Lambda Top: Rip Kit
One of those "someday" projects finally came to fruition. The problem with scheduling machine time...there isn't any. I finally realized our Markforged 3D printer was the perfect tool to get the Rip Kit into production.
This is a string launch kit that "may" let you achieve longer and/or more consistent spins with less difficulty than hand-spinning. However, I've found there seems to be an aerodynamic limit where going above a certain speed will NOT result in longer spins.
It should be pretty easy to achieve 8+ minutes with the Rip Kit. 8-10 minutes is about the limit for a Solid Lambda Top and 10-12 minutes for a two-piece top, regardless of how fast you spin them. Your mileage may vary.
The rip kit lets you cheat your way to long spin times.
Like everyone, I chase long spins...but it really takes a lot of practice. Even then, some days are better than others. Sometimes I don't spin tops for months and I get out of practice. No good. If I'm spinning a lot, my fingers can get torn up by the knurling (also no good)...which is necessarily aggressive so you can get enough purchase to make a good spin.
This idea was brewing for a long time, but the addition of 3D printing to my arsenal allowed me to go from concept, to prototype, to finished product in just a few days.
Be warned, it's fairly easy to spin the top so fast it will accelerate in an outward spiral and shoot off your spin surface. Don't say I didn't warn you.
* Bead w/ Cord
Well, it's not Amazon easy, but it takes a lot less grit than getting 10+ minute spins by hand. I know, I should make a video. And it will...in my free time.
- Pinch the tail of the string between your fingers and the stem of the top at the knurling (using your non-dominant hand).
- Wind the string around the stem of the top, making sure to get it tightly wound and overlap some of the coils so it holds itself in place. This leaves some "tail" sticking out. Don't worry about it.
- Wind it to the point you can hold the top between your index finger and thumb, while holding the bead in the same hand and keeping tension on the string. (dominant hand) Yeah, I should make a video.
- Insert the Rip Handle into the hollow stem and set the top down on your spin surface, making sure to align the handle as vertical as possible.
- Aggressively pull the string while allowing the stop to spin freely around the pin. Not like hippo taking down an alligator aggressive, more like a deer jumping over a high fence aggressive. The athletic motion.
- Don't rush, you have plenty of time to gently steer the top towards the center of the spin surface while retracting the pin straight up. You'll loose a bit of speed to friction, but don't worry about it. You'll make it up by not wasting energy as the top orbits before settling down.
- The ideal spin speed is right at the limit between the top orbiting outwards vs. orbiting inwards.
- Also, don't push down on the handle when you pull the string, just let it float inside the bore. IF YOU PUSH DOWN ON THE HANDLE, THE ULTRA-HARD RUBY BALL WILL CUT A GROOVE INTO YOUR SPIN SURFACE. DON'T ASK ME HOW I KNOW.
Handle MaterialMarkforged "Onyx" carbon-fiber reinforced nylon
Shaft MaterialPrecision ground M2 tool steel drill blank (0.150" diameter)
where it's made