The hard drive platter launcher that [Krux] built has been among my all-time favorite builds and I am so excited that he is showing it off at this year’s Bay Area Maker Faire. At its core the concept is quite simple; dump a large amount of current through a coil all at once, and the magnetic current generated spontaneously repels the aluminum hard drive platter. The devil is in the details and this is where [Krux’s] work really shines.
The clear, 1/2″ acrylic case provides a barrier between the 2,000 Volts raging within. The capacitor bank is built from ten electrolytic caps rated 3,900 µF at 400V and are donated by the Cirque du Soleil show ‘O’ after the use life spec had been passed.
A microwave oven transformer charges the bank. When the desired charge is reached, a solenoid actuates the discharge system to dump the energy through the launch coil. When operated at the highest capacities, the launcher is powerful enough to severely warp the platters. We’re happy to see purpose-built robust controls which include double emergency-stop button, one on the main unit and the other on the controller.