Dark Matter . Huh? I built something for a contest? What's going on? Who am I? .
Yuri Fassio's Spinning Top Contest
I play with tablescrap tops all the time. My computer desk is cluttered with a mess of random Lego that I can fiddle with when my computer is being slow -- or MOCpages is. (Useless factoid for anyone who cares: The Blockheads were born in just that manner, when I happened to click a pair of binoculars onto a yellow headlight brick and it suggested a nose and glasses to me.) A Technic axle and gear makes a nice easy two-piece top to spin idly while waiting for that page to load...
So this is born from a few tablescraps that emerged from the primordial soup of my Lego-littered desk. The big wheel of inside-out treads and three spokes has a mate, and I was thinking of making a motorized, remote-controlled vehicle of some sort with them.
(Hey, you can see the reflection of me taking its picture in the pod lid! That's professional quality right there.)
Likewise, the two Power Miners wheels pushed together like that make one big fat cool-looking wheel, and I was thinking that I needed to make some sort of vehicle that featured them. And then somehow it all comes together in a top.
The nub end of the Technic axle that it spins on. That gear is also very important for launching the top.
The whole thing is big and top-heavy enough that trying to spin it by hand is difficult. I set about devising some intricate launching mechanism, and after several failed concepts ended up with this fairly low-tech solution:
The teeth on the inside rails of these two whatchamacallems mesh with the gear on the top's bottom.
Detail of one of the whatchamacallems.
In addition, the wide Power Miners wheel sits just a bit over a stud's width off the table, so the top is balanced upright when it's ready to launch. Push the whatchamacallems in opposite directions sharply enough, and away she goes!
The UFO at the end of the video is made entirely of desktop detritus. I was going to do a batch of those, but when I saw that there weren't many entries in the 100+ pieces category, I thought I'd try actually building a top with some thought toward it, rather than post a bunch of little aimless doodles. This had 102 pieces, 104, something like that. It's already been blown up, you see. Those treads went back into the desk-mess and are already taking shape in another form. Maybe a moon rover of some sort...