3d Printed Mini Fidget Spinner is a Fun and Practical Demo

If you’ve ever said to yourself, “There just aren’t enough fidget spinners in the world” then this is the
project for you!

Seriously though, I designed this to be a fun print you can produce quickly for your kids, with your kids, or as a simple demonstration of the power of 3D printing.

I will do demos in my kid’s classrooms and all their friends get a kick out of seeing a 3D model come to life in front of them.

Given the attention span of elementary kids, I wanted a project that kids could relate to and get excited about and one that would print relatively quickly.

I arrived at a fidget spinner because they’re small, can be built with-off-the-shelf bearings and, to my knowledge, there isn’t a kid on the planet that isn’t excited to take the demo home with them when it is complete.

I’ve made these with my own children a number of times and often print the spinners for my kids to give away as presents. Their friends seem to love the fact that the spinners are handmade, and my kids feel good knowing they helped make them.

This model is designed a bit smaller than a standard spinner because I wanted to be certain it printed in a half hour or less, which it does, taking 15 minutes per spinner on my Prusa I3 Mk3, and about 30 on my Mini Delta. You can start the spinner printing and it will finish before your kids lose interest.

Besides the model all you’ll need is four R4-2RS bearings. You can get them through Amazon and many other online retailers but I found them at The Big Bearing Store for pretty cheap. Of course, it’s up to you where you buy them from but consider that you can purchase a fidget spinner off Amazon for $8.00, but four R4-2RS bearings from the retailer will run you over $20.

That isn’t a particularly good buy. $1.49 a piece (or less for bulk orders) through the link above is a much better deal. If you plan do build a bunch of these and can wait, great deals can be found on sites like Aliexpress.

Once the model is finished printing all that remains is to hammer the four bearing into the designated spots. It probably goes without saying, but be sure to remove the model from your printer before hammering them into place. The last thing you want to do is smash your printer to bits in service to a kid toy.

As for printing materials, I like ABS or PETG for their resilience, but I have used PLA as well. I think spinner tend to look best in bold, dynamic colors, but really that’s just personal preference.

I hope you all enjoy this project as much as I did creating and printing it. Feel free to drop me a message with your experience, or any photos of your finished spinners. Have fun!

Find the file on Thingiverse!