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Flippe Tops

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3D model description

This is a new kind of tippe top which flips over and over. On the outside it looks like a sphere, inside is a ball bearing which is free to move up and down in a cylindrical channel. The ball bearing gives the top an uneven weight distribution, leading to its strange behavior.

When you spin the top, the ball bearing begins in its lowest position. Because this is a tippe top, as it spins it wants to invert (flip over) so that its center of gravity is above the center of rotation. But when this happens, the ball bearing drops down (listen for this) and the cycle repeats. It is not difficult to obtain 5-8 flips of this top as it slows down, as shown in the videos.

Because it is a sphere it is not obvious when this top flips over. It is printed in two halves, I recommend using two contrasting colors so the flips are evident. It comes in three sizes, and I suggest printing the small size first. You will need to purchase a 3/8" diameter ball bearing for the small size top. Ask in a hardware store if they sell single ball bearings.

3D printing settings

No supports are needed. After you print two halves in different colors, insert a ball-bearing into the channel. Each size takes a different size ball bearing. See the README file.

The easy option is to glue together the two halves with superglue. The second option is to use metal alignment pins, as described in the README file. The advantage of the second option is that the top can be taken apart. You can mix and match halves.

NOTE: If you aren't using pins, be EXTRA CAREFUL to align the two halves when gluing. If this alignment is off the ball bearing can get stuck in the middle, and the top won't work.

  • 3D file format: SCAD, STL, and TXT
  • Publication date: 2020/01/22 at 11:38





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