Main Project Final Report 2: Levitation Stand


Overall I think my project went well, I hit every one of my design goals and was actually able to make my final product functional. This particularly was a concern for me early on in the project and continued until about a month ago.

Early on, I went through a lot of cheap magnets making devices that I thought I could make a small scale functioning prototype out of. This was extremely time consuming and got fairly expensive. After about 3 failed attempts at making any kind of progress as far as a functional prototype, I considered going as so far as to changing my project. I took about a week off from the project so that I could come back with a fresh perspective. After some research on current similar products on the market, I had a new idea of how to attack this. This method is described in part 1 of this report.

After I got my product functional, I went into the design phase. The idea was to design and construct a housing for this product. I had a few constraints, the biggest being the top of the housing had to be flat so that it would not occupy the same space as the magnetic field. I sketched out various potential designs drawing inspirations from various aesthetic movements with this constraint in mind. After some inspiration from the movie Men in Black, I had a design rethink and tried to make something that was futuristic, as seen in Figure 1. This did not turn out well and and I eventually went back to my original design intent shown in Figure 2.

Figure 1: Futuristic design iteration.

Figure 2: Final Design Iteration.

The reactions I got at expo were great. It often took someone walking by twice before they realized that my display was actually floating. A couple kids walked by with their mom and they described my stand as “magic”. A video from expo can be seen below.

Moving forward, I will probably reprint the base one more time as there were a few small defects in the final print. Other than that, I wont adjust it further, but this will be on my desk for the foreseeable future.

Overall, I learned a lot in regard to the design process of new products and the importance of appearance and aesthetics. This is definitely a class I would recommend to students in who need an elective and want to further their design skills. I would like to thank Professor Hertzberg and the entire Aesthetics of Design class, it’s been a a great learning experience and I will never forget it.


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3 Comments. Leave new

  • Jack Wheeler
    May 10, 2017 3:19 pm

    Your final project wound up looking great! It was really cool watching each step of the progress with the project, and it seems like you managed to follow through and achieve your design goals really well. The final project looks like something that a lot of people would want in their houses and I was very impressed with the functionality at the end. Great job!

  • Jeremy Parsons
    May 8, 2017 5:06 pm

    Avery, the final design did turn out very well. The “magic” appeal is in the sleek functionality of the not only the functional levitation, but also the sleek design aesthetic. Your stand was a big hit at the expo and garnered only positive comments! If you did want to embellish the art-deco aesthetic you may be able to add some gold color to the stand itself. You could also acetone-vapor treat the 3d printed stand to smooth out the layers and make it look sculpted. Good work!

  • Oksana Schuppan
    May 5, 2017 9:59 pm

    First of all, I must say that your video of the floating cookie adds a fantastic element of humor and accessibility to your design. I saw you filming this at the expo and had a good laugh! This is an amazing design. I have seen this for sale at a variety of funky scientific invention/learning type stores, yet you were able to make a levitation stand from scratch. That is amazing and you should be proud. These levitation stands are often hard to work with but yours appears to be incredibly steady and reliable. Great execution!


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