Children of Airwolf 3D Employees Design Limited Edition 3D Printed Fidget Spinners to Raise ADHD Awareness

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These days, you can often find 3D printing technology used in the classroom and surrounding community. Usually the technology is utilized for a lesson, or a specific project or class. But what if, instead of a 3D printing lesson, a 3D printed object that’s designed to help students stay focused enters the classroom? If you’re on social media at all, then you’ve probably heard of a rather polarizing object called a fidget spinner – some may call it an obnoxious toy, while others say it’s a valuable stress reliever, but we can all agree here that 3D printing technology can be easily applied to these spinning sensations. California-based 3D printer manufacturer Airwolf 3D, known for its Axiom 2 3D printer and innovative Wolfbite ULTRA solution, is also interested in bringing 3D printing technology to the classroom, and is currently offering some limited edition fidget spinners – designed and 3D printed by kids, for kids.

So, what’s so great about a fidget spinner? Similar to a stress ball, a worry stone, or Buildpl8’s 3D printed Calmring, it helps the user relieve anxiety, and stay focused, by keeping their hands busy completing a mindless task – like spinning. These little spinners can be found in many fun colors, and are often used as a therapeutic tool for both children and adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) to refocus their energy back to the task they’re working on. Airwolf 3D will be offering a total of four original and fun Fidget Spinner designs, for the purpose of raising awareness of ADHD.

These aren’t just limited edition: they’re extremely limited edition, as Airwolf 3D will only be 3D printing 30 of each design. The first fidget spinner currently available for sale is called The Zoe, named for the 10-year-old designer, who also happens to be an Airwolf 3D employee’s daughter…in fact, each young fidget spinner designer is the child of a company employee. The colors of The Zoe fidget spinner vary, but it appears that at least pink and black are available. The Zoe weighs 0.5 lbs, and is 3″ x 3″ x 3″.

You can purchase one of Airwolf 3D’s new fidget spinners for $19.99. While that may seem a little steep compared to traditionally manufactured offerings (you can buy a fidget spinner at Walmart for less than $7), the costs to fidget with Airwolf 3D is all for a good cause. All of the proceeds from the sales of the company’s limited edition fidget spinners will be donated to the non-profit organization Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD). The national organization offers advocacy, education, and support for individuals who have ADHD, and these fidget spinners fit right in with the cause.

I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about fidget spinners: on the one hand, I have a squishy orange monkey toy and a knock-off Slinky on my desk that I mess around with when I’m trying to focus. But the nice thing about the monkey and the Slinky is that they are both silent focus tools – I have many teacher friends who find fidget spinners, often found clipped around the middle ring of students’ three-ring binders, extremely irritating and distracting, due to the noise they make as students spin them over and over again. Also, they were really designed as tools for children with autism, anxiety, and learning disabilities like ADHD, but they’ve turned into a classroom craze, and I’m certain that not every child who owns a fidget spinner actually needs one. According to a Huffington Post article, some children are trading them, or even throwing them, instead of just spinning them to keep calm and focused.

Whatever you think about fidget spinners, the intended reason for their creation is a good one, and I’m glad that Airwolf 3D is consciously aligning its own kid-designed fidget spinners with a cause that reflects this.

What do you think of this idea? Discuss in the Airwolf 3D forum at 3DPB.com.

 

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