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Using Ferrofluid to Inspire Curiousity
Be Curious
Be Curious
982 backers pledged $88,470 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Ferrofluid: A Symbol of the Future

$88,470

982

Our kickstarter ends soon, but you can still GET OUR FERROFLUID DISPLAYS AT INSPIRED-DESIGNS.ORG

A New Symbol

I believe ferrofluid is a great icon to represent the 21st century, much in the same way motion lamps are considered an icon of the 1960’s counterculture revolution. People embraced it as a sort of statement to the zeitgeist of that era. That’s how I feel about ferrofluid at this point in time. This is why I created The Inspiration.

The Inspiration is a massive ferrofluid display w/ 15 mL of ferrofluid.
The Inspiration is a massive ferrofluid display w/ 15 mL of ferrofluid.
Yes, The Inspiration also doubles as a motion lamp w/ rising blobs.
Yes, The Inspiration also doubles as a motion lamp w/ rising blobs.
The ferrofluid rises/falls on its own when the lamp is turned on.
The ferrofluid rises/falls on its own when the lamp is turned on.

The Thinker

The Thinker is made of plastic, has a friction fit seal, and 3 mL of permanently magnetized ferrofluid inside.
The Thinker is made of plastic, has a friction fit seal, and 3 mL of permanently magnetized ferrofluid inside.

 The Thinker can be upgraded w/ colored ferrofluid. Available colors are blue and gold.

 All of the rewards on this kickstarter are discounted from the expected retail price to show appreciation to all of my kickstarter backers. You guys deserve it. You are awesome for believing in me!

Get The Thinker w/ colored ferrofluid by backing at the $49 reward tier and adding $24 to your pledge. You can note which color when you fill out the survey.*
Get The Thinker w/ colored ferrofluid by backing at the $49 reward tier and adding $24 to your pledge. You can note which color when you fill out the survey.*

The colors gold and blue are the only options available at this time. More colors will be made available in the future.

Stretch Goal #1 Reached!

If we can raise $75,000 everybody that backs The Thinker reward tier will have the additional option of adding green colored ferrofluid to the display.

Exclusive Kickstarter Reward
Exclusive Kickstarter Reward
For Kicktarter Backers Only
For Kicktarter Backers Only

 Green colored ferrofluid is an upgrade (add $24) just like the blue and gold colors, however it will not be offered immediately after the kickstarter like the other colors, making it an exclusive reward for my kickstarter backers. 

Inspired Designs, LLC

Ferrofluid is an example of nanotechnology and when presented in the right manner is very successful at creating interest were there was none before. This is because of natural curiosity. I want to encourage that curiosity as well as the imaginative thinking that comes with it. I want to remind people there's still so much to discover and explore. 

 "Nanotechnology. The science is good, the engineering is feasible, the paths of approach are many, the consequences are revolutionary-times-revolutionary, and the schedule is: in our lifetimes." - Stewart Brand

Why is Nanotechnology Important?

Nanotech is a disruptive technology. It creates new possibilities and makes things that once seemed impossible very real. Ferrofluid is just one small example of this. Researchers are currently creating other meta-materials that sound like something straight out of a sci-fi movie or video game. 

For example, we have created objects that can bend light completely around themselves, making them invisible. We have business suits already on the market that use carbon nanotubes to make the fabric bullet proof. The potential game changing uses for carbon nanotubes alone generates a list too long to post here. New applications and discoveries are being made in this field regularly. 

Additionally, nanotech fuels Moore's Law...

Exponential growth is explosive. Every 25 years the processing power of computers grows by a factor of 1000!

My Past Experience

I often collaborate with a group known as CZFerro. CZFerro is a ferrofluid knowledge bank that specializes in ferrofluid displays. Members have been offering ferrofluid displays for sale on the internet for over 5 years and have worked with ferrofluid since 2008. Inspired Designs, LLC will have full access to CZFerro members and their expertise if needed.

The Science

Okay, if you've read this far your probably interested in the science behind it. Good for you!

First, I want to highlight the size 10 nm because that is the size of the nanoparticles in the ferrofluid...

What is ferrofuid?

As you can see, ferrofluid is a magnetic liquid.

This is something special because all known magnetic materials lose their magnetization when they get too hot. And this always happens long before the material reaches it's melting point. The trick is to suspend tiny pieces of solid magnetic material in the liquid.

Normally, solid particles mixed in a liquid will eventually settle to the bottom because of gravity. Much like mixing sand in water. But, if the particles are small enough (say 10 nm) they won't be pulled down by gravity. This is because of a force called Brownian Motion. 

Brownian Motion is the tendency of liquid molecules to be constantly moving around. As a result, they bombard other particles in the liquid. And when the particles are very small in size this force is strong enough to counteract the force of gravity.

It's a lot like a balloon being bounced around by a crowd of people. The sea of waving hands will keep bouncing the balloon back into the air.

Why does it spike?

The spiking is the result of a few different forces competing with each-other. On a fundamental level these would be the van der Waals force (attractive/repulsive forces between molecules), gravity and the magnetic force. 

In this case, the first two forces (van der Waals and gravity) manifest themselves as surface tension and play a very big role in how the ferrofluid spikes. 

Obviously, the magnetic force plays a major role in forming the spikes because we only see the spikes when we apply a sufficient magnetic field. What's really happening is we are attracting the magnetic nanoparticles with the magnetic field and this creates an uneven distribution of particles, or gradient, within the ferrofluid. This gradient follows the magnetic field lines and rearranges the nanoparticles in the ferrofuid.  

Why does it rise and fall (The Inspiration)?

Initially, the ferrofluid is more dense than the clear liquid and sits at the bottom. But,the ferrofuid changes it's density when it absorbes heat from the lamp at the bottom and becomes 'lighter'. This allows it to float to the top. Then, it begins to cool and it's density changes once again. As it cools it gets 'heavier' and falls back down. Then the process repeats itself.

What are Other Ferrofluid Applications?

  • Cooling in loudspeakers for better sound
  • Liquid O-rings for making computer chips
  • Magnetic hyperthermia for better chemotherapy
  • Targeted drug delivery for cancer treatment

Vanessa of Ferrotec wrote a wonderful blog post where she explains these applications and more.

Backing This Project

Backing our Kickstarter is simple and secure, and open to people from all around the world. Log into your Kickstarter account, or create a new account. Click the green “Back This Project” button at the top of this page. Enter your pledge amount and select a reward tier (The Thinker or The Inspiration). Submit your payment information and that’s it! You should receive a confirmation email moments after you submit the form. Kickstarter accepts debit or credit card associated with Visa, MasterCard, or American Express. All payments are in US dollars. Note: your card will only be charged after March 31st.

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Know someone who would be just as stoked as you are about this project? Share our campaign with them through the "Share this project" button at the top. Sharing is caring!

Risks and challenges

As far as research and development is concerned, I feel I have adequately covered everything imaginable. However, it is true that ferrofluid is well known for throwing curve balls. Sometimes there are unexpected snags in the manufacturing process. I have been through this many times over in the past. It would be a lie if I said it wasn't possible this could happen with these new products as well. But, I do have a track record of troubleshooting these issues very well on previous projects with the CZFerro team. I also will take any complaints very seriously and do my very best to resolve any problems as quickly as possible. I will replace anything damaged during shipping free of charge. I will be as transparent as possible with my backers during order fulfillment and keep you updated on the progress as well as any speed bumps that may pop up along the way.

I've watched previous ferrofluid kickstarter projects by others in the past fumble both the R&D as well as transparency and do not wish to follow in their path. This is why I have applied 3 years of R&D before filing for patent pending status and launching a kickstarter.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Thank you for your support!

    You think this is awesome and want to show your support. That makes you awesome, too!

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  2. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $49 or more About $49

    The Thinker

    You'll receive a 120 mL plastic display with a permanently magnetized bolt in the center and 3 mL of ferrofluid inside.

    The bottle is friction sealed with a plug so the contents of the display can't be easily accessed. There is no glass parts to this product. It's been designed with safety in mind.

    If you want the ferrofluid to be colored, add $24 and make note on the survey before shipping which color you want.

    Includes magnets.

    Free shipping within the U.S.

    Expected retail price after kickstarter is $70.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    Reward no longer available 250 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $49 or more About $49

    The Thinker

    You'll receive a 120 mL plastic display with a permanently magnetized bolt in the center and 3 mL of ferrofluid inside.

    The bottle is friction sealed with a plug so the contents of the display can't be easily accessed. There is no glass parts to this product. It's been designed with safety in mind.

    If you want the ferrofluid to be colored, add $24 and make note on the survey before shipping which color you want.

    Includes magnets.

    Free shipping within the U.S.

    Expected retail price after kickstarter is $70.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    Reward no longer available 250 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $49 or more About $49

    The Thinker

    You'll receive a 120 mL plastic display with a permanently magnetized bolt in the center and 3 mL of ferrofluid inside.

    The bottle is friction sealed with a plug so the contents of the display can't be easily accessed. There is no glass parts to this product. It's been designed with safety in mind.

    If you want the ferrofluid to be colored, add $24 and make note on the survey before shipping which color you want.

    Includes magnets.

    Free shipping within the U.S.

    Expected retail price after kickstarter is $70.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    Limited 174 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $149 or more About $149

    The Inspiration

    You'll receive a 450 mL glass Ferrofluid Motion Lamp with 15 mL of ferrofluid inside.

    Includes magnets.

    Free shipping within the U.S.

    The expected retail value after kickstarter is $200.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    Limited 97 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $149 or more About $149

    The Inspiration

    You'll receive a 450 mL glass Ferrofluid Motion Lamp with 15 mL of ferrofluid inside.

    Includes magnets.

    Free shipping within the U.S.

    The expected retail value after kickstarter is $200.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    Limited 3 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $195 or more About $195

    The Thinker and Inspiration Combo

    Get one 120 mL plastic ferrofluid display and one Ferrofluid Motion Lamp.

    To add color to The Thinker add $24 and make note on the survey before shipping which color you want.

    Includes magnets for both products.

    Free shipping within the U.S.

    Expected retail value of $270

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    Reward no longer available 100 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $195 or more About $195

    The Thinker and Inspiration Combo

    Get one 120 mL plastic ferrofluid display and one Ferrofluid Motion Lamp.

    To add color to The Thinker add $24 and make note on the survey before shipping which color you want.

    Includes magnets for both products.

    Free shipping within the U.S.

    Expected retail value of $270

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    Limited 46 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (29 days)