Helico: The world’s first helical gear fidget toy

Precision engineered with a unique herringbone profile, Helico delivers a ton of torque into the palm of your hand.

Helico has everything you could want from an executive desk toy; magnets, detachable spinning top, ball bearings, interlocking gears, bits that spin, solid metal construction, striking visuals that intrigue the eye and a gear you don't see outside of sports cars and hydroelectric dams. 

What more could you ask for?         

Stretch Goal Unlocked - Helico Cradle!

Each Cradle will be £15 and to add one to your reward simply up your pledge level by £15 for one or £30 for two and message us to confirm. Find out more in our stretch goal section below!

Why have we created Helico?

We set out to create the ultimate desk toy, injecting as many awesome features as physically possible, then stripping out anything that was overly complex or straight up didn't meet our stringent fiddle criteria. What's left are the best elements of every fidget toy you've ever owned. Bold but we think true :) 

When you get bored of spinning, why not try some gear fiddling? Or maybe some new dexterity tricks? Failing that, you can annoy your colleagues with some clicky magnet action!

Who's it for?

Made for designers, engineers, thinkers, and anyone who wants to just take a moment to focus, relieve stress or just play around. 

Helico is easy to fiddle with but difficult to master! 

We're constantly coming up with new tricks and ways to play with it. The balancing trick below, now donned 'BB-8' is one of our favourites and we recommend NOT doing this at any height whilst practicing, as Helico may suddenly and RAPIDLY decide to use your big toe as a crash mat! 

What's Helico made of?

Helico is machined out of two contrasting metals;

First of all: brass. This is an incredibly dense metal that looks and feels straight up amazing. The herringbone profile is machined into the brass using an advanced 5 axis machining centre and then cored out to leave room for a 6061 core.

Second: aluminium. Ally is perfect for lightweight engineering designs and has been used to full effect in Helico. After drilling out the heavy brass, we've press fit a shaft of 6061 aluminium to act as a lightweight core. 

This composite two metal design means the outer ring of dense brass shifts all of the weight to the external circumference whilst the middle of Helico remains extremely lightweight. Not only is this more comfortable to hold and use, it's also optimum weight distribution for an ultimate spinning top!

Geared for perfection - Why herringbone?

The humble herringbone is designed to interlock unlike any other gear. In our desktop version, they engage and roll easily in the palm of your hand without the need of any fixed axis, so you appreciate the mesmerising motion of the gears meshing together, unlike anything else you can hold in your hand.

The interlocking gears present a whole new dimension for focusing your mind and testing your dexterity while the tactile feedback keeps your mind focused on what's important.

So, what's the deal, why does it cost £59?

We like to go with the unusual at MetMo and much like our EDM cube project, Helico is no exception. To achieve the mesmerising meshing of Helico we opted to go for a complex herringbone profile that requires intricate machining to produce. These types of gears are extremely rare and almost exclusively found in heavy machinery as they can deliver a huge amount of torque without the need for substantial thrust bearings.

Much like our cube, now you can own your own little bit of engineering history.

Measurements being taken at the General Electric turbine plant in 1948.

 How is it made?

Once again, we've brought together precision engineering techniques usually found elsewhere in the manufacturing world. Helical gears aren't usually found outside of engines and gear systems that deal with high thrust and heavy loads. 

We thought we'd change that.

Here's a Helico prototype in our trusty lathe getting a hair cut

Instead of using EDM like in our flagship MetMo cube, we turned (pun intended) back to the world of CNC. Helico is machined on a state of the art 5 axis CNC machining centre then assembled and polished by hand to get the seamless brass/ aluminium finish.

Once machined we've used a powerful N52 neodymium magnet press fitted permanently inside Helico to keep both gears securely together.

Lastly, a precision bearing is fitted to Helico to let it spin freely and allow it to nest perfectly inside each other whilst in use.

Technical Data

Weight: 110g

Size: 25 x 40mm

Finish: Machined brass & aluminium 

Machining Method: Helico is made from solid brass with fused aluminium inserts to create a manageable weight that spins effortlessly.

Rewards

We've kept it super simple for you to pledge. Simply pick out a reward and hit the "Back this project" below to take you to the rewards. If you want any additional Helico's for friends and family, just add on the additional amount and message us to confirm.

Stretch Goal - Now Unlocked!

 
Introducing Helico Cradle

 project video thumbnail

The new stand will add a some awesome features to Helico;

  • Mounts and locks the herringbone gears in place
  • Easily operate gear meshing one handed
  • Adds fidget spinner mode
  • Presents Helico on your desk
  • Also adds a funky pattern to anything you pass through it...

 Each Cradle will be £15 and to add one to your reward simply up your pledge level by £15 for one or £30 for two and message us to confirm.

Choose from a  single Helico, a set of two or a set of four (for more interlocking options and complexity) or add on as many extra as you like to create your own Helico collection. 

Want to get Helico for someone as a gift? It's perfect for any office, studio or workshop and really is one-of-a-kind. Each Helico is expertly finished and comes with a unique personalised authenticity card with its very own serial number.

Who are we?

I'm Peg, a curious character with an interest in everything engineering! Along with my team we have a combined 20 of years experience within the design and engineering world, so we wanted to use the knowledge we've picked up along the way to create something unique, using an advanced machining technique that we've always wanted to experiment with. 

This time, I've teamed up with a prestigious gear manufacturer that creates precision gear systems for the automotive and aerospace industries.

Thanks for reading and we hope you enjoyed learning about our project. Click the "Back this project" button above to help bring this project to life!

Risks and challenges

Bringing in product from overseas will have its own risks in terms of delivery time so we've planned accordingly with a good amount of production and shipping lead time. Existing accounts are setup with Royal Mail to ship the majority of the pledges with some sent via FedEx. We've already sourced a manufacturer for Helico and we have an existing relationship with a packaging supplier from our MetMo campaign. Once we have all the bits, we'll ready to go! Our previous campaign is undergoing fulfillment at present which suffered a slight delay. To mitigate the problem in this campaign, we'll be going out to the manufacturer to oversee and check the production. The MetMo Cube campaign will be fulfilled long before Helico is due to be fulfilled, removing the risk of overlapping.