The Twitch Block
Posted on Sept. 27, 2016 by Taylor Landry
Waiting for the Fidget Cube to arrive left us with the perfect combination of impatience and inspiration to create the Twitch Block.

We saw the highly successful Fidget Cube Kickstarter when it was first announced and instantly fell in love with the idea. Like every office, we have a couple of (well, definitely more than a few) “fidgeters." Since our office isn't lacking small, plastic gears and toys, we usually look for the nearest available 3D print to discretely play with during meetings. However, the tiresome spinning of gears, squeezing of carabiners, and twisting of the classic nut and bolt print grew old, leaving our searching hands pining for the next object to satisfy our needs. Alas, the Fidget Cube arrived, and ended our need for variety in our twitchy ways. 

Of course, we were too impatient for the Fidget Cube to deliver, so we did what every 3D printing enthusiast does: we made our own - the Twitch Block. 

 


With a multitude of 3D printers begging for attention, we went to work on designing the Twitch Block.  Besides, what good is having 3D printers if you can’t make miniature toys on a whim?

Our Inspiration: Antsy Labs' Fidget Cube


After about a week of designing and testing (twiddling, fidgeting, fumbling), we constructed a 3D printed, customizable gadget you can use to soothe your jitters. 

The Twitch Block


The Twitch Block is a 1 x 1 x 2 inch hexahedron that is freely explored within the palm of the holder. The panels of the desk-top toy offer six distinct features and sensations, each channeling a different tactile awareness. In short, the fidgeter's dream.

Panel 1: Spin (magnets optional)


Panel 2: Push (3 soft buttons and 2 soft toggle buttons)


Panel 3: Maze (button maze)


Panel 4: Press (soft thumb button)


Panel 5: Roll (Printed ball bearing (magnet optional))


Panel 6: Touch (Texture panel)


These are the first "twitch modes" we devised to fit our jittery ways, but our goal in designing the Twitch Box was to allow the fidgeter to have interchangeable panels. This personalized toy (life-saver) is capable of meeting each individual owner's twiddling needs.

The Facts:

  • The soft buttons and toggles were printed with MatterHackers Black TPU filament.
  • The panels were printed with Polymakr Polymax True Blue PLA.
  • The main body, and the hard black buttons were printed with MatterHackers PRO Series PLA.
  • The silver ball bearing was printed in GMASS Tungsten ABS.
  • The 6mm diameter x 3mm disc magnets just press in, or you can use a drop of super glue to to really seal them in. You can find them on Amazon here. We arranged the magnets to repel each other, but arranging them to attract each other also works and provides a different effect.

 

Detailed printing and assembly instructions can be found on the design store page for the Twitch Block.

We’ll also be posting some blank panels, along with 2D drawings, so you can design and print your own features.

Download MatterControl and the free Twitch Block designs from the design store, and print yours today! 

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