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Spinning top with wooden pencil

Creation quality: 4.5/5 (2 votes)
Evaluation of members on the printability, utility, level of detail, etc.

3D model description

Fun top for making cool patterns using a standard hexagonal wooden pencil.

Before you print out the top body, print out the sizing template! This should fit onto the pencil, hopefully with a little bit of friction. Due to differences in printers and pencils, this may or may not fit your pencil well, so save time and start with the sizing template.

If it's too tight, scale the part up in your slicer and retry. If it's too loose but not too bad, you can use some tape or something to hold it in place. If you get it just right, it'll slide on and stay put, which is perfect. Once you get the sizing template part the right scale, load up the top body you want (two legs or three legs, just a matter of what you think looks cooler) and print away. You can use 100% infill for better spin times, but I printed the one in the photos with 25% infill and 4 shells and spin times are good enough to draw some cool stuff.

It doesn't get the best spin time, but experiment with different start spins (spinning it on an angle works great from my tests) and also try slightly inclining the surface holding the paper. This top is really more about the cool patterns than a really long spin time. I'd bet the shape of the pencil tip might also affect the results, but haven't tried that.


This isn't a remix in the most literal sense of the word, but SirRob's "Air Head spinning top" is directly responsible for this. I came across it back in February, and had a failed print and was going to give up, but I thought the idea was cool so I managed to try again and got a good print. I played with it for a while, but that started me on the path of designing and testing my own spinning tops. I've got a bunch of designs and will try to post the good ones, but this is one of the most recent, and one of the more entertaining.

Fusion 360 file included if you want to change it to your whims. If you do, please post a remix!

3D printer file information

  • 3D design format: F3D and STL Folder details Close
    • Pencil_top_v2.f3d
    • pencil-sizing-template.stl
    • pencil-top-2-leg.stl
    • pencil-top-3-leg.stl

    Learn more about the formats

  • Publication date: 2020-01-30 at 03:24
    Published to Thingiverse on: 2019-10-28 at 20:51





Note: I wanted to try Cults3D as a possible alternative to Thingiverse, but after giving it a bit of a look, I'm not super impressed. Feel free to visit my Thingiverse page if they can manage to keep that site running:

I went to school as a mechanical engineer, and got interested in 3D modeling, specifically the SDRC I-DEAS CAD/CAM software system. This interest got me my first job working for a CAD/CAM reseller doing pre and post-sales support. I was lucky to be involved in 3D printing in the early 90s - for a demo of rapid prototyping, I modeled the mouse from my HP-UX CAD workstation and it was rendered via stereolithography. I still have that model, but across the years I stopped using CAD and moved to systems administration. Now that 3D printing is affordable and mostly reliable, I've gotten into it and am having a blast. I printed all the usual cute little trinkets and tchotchkes, but quickly got bored of that. What I find most interesting is needing something, then spending a little bit of time in a CAD program and soon after that having a real, functional version of the part in my hand.

I'm a cyclist and bike mechanic as a hobby and a side job, and have found endless applications of 3D printing to both bikes and bike maintenance. Coworkers have also come to me with many varied requests, each of which has been an interesting challenge and an opportunity to learn.

I am constantly learning, constantly trying to challenge myself to learn new things and technologies, so hopefully as I progress my designs will continue to improve.

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