of post-processing, but it’s pretty well perfected and quite the popular thing.
These designs are just the tip of the iceberg, check out Thingiverse for more inspiration.
And don’t forget, anyone can submit a print! That’s right. What before was a luxury just for library cardholders has become a service open to the general public. And we’re keeping our low, low charge of 5 cents per gram, to help us cover the cost of material. That means most prints are under 5 dollars. Submit a fidgety (or any other design) on our website and we’ll let you know as soon as it’s ready!
Gutenberg enjoys humming, getting crafty, and causing mischief around the library. Ada enjoys reading up on the latest 3D printing technology and researching tips and tricks to make life easier. Gute and Ada’s people enjoy tinkering, making, and discovering ingenious solutions to everyday problems. If you have questions or suggestions for future Practical Magic posts, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.