Hello everyone! My name is Ethan and I'm an engineer who enjoys designing and tinkering in my free time. I'm excited to share the Verso spin top, a project I've worked on over the past year.
Verso - a Durable, Biodegradable, and Inexpensive Spin Top
Being fond of simple toys that have endured the test of time, I've set out to create such a toy to entertain people of all ages. Take them anywhere! Spin them on a variety of surfaces! Made from sustainable materials, the Verso's durability will last for years! Its small size, plus its attraction for all ages, makes the Verso a great gift idea, whether its for stockings, weddings or party favors.
Making the Verso Spin Top
I designed Verso from scratch specifically to be made from PLA (polylactic acid), which is a type of biodegradable plastic made from renewable resources, in this case corn starch. The filament I use is made in Indiana, USA, and they source their PLA from a manufacturer in Nebraska, USA. This filament will allow me to maintain quality standards in every top I make.
After multiple iterations that either weren't balanced properly, had a short spin time, or weren't appealing to the eye, I've landed on a design that rectifies all of these things.
Verso is composed of a top, a bottom and a plug. The plug acts as a press fit to hold the top and bottom parts together. After working on a few different press fit designs, I've found that an octagonal shape into a round hole to be the most ideal. The parts are 3D printed individually, and then press fitted together.
This particular design led me to realize that the Verso could easily be made to be two toned, with no additional post manufacturing required!
Verso spin top color options include: red, orange, yellow, green, teal, blue, purple, black and white. These color options can be mixed and matched depending on customer preference to create two tone tops.
Additional Colors announced during the campaign include: marble, iridescent pearlescent, pink, starlight gray, glow in the dark aqua, and gray!
Manufacturing Process - 3D Printing
I'm utilizing 3D printing in order to create the Verso spin tops. Although not the most efficient, it has proven to be the best method for prototyping the design through the different iterations. I have a long-term goal of using injection molding once volumes permit, as it would allow for quicker build times. For the time being however, 3D printing is the most cost effective and versatile route. Check out this time lapse of printing one Verso!
As a way to say thank you, each backer reward has an early bird option excluding the Deca Verso and Verso Enthusiast levels. The estimated delivery dates are based on my production capabilities with a single 3D Printer. So, if Verso is successfully funded, these dates will effectively be cut in half with the addition of a second 3D printer, and rewards can be delivered twice as fast!
Any backer reward is allowed to choose a two tone color combination!
The solo Verso backer reward is $2 for early bird, and $3 for regular. This backer reward comes with one Verso spin top of your color choices, As well as updates on the project! I will also be pushing to get every early bird Solo Verso their tops by Christmas time, with a limit set to 200 backers.
The Duo Verso backer reward is $4 for early bird, and $6 for regular. This backer reward comes with two Verso spin tops of your color choices, As well as updates on the project!
The Trio Verso backer reward is $6 for early bird, and $9 for regular. This backer reward comes with three Verso spin tops of your color choices, As well as updates on the project!
The Quattro Verso backer reward is $8 for early bird, and $12 for regular. This backer reward comes with four Verso spin tops of your color choices, As well as updates on the project!
The Penta Verso backer reward is $10 for early bird, and $15 for regular. This backer reward comes with five Verso spin tops of your color choices, As well as updates on the project! Get Verso spin tops for the whole family!
The Deca Verso backer reward is $25 This backer reward comes with ten Verso spin tops of your color choices, As well as updates on the project! Get Verso spin tops for the whole extended family!
The Verso Enthusiast backer reward is $60, and for the maker who wants to experiment with Verso tops! This reward not only comes with ten Verso spin tops, but also the same STL files I use to create Verso. This is ideally for people who have their own 3D printer. You're also encouraged to provide ideas about Verso for future iterations!
Verso Budget Breakdown - $2,000
The budget behind this project is as follows:
40% ($800) - Buying a second 3D Printer to double production.
32.5% ($650) - Research & Development into ways to further improve upon Verso, specifically in the manufacturing process, such as investigating the use of injection molding, and testing custom machinery to use that method.
13.5% ($270) - Purchasing of 3D Filament required to produce Verso spin tops.
8% ($160) - Establishing an online presence, including a website and online store.
6% ($120) - Packaging supplies, such as boxes for shipping, paper, stickers, business cards, etc.
In the situation where this project goes over the goal amount, further funds would be directed towards these groups by their respective percentages as needed.
Risks and challenges
The first challenge that comes to mind is the possibility of not being able to keep up with production. Considering that I currently only have one 3D printer, if there is a great deal of demand, it would be difficult to meet that demand. This challenge, however, could be easily negated with the addition of a second 3D printer, which is a major part of the budget.
Also, since I want to exclusively use one supplier for my filament, a risk exists in not having a backup supplier. I could easily find a supplier for PLA if the need arose, but there's a good chance the filament wouldn't be made in the USA from USA sourced materials, which is important to me. Even though this is an established supplier I'm working with, I will also be sure to source other suppliers in case something goes awry.
Finally, as part of the prototyping process, I've been through multiple iterations of the press fit design. I still have Verso spin tops from early on that have held together well for about a year now, but more time might be required to ensure these press fits hold together for even longer. Besides continual play time, testing this aspect proves difficult. If I find during the process that a purely press fit design isn't adequate, I have already sourced a made in the USA superglue manufacturer. I will also preemptively test usage of superglue in Verso.
Besides these three risks and challenges, thanks to the simplicity of the Verso spin top, there shouldn't be any snags in terms of manufacturing and assembly.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)