Funded! This project was successfully funded on October 15, 2011.

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A Magnetic Levitation Sculpture that levitates a small magnetic cube without any power input or spinning required.

Levitation!

Ever see those cool gadgets on your co-workers desks with the powered levitating globe? Or a levitating top that stays floating as long as its spinning? What would be cooler than that?

How about a levitating cube that doesn't need ANY power?

That's right, in this kickstarter project I want to mass produce a sculpture I designed that levitates a small magnet without the need for any kind of power supply.  It uses two magnets, three types of metals (one has to be cast), and a beautiful wooden (or acrylic) support structure to tie it all together.  There are two height adjustments so you can experiment with your own magnets to get the most lifting distance!  Or if you just want to show it off, there's a Mini model that only has the top magnet height adjustment.

Previous Backers!  Be sure to read till the bottom before backing this project to see our special Thank You!

The limited edition clear acrylic version (approximately 8.5" high):

The MDF version (approximately 8.5" high):

The American (approximately 8.5" high):

The Favorite Color (Fluorescent Green, lit by a very small LED UV flashlight in this case, approximately 8.5" high):

The Baltic Birch version (approximately 8.5" high):

The Mini (approximately 6.25" high):


Design

I've gone through a large number of iterations, carefully chosen the right combination of magnet and metal components, and learned how to cast the bismuth to get the maximum effect.  The laser time for each iteration has been the most expensive part of the learning process, but I'm finally completely finished tweaking everything!  I will be continuing to sell the kits after the project is successfully funded, but the price will be about $10 more, and won't include shipping, so save money and back my project early!

Since this is an Open Hardware project, I've not only released my plans, but I've written an instructable (on instructables.com) on building your own, if you have access to a laser cutter and casting equipment. In fact, this project won first place in the instructables Magnet challenge! The plans are free for anyone to download for their own use under a Creative Commons Share Alike Non-Commercial Attribution license. Its much easier to back this project though!

Warning!

Please note that super-magnets are used in this project, so if you have a pacemaker, or are affected by strong magnetic fields, you should be extremely careful with your pledge reward.  In any case, remember not to put anything that might be affected by a strong magnetic field close to the sculpture!  It is best displayed on a shelf so the cube is at eye level.

Schools love them too!

My daughter thinks this is cool, and I think a lot of science classrooms would like this as well, so anything pledged under the minimum sculpture award amount will go towards sending these beauties to schools!

Rewards

Here's what comes in each standard and acrylic kit (makes a complete working sculpture):

    All the laser cut parts to put together the sculpture.
    One large 'lifter' magnet, and one small levitating magnet.
    Two cast bismuth parts; one that goes above the levitating magnet, the other one goes below.
    One elevator bolt, nut, one locking nut, and three brass bolts & nuts.  All the bolts and nuts you need to hold the magnet and two cast bismuth parts.  Nothing is needed to hold the cube magnet! One bolt is needed to hold the sculpture together.
    Instructions in case you need them, and an explanation of how it works.

The Mini includes the above except for the components neccessary to adjust the bottom cast bismuth part. (They are a fixed distance apart.)

If you choose the Experimenters version, or choose to upgrade any of the acrylic rewards to the Experimenters version, a variety of additional levitating magnets will be included for you to experiment with.

Previous Backer Reward: As a special 'Thank You!' for our previous backers, all previous backers get a free upgrade to the Experimenters version. Simple choose the same reward (or better if you choose) as you did in the original project and we'll upgrade it free of charge!  Without your encouraging comments and suggestions, this project wouldn't have been relaunched!

What your money will be used for

I'll be using the funds from this project to purchase the raw materials, and melting and casting equipment for the two parts that need to be cast. A good portion will go towards renting bulk laser time unless I raise enough to pay for a laser, in which case it'll pay for the laser!

Thanks for backing my project!

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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  • Pledge $1 or more
    You selected

    3 backers

    Sculptures for schools! All the money pledged for this reward goes to making magnetic levitation sculptures for school science classes. We'll also put your name on a special Thank You page in the instruction manual. Every dollar counts!

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $30 or more
    You selected

    14 backers

    The Mini: A mini version of the Standard Magnetic Levitation Sculpture, with the bottom adjustment replaced with a fixed distance for the levitating cube. Your choice of Baltic birch plywood or MDF. International shipping (Canada/Mexico - add $7; other - add $9)

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $40 or more
    You selected

    20 backers

    The Standard: An easy to assemble Magnetic Levitation Sculpture kit. Your choice of Baltic birch plywood or MDF. International shipping (Canada/Mexico - add $7; other - add $9)

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $50 or more
    You selected

    24 backers

    The Experimenter: The Standard, plus a variety of strengths and shapes of levitating magnets for you to experiment with. Your choice of Baltic birch plywood or MDF. International shipping (Canada/Mexico - add $7; other - add $9)

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $70 or more
    You selected

    2 backers

    The Clear Winner: A limited edition clear acrylic Magnetic Levitation Sculpture kit. Very sharp looking, numbered, and signed! Add $10 to upgrade to Experimenter version. International shipping (Canada/Mexico - add $7; other - add $9)

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $70 or more
    You selected

    28 backers Limited (72 left of 100)

    The Clear Winner: A limited edition clear acrylic Magnetic Levitation Sculpture kit. Very sharp looking, numbered, and signed! Add $10 to upgrade to Experimenter version. International shipping (Canada/Mexico - add $7; other - add $9)

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $80 or more
    You selected

    5 backers

    The Show Off Pack: Two standard kits, one to show off at work, and one to show off at home. Or maybe just an extra for a good friend! Add $10 to upgrade to Experimenter version. International shipping (Canada/Mexico - add $7; other - add $9)

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $80 or more
    You selected

    13 backers

    The Favorite Color: An acrylic Magnetic Levitation Sculpture kit in your color and style. (Transparent: Red, Yellow, Amber, Light or Dark Blue, Green, Light or Dark Gray, Light or Dark Bronze. Translucent: Red, Orange, Yellow, Dark or Light Blue, Green, Turqoise, Violet, White, Ivory, or Black. Fluorescent: Red, Orange, Green, or Blue. Mirrored: Red, Clear, Yellow, Green, Purple, Bronze, Gold, or Blue.) Add $10 to upgrade to Experimenter version. International shipping (Canada/Mexico - add $7; other - add $9)

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $85 or more
    You selected

    0 backers Limited (50 left of 50)

    The American: An acrylic Magnetic Levitation Sculpture in red, white, and blue! 50 points on the white stars represent the 50 white stars, 7 red pieces represent the 7 red stripes, and the blue star supports represent the blue surrounding the stars in the American flag. Only 50 (one for each state) available, numbered and signed. Add $10 to upgrade to Experimenter version. International shipping for expatriots (Canada/Mexico - add $7; other - add $9)

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $150 or more
    You selected

    1 backer

    The Ultimate Custom Experimenter: An acrylic Magnetic Levitation Sculpture Experimenter kit where you get to choose the color and style of each piece! (See The Favorite Color reward for colors and styles available.) Free international shipping.

    Estimated delivery:
Funding period

- (30 days)