For my final project I am making a dynamic Ferrofluid sculpture. I have been fascinated by ferrofluid ever since I came across it years ago in a lab and have always wanted to work with the stuff. There is an exhibit in the ITLL that continues to tease my interest every time I walk by. The deep purple/black color is captivating to me especially when it is being magnetized and taking on different forms.
For a while I bounced around what kind of sculpture I wanted to make, but I recently found a metal shop in Arizona that makes large steel NFL team signs. Since my family are huge Pittsburgh Steelers fans, I am taking this opportunity to make a one of a kind wall mounted sign for them! Below is a picture of the sign I purchase and will be the base of my ferrofluid display.
Dimensions: 11.5″ diameter, .125″ thick
Essentially the Steelers sign will be encased in a polycarbonate frame (still in the works of designing) that will then be filled with water and ferrofluid. Behind the frame will be a series of magnets that are connected to an X like structure rotating the magnets and magnetizing the steel frame. The ferrofluid will then be randomly dancing in a circular fashion all over the Pittsburgh Steelers sign. This is sort of hard to visualize, but picture the images of the ferrofluid below dancing on the structure of the design.
image taken from thinkgeek.com
I am thrilled to start building this display and to conquer all the challenges that are going to come with working with ferrofluid. Although I have not gotten too far with the physical design of the case and the dynamic magnets behind it, the ideas are there and I know it is feasible. I have already ordered a large batch of magnets, ferrofluid, and the frame itself, so I can start playing with it all very soon.