My friend, Bee, does a lot of knitting. She recently was debating if she should buy a swift to help winding balls of yarn. They are pretty cheap online, but I wanted to see if I could make one, so here comes an Umbrella Swift!
I first looked at pictures of swifts, like these:
Then I browsed Amazon. The basic design hasn’t changed much, so I set about building a simple Umbrella Swift.
I started by designing the top cap and the bottom of the umbrella in Fusion 360 and printing them on my 3D Printer.
The top of the swift
The bottom of the swift
Yes, they are all hexagons! Partially because this is Bee we are talking about here, and also because hexagons are the bestagaons.
I had never designed or printed threads until this project, but I really wanted the clamp on the bottom to be 3D printed as well. Turns out it was Super Easy, Barely and Inconvenience! Really, I just used the Thread tool in Fusion 360, set it to “Modeled” and then just pushed back each of the three surfaces of the thread by 0.1 mm.
I used a hardwood dowel as the shaft, and 15 inch bamboo “craft sticks” as all of the bars. A few random nuts and bolts here and there, some locktite, and of course my old friend hot glue to hold the top onto the shaft.