Wednesday, July 25, 2012
In late 2011 the mechanical engineering team, lead by Katy Hahn, at California Polytechnic University contacted Concept Zero (a business I co-own with Nicky Nada) to help them create some displays for the Children's Museum of San Luis Opisbo, California. I was working at the time on a specialized suspension liquid that would work with plastics - allowing more flexibility for display options, higher safety standards, and lighter, more flexible designs. The requirement for Cal Poly was for two displays, one being a 1 liter flint glass display (as used previously by Concept Zero at the Science Museum of Minnesota) and the second request was to supply them with one of our first plastic window prototypes for display in a science museum. Both displays turned out fantastically and were received with much enthusiasm. This is only the beginning of our success in designing safe and engaging exhibits for science organizations wishing to engage the public using the absolutely interesting properties of ferrofluid and our dynamic suspension liquid.
Friday, May 18, 2012
Design Team 14
Project Team: Millie Blackstun, Elaine Brogna, Amanda Childress, Matt Collegeman, Peter Davis, Brandon Schwartz
Company Mentor: Nick Stites, Darren McSweeney
Faculty Advisor: Shirley Chessman
In October of 2011, I was contacted by Millie Blackstun who is part of Mechanical Engineering Senior Design Team 14 at the University of Colorado in Boulder. If you have any questions about their work, you can contact Millie at (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The objective was to create a series of exhibits to be incorporated into the Integrated Teaching and Learning Laboratory at the engineering center on the CU campus. The ITLL seeks to provide engineering students and the general public with hands on demonstrations of engineering feats. This particular set of exhibits gives physical form to magnetic fields through the unique properties of ferrofluid.
*All pictures and video are courtesy of Team 14.
SPICE RACK DISPLAY
The FerroTec EFH1 ferrofluid is suspended in CZFerro Gen4 SL to prevent it from staining the glass jars. Team 14 came up with an very clever vertical and horizontal T-mount for the magnets. If you ever played with neodymium magnets before, you'll know why a safe and durable mount is needed to handle them in a environment where they interact with first time users. A truly smooth and clean display design by the team :)
HAND CRANK DISPLAY
The crank in the far back raises the top magnet up and down via a lead screw and worm gear set. The crank on the left raises and lowers the bottom magnet with a rack and pinion set. The third crank spins the bottom magnet in a circle with spur gears and a keyed shaft. The cranks controlling the bottom magnet can be used independently or simultaneously. The magnetic field interaction between the two magnets produces some really cool magnetic field lines.
Friday, May 4, 2012
The ferrofluid is contained in a magnetic chamber with 5 axis of electromagnetic coils. Different currents are sent through the coils to see the movement of the fluid in a micro-gravity environment. This is a study of possible uses of ferrofluid in mechanical action without moving parts. This will also show the magnetic fields without the influence of gravity on the material.
Along with the ferrofluid experiment, the students of VCS sent a total of 7 experiments aboard the ISS. All 7 are experiments are designed and picked by the students.
- Electro-plating Experiment -by Valley Christian High School: This experiment will study the effects of actually doing electro-plating of of gold and bronze in microgravity aboard the ISS and comparing the results of identical electro-plating on earth. Samples of electro-plating in space and on the ground will be analyzed with Valley Christian's Atomic Force Microscope.
- Ferro-Magnetic Fluid Experiment -by Valley Christian School: We all know that metal particles will be attracted to a permanent magnet. In this experiment, students will analyze the effects of microgravity on metal particles in the presence of electro-magnetic fields. Metal particles in this experiment will be suspended in a special fluid so that the results can be photographed in space, beamed to earth and analyzed daily.
- Biological Growth Experiment -by Valley Christian High School: Growth of biological samples will be studied to determine the effects by microgravity. Results will be compared with growth of samples on earth.
- Plant Growth Experiment -by Valley Christian High School: Growth of four different plants will be studied to determine the effects by microgravity. Results will be compared with growth of samples on earth. Lighting of plants will be done via light emitting diodes and photos of plant growth will be studied daily.
- Concrete Mixing Experiment -by Faith Christian Academy: As humans begin to explore space, a time will come when buildings will need to be built. This group of students will study the effects of mixing concrete in space two ways: (1) By stirring the concrete mixture and, (b) by vibrating the concrete mixture. The structure integrity of both the space-mixed concrete and the earth-mixed will be analyzed with Valley Christian's Atomic Force Microscope at the molecular level.
- Biological Experiment -by Whittier Christian High School: This experiment will examine the level of antibiotic resistance of GFP fluorescent-taggd Escherichia inoculated with Kanamycon antibiotics.
- Space Robot Experiment -by Fremont Christian High School: Students will study the effects of a fan-propelled robot in their MicroLab Assembly
The ISS Program Receives Accolades from President Obama
Thursday, September 8, 2011
CZ Ferrofluid Toys @ Magnetic-Gadgets.com
In Mid-August 2011, I was contacted by Alex of NeoMagnetic Gadgets about being the first retail brick and mortar store in Canada to carry CZFerro Nano dops. Off the bat we hit it off, trading entrepreneurial stories and strategies with each other.
CZFerro is proud to represent ferrofluid in the magnetic toy market, especially in such a fresh and modern specialty store concept like NeoMagnetic Gadgets. When you get a chance, peruse through Alex's website
for some of the most interesting executive desk toys in North America :)
4030 St-Ambroise Suite 234
Montreal QC Canada
4030 St-Ambroise Suite 234
Montreal QC Canada
Friday, July 29, 2011
Ferrofluid Imagination Window
In early July 2011, I was contacted about making a larger version of my current toy. So I sent her (Sherry) a big long email on how to get ferrofluid not to stain, thinking she wanted to make her own display. I included pictures of the "small, smaller, nano" exhibit as an example. To my surprise Sherry visited the exact display and knew all about it!
She explained to me that she was looking for something similar, with a small variation, as an office toy for her work place. I brainstormed and came up with rough graphic image of the "Imagination Window". She liked the concept, so I started playing.. err working.
- 6 CZFerro Squared Executive Toys
- 6 NeoWurm magnets
- 2 NeoPwn Magnets
- Hand crafted oak frame stained ebony
- Only 99 copies will be made of this display and can be purchased on CZFerro or my Ebay Store
I ran in to some bumps in the road making the first model, mainly with the sliding panel and adding/removing the toys from the display. Lucky, my father (Dragan) who has over 30 years in custom wood working, slapped me in the back of head a couple of times, corrected my measurements and quickly solved the problem . He did all the custom work in Pierre Cardin's Maxim's Restaurant NY, so I basically couldn't of found a better person to help me with this project lol.
After the frame was done and the bottles added, there was nothing left to do but play! A big thank you to Sherry for giving me creative freedom on this display :)
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Steampunk Ferrofluid by: Geir Andersen
In April 2011 I started trading emails with Geir about his idea for a ferrofluid display, after about 60 emails ( 30 of which where about music lol ), he sent me a picture of probably the most creative ferrofluid display ever made. The concepts' theme was "steampunk" ( think of Mad Max )
- 1 CZFerro Squared desk toy
- 6 Hand wrapped electro magnets
- 1 Hand held magnetic lever
- 6 Button manual controls
- Can be hooked to computer and synced to music!
The detail put into this display is the work of a master craftsman, get the full story on this display and others made by Geir at his LMR profile.