Fidget Spinner Gigantor

Had enough of fidget spinners yet? If you haven’t heard, a toy that consists of a bearing in the center of a multi-lobed flat structure that’s designed to spin around the bearing’s axis with little force has taken the world by storm. Usually, these devices are about 10cm in diameter or less. But, everything is bigger in Texas. So, naturally, students from the University of Texas at Dallas got to work making the largest fidget spinner in the world.

Clocking in at 150 pounds and 45 inches in diameter, this thing is undeniably huge. The structure is made out of what looks to be veneered plywood glued together to make a ~2.5in thick structure to put their bearings in. And, after washing their bearings with soapy water, the students get to work press fitting their 2.2in by 10.5in ball bearings into their painted wooden structure. Their video embedded below is an entertaining watch, it starts with a gag, but moves on the project afterwards.

Haven’t gotten enough fidget spinner news? Fear not, we’ve got you. [MakerStorage] has a fidget spinner designed to teach STEAM. Just in case manually spinning a fidget spinner is above you, we’ve got robots on the job. Want to see something more vibrant? How about POV on a fidget spinner?And if you’ll never get tired of fidget spinners, we’ve got a fidget spinner for that too.

69 thoughts on “Fidget Spinner Gigantor

  1. OMG! hitting bearings with a hammer, roll the balls over a concrete driveway and rinse with soapy water?? Hope they are art students and not engineering students.

        1. As kids we used to slide large bearings from one of my friends garage on the asphalt at night because they would make cool sparks! Ah, kids, such lovely disregard for things of value.

    1. A better question is why clean them at all? And if you must clean them, why disassemble? Soak in brake cleaner or simple green. And what’s the silicone for?

    2. Is it so bad to use a hammer to install a bearing? (legitimate question) I should say I have also done this, I’m just putting a plate on top and then lightly tapping it to get the bearing properly inserted. I haven’t noticed any bad effects on the bearings, but of course I don’t run them so long to see it should the MTBF be significantly reduced.

      What is the proper way to install a bearing in a wooden object? In a metal object you can just heat it to expand the hole and then it is locked in place, but for wood?

      1. As long as you don’t whack on the inner ring when installing a bearing in a hole then using a light hammer is not really a problem. Using a hammer on the inside part puts large shock loads on the bearings. On certain steel types this can damage or even shatter the balls or races. Ballbearings aren’t really intended for shock loading and CAN be damaged from hammering. Use some thought and common sense and it won’t be too bad if your application isn’t critical (and if you’re installing in wood it certainly isn’t). If it IS critical, get the proper tools and press them into place (using thermal differential if needed).

  2. I went the other way and 3D printed a small version with 12mm o/d bearings for my 3 year old son. His hands are a bit too small for standard ones and he found them frustrating. He was very happy with it.

      1. On this matter, I completely agree, the version presented here is much more polished and good/serious-looking !
        I was just pointing it was not the “world’s biggest”.

        And we have to remember that the first fidget spinners were crappy 3D-printed plastic toys ^^

    1. That’s AWESOME! I am now going to start working on a Fidget Spinner mounted in an Altoids tin…or maybe a Fidget Spinner made out of an Altoids tin. The possibilities are endless. Maybe I’ll even submit it to get another story on Fidget Spinners posted just to annoy the people who can’t seem to ignore an article they are not interested in. Not only do they read it, they then post comments that in the big picture of statistics, merely reinforce the validity of the article and serve to reward the writers of said articles.

  3. I honestly don’t understand why grown-ups are so much attracted towards it. If I were a 7 year old kid, then its only natural. But I really want to see how stupid a grown up can be, going after this sort of stuff.

  4. Now, we need one big (and sturdy) enough that we could put a seat on each lobe, like a playground spinner. You could probably make lots of money selling such a thing (and then lose it thrice over to injury claims).

  5. True story: A friend has a 3D printer and gave me a spinner before it was a fad. I thought it was kinda neat and showed my boys, then put it in my room somewhere but lost it among piles of engineering crap.

    Fast-forward to a few weeks ago when my boys found out it’s popular. The middle son went bananas looking for it. But he could have cared less when I showed it to him the first time

    He craved it not because it’s cool, because he could have played with it before. He wanted it because he wanted to be like everyone else :-P

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