String-Powered Spinner Gyroscope Using 608 Bearings
Please observe all safety rules when spinning things. Perhaps do not spin them too fast, just fast enough to show the behavior of a gyroscope.
Few things are as captivating and mind-boggling as a toy gyroscope! Now, if you have a few 608 bearings (22mm, 8mm, 7mm) such as those from a fidget spinner or skateboard, you could make a simple string-driven gyroscope using the parts in this design. You need 6 bearings; at least one is of decent quality. If you like, two bearings can be installed in the middle (at top and bottom) for increased stability. Be prepared. It spins fast.
Here is the story. Kids like playing with those fidget spinners, which are technically a gyroscope. I saw a kid trying to spin it faster using a rope, to no avail. So I brainstormed a bit and designed a wall around the central bearing and then added a few grooves to enable string wrapping. With that “wall,” we can now wrap a string around it and spin the things really fast! Of course, we need a long axle in the middle to support the gyro and also for the grasp. Further, a stand would be useful for us to observe the whole dynamics of a gyroscope. It works great!
Among the Files
- A spinner, with a spool/wall, that requires 6 bearings: 20mm or 25mm Spool.
- An axle that is to be inserted into the middle bearing: 95mm or 115mm, with or without a holder. Please note that if you choose to use a standard ball bearing, its inner ring tends be to larger. Please try an axle that is a bit over 8mm (8.02mm are 8.1mm included) for a tight fit.
- A stand.
To Assemble and Play
- Push the bearings into the spinner, using some pliers if necessary. They should be tightly contained in the rings. Two bearings could be installed in the middle at the top and the bottom for more stability.
- Look for a string that is about one yard or meter long.
- The axle has a diameter of 7.9mm unless indicated otherwise in the filenames. It works well for me at a resolution of 0.18mm. Just push it in; it should be a bit tight. If it is too loose, please consider using a drop of super glue or some adhesive tape. If it is too tight, sand it a little bit.
- Wrap the string around the spool (using the two holes if you like). Hold the top or bottom part of the axle. Pull to launch; leave it on a surface or the stand to ponder … .
- Why does it work? Try some mathematical and physical analysis if you like.
- If you have a fast spinner already, all you need is the axle. Remove the covers of your spinner and install the axle. It should work well.
One bearing is adequate in the middle; two add more stability.
On a Stand
On a string
If you like challenges, you could make two gyros and super-glue them back-to-back for a super, more balanced, gyroscope. In the center, you could use 1 or 2 bearing. Be careful with the super gyro as it gets heavier.
Two spinners glued together (up to 12 bearings).