As some of you know over the summer I became super interested in Magnetic Levitation. I started reading/learning about it and got super excited. I bought a maglev kit from Guy Marsden and it was super cool to see it levitate a pen.
Currently I am working on my own design using a switching mode converter and some analog feedback. Fun fact: it turns out that my Master's Thesis is going to be on modeling and control of Magnetic Bearings!
The previous examples I have mentioned are examples of active magnetic levitation, where a controller regulates the position of an object via feedback. Another kind of MagLev that exists is passive maglev which requires no active feedback. Turns out you can build a stable maglev system with no active control using Diamagnetic materials.
Diamagnetism is the property some materials have to repel magnetic fields. It is normally not a very strong effect but it is enough to make sheets of Pyrolytic Graphite levitate over strong neodymium magnets. My graduate advisor and I have been trying to think of uses of diamagnetism however given the forces involved are so low that we have not found any "real world" uses! I started to try and think of non-industrial non-real world uses and I thought it would be awesome to build a chess or checkers board with pieces made of pyrolytic graphite that levitate over the board. However given that the rare earth magnets are so expensive I decided to go with making a TicTacToe board first. I call this new creation Tic Mag Toe (im very proud of this name jajajaj...). I built a prototype this weekend:
|tic mag toe v1.0|
My next step is to encase the magnet board into a nice laser cut frame and figure out a way to make nicer playing pieces. Then when I get enough money I'll go for the checkers board and maybe the chess board! For those of you wondering I got the supplies from http://www.kjmagnetics.com/ the best source for strong magnets I could find online!