Who does not know about the fidget spinners? They are awesome toys we used to play with. Do you know why fidget spinners are so famous? These toys are a way to release your stress. These are classic toys you can spin and keep balanced on your fingers. Amazing, isn’t it?
Well, we have tried to see whose fidget spinners spin the longest. It is a competition that we will never forget. Now, coming to the basic question! How does a fidget spinner rotate? A fast fidget spinner needs a mechanism to follow that includes a bearing embedded inside. Let us elaborate on this simple technology ahead.
As mentioned earlier, it is a toy that spins on an axis. It maintains its speed based on the ball bearing installed inside it. A common fidget spinner is a triangular toy with a perfect balance maintained at its centre.
You can spin and balance it on a finger. When it is not spinning, you cannot balance it at all? What kind of sorcery is it? Fidget spinners are made of plastic, metal or both. When it rotates, it generates a pair of forces at the edges that make it balance it on your fingertip without any hassle.
It dates back to the Ming Dynasty (1368 to 1644) in China when Baoding balls were used to keep the patients’ hands occupied when a traditional medicinal procedure was conducted.
It was Catherine Hettinger who invented a working prototype of this spinning toy in 1993 to assist children to cope with emotions.
Can you make a fidget spinner rotate forever? It is not possible as the frictional force generated in the ball bearing installed in the centre piece will make it slow gradually. Eventually, a fidget spinner will stop. Let us find out how it spins for so long.
There are simple laws of physics hidden in that small and simple toy. To understand how it works, let us focus on the ceiling fans installed in our homes. A ceiling fan has a ball bearing system installed inside. The blades rotate on this ball-bearing system when a fan is switched on.
Similarly, a fidget spinner contains a smooth ball bearing system at its centre. When you apply a force on any of its edges by holding its middle portion, the entire toy starts rotating on that axis. The entire toy rests on that ball-bearing system. This is why it starts rotating when you apply a force at its edges with your fingers.
Now that we know how a fidget spinner works, we can clearly understand that the rotating action will depend on the force applied and the friction in the ball-bearing system. There is another hidden factor that we have to consider here. It is the weight of a spinner that determines how long it can spin on your fingertip.
Imagine you are spinning a fidget toy made of plastic. The weight is less than that of a metal one. It means that the fidget spinner made of plastic will gain less momentum than a metal one. It also means that the same air friction will stop the plastic one quicker than the metal one.
Understand that the balance and rotating action of a fidget spinner depend on the amount of centripetal force generated at its edges. The bigger the force the more it will spin. If you want to see your fidget spinner spin longer, buy a metallic or a heavier one. What if you want to make your existing spinner spin faster and longer? Here, you will have to work on your own.
How to Hold and Spin a Fidget Spinner
It seldom happens that a working spinner often gets slow or jammed. We can easily figure out that such things are happening due to the improper functioning of the ball bearing system inside. What can we do?
Use a screwdriver to open your spinner. You will find a central piece containing the ball bearing inside. Try cleaning the ball bearing by dipping it in vinegar and baking soda. The dirt hidden between the balls will be cleaned. Wash it and dry it properly. Make sure there is no trace of water inside as it will promote rust.
The next step is to lubricate the ball bearing. Use grease used for bicycle chains to lubricate them. Make it spin a couple of times before assembling it. Clean all the parts and assemble them. Spin it! At first, it will take a few more attempts to let the lubricant spread and become thinner. Once done, you will see how its spin has improved. This is how to make a fidget spinner spin faster and longer.
You will be surprised to know that a fidget spinner is used as an excellent device for increasing concentration and fighting attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Youngsters suffering from ADHD get immense benefit from spinning and concentrating on it. It is also a way to relieve stress. Spinning this toy on your finger also helps you to relax your mind. This is why spinning this toy is so addictive.
The term fidgeting means moving your arms, fingers, or doing something impatiently to get rid of stress. If you look closely, we tap our fingers on the table and make sounds. These fiddling activities are called fidgeting. We use a fidget spinner for the same purpose. So, this is what a fidget spinner is and how you can make it spin faster.