Varun Bajaj shares a little script for Maya that he created that simple builds a spring system with a few input options, and then provides a handy little interface for being able to animate the spring’s compression.

A simple MEL script I wrote to create a NURBS spring with custom (more intelligent) controls

I often find an need for spirals and helixes when i am modeling, and although the solutions for them in Maya are pretty good, as Varun Bajaj notes, his Maya Spring Script has a bit more “intelligent” controls. The Spring Script can be built into a rig fairly easily, and is simple to add your own control into the system. Check out the Maya Spring Creator Script here.