Kinetic art celebrates the joy in motion, engaging viewers with moving works of art. In “Orbit”, users are invited to play with a series of spinning tops that will transform in colour and form when spun. Created with Stratasys’ J750 3D printing technology, these tops celebrate the unique qualities of multi-material printing, creating moving 4D objects.


The flexible connections in these tops mean that the tops will open out when spun, creating shifts in colour through the change of geometry orientation. This pleasing user interaction emphasises the positive physical qualities that a 3D printed object has when it utilises the J750's unique properties, varying flexible, rigid, and colour in a single print. Users will implicitly learn about the power of centrifugal force which affects these tiny surprising objects, creating unique moments through the mesmerising power of movement.

The tops went into production, with over 100 printed as holiday gifts for Stratasys staff, who greatly enjoyed sharing the interactive toys with their family. In the future, such surprising objects may become commonplace, giving us new ways to experience how we can harness the forces of nature.

This project was made with the assistance and guidance of Tim Miller from Victoria University of Wellington's School of Design. Thanks to Stratasys, MADE, and the NZ Product Accelerator.

Manufacturing 100 of the Orbit Tops would not have been possible without Ohad Meyuhas (Director of Academic Research and Development in Global Education at Stratasys) and Ross Stevens from VUW School of Design.

This project is also published on MADE: http://made.ac.nz/project/orbit