Both Explanation And Build For This Artwork Are Beautiful

Sometimes you encounter projects that defy description, as is the case with this one. So perhaps it’s best to start with what this project is NOT. It is not a sphere. It is not a perpetual energy device. It has neither a sloppy build nor a slapdash video. This IS a motorized rhombicuboctahedron that is a well-explained with high-quality parts and loving attention to detail by [Wolfram Glatthar]. At its heart is an exercise in building a moving device with the barest minimum of friction. Without no grinding in the mechanism, the electronics will probably wear out first. Low friction also means low power consumption, and an hour of sunlight can run the device for two-and-a-half days. Take a look at the video below the break.

Along the sides are a balancing ring with threaded screw sockets and the load-bearing magnets which suspend the bulk of the rhombicuboctahedron using repulsion. Everything is stabilized by a ceramic sphere touching a sapphire glass plate for a single point of contact between some seriously tough materials. The clear sapphire furthers the illusion that everything is floating, but genuine magnetic suspension would require much more power.

Acoustic levitation cannot be forgotten as another powered source of floating or you can cheat and use strobe light trickery.

19 thoughts on “Both Explanation And Build For This Artwork Are Beautiful

  1. At first the sapphire bearing didn’t make sense, it stops the whole magnet suspended axle from sideways motion against some magnet side force. Beautiful work. The lithium cell will go first, perhaps a super cap.

  2. It reminds me of a brain-teaser posed by a prof back when I was in college:

    Q: A rotating shaft suspended by magnetic bearings and kept in hard vacuum so there’s no air friction will still lose energy entropically. How?

    A: Two ways: heat from induced current flowing through the resistance of the ferromagnetic parts (electrons moving through a magnetic field), and low-frequency radio emissions (magnetic fields moving in space).

  3. I love the little diagnostic LED visible through a hole in the base. Visible at 2m51s and a few other times in the video.

    That’s a very, very pretty build. I wonder what it looks like if you shine a bunch of lasers on it so it bounces the beams around the room… ;)

      1. The reaction depends largely on the laser and person. I’ve caught a laser to the eye from key chain laser pointers, halloween/christmas house laser projectors, and lasers at concerts and It never once hurt. I actually never once made a sound. It happened and then it was over.

  4. I wonder if it could be made more efficient – it seems to be have some kind of micro in it to control it no doubt sipping a bit of power which seems unnecessary.

    I am also curious to know if it fires the coil every time a magnet comes by or if there is a speed control mechanism controlling the firing of the coil only when required to maintain the speed.

  5. is the saphire thing really necessary? Imagining the magnetic bearings to be pancake magnets with poles out the flat-sides, then facing the same pole inwards on both sides, ideally it’d levitate and not move sideways. Ideally. But even though not ideal, and taking into account external lateral forces, wouldn’t placing opposing magnets on both ends, opposed to others on a fixed bracket, hold it in place laterally?

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