Project Update 4/6 | Peter

For those of you that have not been following my project from the start, I am building a solar powered Mendocino motor. This is essentially a magnetically levitated rod that spins using a solar powered motor.

Example of a Mendocino Motor

The main progress that I have made this week is that I managed to make a working preto/prototype of the motor. This served mostly as a proof of concept, but also a way of figuring out the magnetic placement for optimal levitation. Using this newly acquired data, I can dimension and work on constructing the base for the device in CAD and hopefully get fairly close to being completely done with it. My biggest hurdle at the moment is waiting on the solar cells that I ordered a few weeks ago to arrive. Once they arrive, I can construct the final rod assembly and test the motor capabilities of the device.


As of now, I am behind the schedule that I had set for myself in the preliminary design review. I hope to put a good amount of time in this weekend into getting back on schedule.

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Brandon Boiko
    April 12, 2016 12:27 am

    Wow! your prototype looks great. I have not been following your project, but it looks really interesting and its a fascinating concept. I don’t know if you covered this in a previous post, but what aesthetic are you thinking of going for? I think even with the prototype you have now you can make it look very interesting if you just stain it. I think the solar cells will provide an aesthetic on their own. I would think of colors that would really make the solar cells stand out. Anyways, your project looks great so far and I can’t wait to see the finished product.

  • Shawn Sprinkle
    April 10, 2016 9:55 pm

    That’s awesome you got your prototype working! Have you thought about what kind of aesthetic the base and frame will be? Looking at other mendocino motors people have made their base out of glass, acrylic, or wood giving it a different look. It might be cool to give yours a steam punk look


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