Thursday, December 9, 2010

Final Report

The final presentations can be found on the smart surfaces website.   Smart surfaces, 2010, Group 3

Other Material

Watch my presentations at

Final project showing

In the end the project didnt function. I believe the relays were shorting out, possibly due to my sub standard soldering skills. Even 1 mistake per 100 solders could have killed this thing. In the future I will use all PCBs.  To show the concept we added permanent magnets to simulate its proposed appearance at a moment in time. We also rigged up one magnet on a blink program to show what one of our electromagnets would look like when activated. Those images should allow you to imagine an array of 72 of these reacting to your movements. Personally I love the light and dark contrast of the table and the display.


Me talking with Michael Flynn, the man. Mr Flynn has done a significant amount of work with ferrofluid and in addition to being one of the most gracious guests I have ever had in a class he was extrordinarily insightful, easy to talk to, and easy to learn from.

There and back again

Adding photoresistors and arduinos

 Adding power strips and dc adapters. Dc adapters will eventually be connected to relays and controlled by arduinos.
 Measuring positions for photoresisters

Threading photoresisters into edge of box.

Adding arduinos into center segment of box.
arduinos just shoved in there, these actually got covered in ferrofluid. Some of them anyway

The screw cores were about an inch long out of the ferrofluid. 4 of the thin guage wire sides of the transformers were used connected in parallel to make these electromagnets. 5 electromagnets, 5 photoresistors, 5 arduinos.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The final construction phase

The acrylic box, now loaded with 72 bolt electromagnets all sealed into the acrylic using epoxy clay, is set on top of stilts above the wooden box. With the acrylic box suspended over the wooden box we wire the magnets into the relays, the relays into the arduinos, and the photoresistor inputs into the arduinos. What an unbelievable amount of wire that was.

Top down view of the box with all the electronics loaded.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Adding catch pan

After Carlo made the parts for the box I spent a solid day helping him and the other artists sand the thing. Finally got the thing put together and the legs on. I added a catch pan with some others in the group, filled it with cat litter, and we put oil absorbent pads on top to shield the electronics that will eventually be housed within the box.