Orbit (2017)

Orbit (2017)

Kinetic movement, in the form of spinning tops, has been one of the most enduring and endearing toys for young and old alike. As technologies for materials and processes developed over the centuries, the simple spinning top incorporates both technology and cultural heritage in its design, creating visual and acoustic wonders.

Childhood memories re-imagined with modern technology

Orbit is Tor Robinson’s interpretation of the opportunities offered by the latest 3D printing/materials technology and illustrates new dynamics of an ancient and familiar toy.  

The J750 by Stratasys offers the unique ability to continuously print in a full range of colours blending translucency with opaqueness and hard/rigid with soft/flexible materials. The flexible connections in these tops are designed to unfurl and open out when spun, creating shifts in colour through the change in orientation of the components. “Orbit” allows a user to implicitly learn about the power of centrifugal force which creates surprise and intrigue through the mesmerising power of unique movement.

Materials and processes – close up


The design process was done in Solidworks.


The final tops were printed via the Stratasys printing bureau on their J750 printer.

Project Level

Post-Graduate, Course name: Creative Digital Manufacturing INDN 441, supervisor Tim Miller.