Tesla Coil Auto-Winder

tesla winder

Tesla coils are awesome. But if you’ve ever built one, you know how tedious winding the secondary coil is. So [Krux] decided to build a machine to do it for him.

He’s currently working on his first Tesla coil — code-named Project Icarus — he doesn’t have all the logistics ironed out quite yet, but he’s been slowly collecting the components. What he does know is that he wants to use a 4.5″ secondary coil, using 22AWG magnet wire, meaning that’s a lot of turns! Since he’s also a member of a local hackerspace, he decided to make it a modular machine that can wind different sized coils for different sized projects.

Essentially, he’s built his own CNC lathe to accomplish this, well, missing one axis. There’s the main rotary axis, and a wire-guide that moves along it ensuring the coils are wrapped tightly without gaps. It’s an impressive build and you can tell he’s put a lot of thought into the design – He’s even got a semi-flexible 3D printed motor coupler on the wire-guide axis, to help mitigate quick acceleration! The main rotary axis is also driven by a 3D printed herringbone style gear — similar to the style used on Printrbot extruders. The rest of the build is made of plywood and pegboard — allowing for even larger coils to be wound by shuffling around the components. He’s even got a full featured command console with manual/automatic controls and an LCD giving feedback on the coil being wound!

Stick around after the break to see [Krux] explain the fascinating build, and to see a fun time-lapse of an 814-turn Tesla coil winding!

And the time-lapse of it in action…

Tesla coils are just great. Big ones. Small ones. One inside of Thor’s Hammer…

15 thoughts on “Tesla Coil Auto-Winder

  1. Great work. Have been planning one of these myself but would lily not be so well made. Certainly beets my electric drill powered manual method. Looks handy for varnishing could to :-)

  2. “But if you’ve ever built one, you know how tedious winding the secondary coil.”, think you forgot an “is” at the end? :)

    Cool project too – wouldn’t want to wind over 800 turns :S it wouldn’t be as uniform either.

    1. I noticed that.

      Once I’m actually home during the daytime, I’ll take some close up pictures of the final coil (well the coil before it’s varnished)

  3. There’s some serious elegance here – herringbone gears, printed universal joints and a flexible mount table. You’ve got a good start on an automated manufacturing platform for a lot of stuff. Great code too.

  4. Coil winders are cool. They are available, and factories have them already, but they are mostly offshore, now. You can sometimes find them on ebay. I understand there are toroid winders, but I’ve never seen one in action.

    1. I like it but couldn’t work out what exactly was happening until i saw this video of a giant toroid being wound. Now your video makes sense to me.

    1. yes I can agree on awesome for a superlative for Hackaday works for me. In the event comments didn’t contain additional information like the toroid winders, I’m sure many of us wouldn’t bother reading the comments.

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