Hack Media: Snoil


Snoil is a snake game rendered on a Ferrofluid display. There is a video of it in action plus some other interesting projects: artifical rain display, apeture based display, and a computational board game.

[via Waxy]


  1. Metal Wolf says:

    Cool, First post! this would be cool if you could use this as an external display for other progs!

  2. Jesse says:

    ohhhh colour. me likey.

  3. Billw says:
  4. Moogle says:

    I actually made some ferrofluid once. It wasn’t nearly as smooth as the stuff this guy’s using. A friend of mine was making chainmail, and I got all his steel filings, added oil until it was liquidy. It was too gritty, but still a lot of fun. Another friend happened to have a 1 tesla magnet laying around that the lab he worked in had thrown away. The fluid would freeze solid anywhere near the magnet, but if you moved the container in small circles near it, it would actually grow lots of thin, inch-long spikes.

    This display is a really neat idea. No real practical use, but then, it’s really hard to come up with a practical use for ferrofluid, neat as it is. (The best I’ve heard is variable-visocosity breaks)

    New meaning to the term ‘snake oil’ I guess.

  5. Frogz says:

    laser printer toner+canolla oil
    its pretty much the EXACT same thing as far as operation goes compared to the professional stuff
    this display is ok but it isnt as cool as it could be

  6. Wurx says:

    Frogz-I always wanted to play with the stuff, thanks for the formulae….except the commercial stuff won’t go rancid.

    Any ideas? I wonder if motor oil or would work?

  7. ivan256 says:

    wurx, try mineral oil. It has no smell. It’s in the laxitives section of your local drugstore.

  8. R brooks says:

    1 tesla magnet? That’s gigantic:


  9. sPITFIRE-|<1|_|_ says:

    dude, the tesla that the url is talking about is a measurement. E.g. 1 amp, 1 meter, 1 Tesla.
    It doesn’t have to be friggin huge to be a tesla coil

  10. John says:

    I have a bottle of the stuff I bought a year ago. I did the usual stuff with it; super magnets, energized wires, climbing liquids… I wanted to build a solenoid matrix for it to sit on to make shapes but it looks like these guys beat me to it. The fluid is great fun to work with but be warned, it’s messy as hell. The oil will get into everything it touches.

  11. error404 says:

    Bah. The video crashes both my browser & the dedicated quicktime player. Stupid Apple.

  12. Scavenger says:

    I am trying to get the video to work, but when it starts, it says it can’t download the required codec because it isn’t available. The it starts, but it is all white with no sound. Where can I get the codec?

  13. doubful says:

    If anyone bothered to look very closely at the snoil vid, you’d notice in the second part “infinite oil” just at the beginning when he goes to pick it up, there is a nanosecond where the frame moves, but the liquid and the “oil” lettering does not. Looks like a hoax to me. Check it out for yourselves.

  14. blacksh33p says:

    For those interested…and who can read German…


    This is the MAKEr’s blog which documents the entire project it seems. Schematics are given too.

  15. Martin Frey says:

    hello. my name is martin frey from berlin. I’m the maker of SnOil. I’ve just added the

  16. DieCastblue says:

    #11 make sure you have quicktime 7 or something able to decode H264.
    #13 I agree it looks just like it’s been rotoscoped (badly)over the top of bad footage, but in the last part of the video they show the base and the top part that holds the oil are seprate, and when he goes to pick it up, at first he just moves the top, but the magnet array underneath stays still. looks cool though

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