Sometimes we build to innovate, and sometimes we build just to have the satisfaction of saying we made it ourselves. Yet there is another reason to construct something ourselves: To learn, just as [Fraens] has done with this 3D-printed generator. (Video, embedded below.)
[Fraens] starts off with a jig for winding the individual coils, but then the jig itself snaps into a the stator ring. The stator ring is sandwiched by two rotors which rotate on a brass shaft suspended by needle bearings. With the exception of the hardware, all the structural parts are 3d printed.
What really separates the generator build isn’t how it’s built, but rather how [Fraens] has put it to use as tool for learning and experimentation. By plotting input torque vs electrical output, [Fraens] is able to calculate efficiencies in multiple configurations, and has some interesting conclusions to share toward the end of the video. We appreciate how the documentation and analysis help iterate the design towards higher efficiency and will inform the next build.
With some more work, we can see this going straight into a Vertical Axis Wind Turbine or attached to a Pelton Wheel for an off-grid hydro-power setup. Thanks to [Shabab] for the great Tip!
Continue reading “3D Printed Generator Build Highlights The Scientific Method”
We’ve all experienced that magic moment when, after countless frustrating hours of experimentation and racking your brain, the object of our attention starts working. The 3D printer finally produces good output. The hacked up laptop finally boots. The car engine finally purrs. The question is, do we know why it started working?
This is more important than you might think. Knowing the answer lets you confirm that the core problem was solved, otherwise you may have just fixed a symptom. And lack of understanding means fixing one problem may just create another.
The solution is to adopt a methodical troubleshooting method. We’re talking about a structured problem solving technique that when used properly can help us solve a problem at its core without leaving any loose ends. Such methodology will also leave you knowing why any solution did or didn’t work in the end, and will give you reproducible results.
Continue reading “Troubleshooting: A Method For Solving Problems The Right Way”
Soap cleans clothes better than magnets. There, we are spoiling the ending so don’t accuse us of clickbaiting. The funny thing is that folks believe this is plausible enough to ask magnets experts so often that they dedicate a blog entry to comparing magnets and soap. Since you already know how this ends, let’s talk about why this is important. Science. Even though some magnet retailers, herein referred to as [the experts] can easily dismiss this question as fanciful or ridiculous, they apply the scientific method to show that their reasoning is sound and clean evidence is on their side. [The experts] detail the materials and techniques in their experiment so peers may replicate the tests and come to the same results themselves. We do not doubt that the outcome would be equally conclusive.
The experiment includes a control group which processes dirty clothes without detergent or magnets, one group with only magnets, one group with only detergent, and one group with both. White clothing was soiled with four well known garment killers and manually agitated in a bin of warm water. We guessed that magnets would be on par with the control group, and we were pleased to be right. [The experts] now have a body of work to reference the next time someone comes at them with this line. The only question now is if tricky spouses used science to get nerds to do the laundry.
In this age of spin, keeping facts straight instead of jumping to heartfelt conclusions is more vital than ever. We are all potentially citizen scientists so testing a conspiracy is within everyone’s grasp.
Continue reading “Magnets Versus Laundry Detergent”