The vision I had for this project was something minimal, sleek, and somewhat mysterious. I really wanted to create something that was small enough for me to keep it forever no matter where I move after graduating from CU. I imagined something functional that I could enjoy seeing every day, something I was passionate about, and something that would allow me to explore some areas of engineering that I didn’t get as much time to explore in the past 4 years.
This vision led me to the idea of something that would be in my office, a decoration of sorts that while being visually pleasing, is not very noticeable at first; but when eyes are laid on it, has impressive form and function. I knew I either wanted something that would mount to a wall or sit on a desk. I eventually decided to go with this levitating planter because as soon as I thought of it, I immediately had a vision of how I would make it look and how it would be complimented by my desk and other items in my office setup.
In my initial designs, I overengineered and planned to make the design of the base much more complicated than it needed to be. I designed slots for pieces I later realized were removable and overall, my design was far too large. Since my design is inspired by minimalism, I took my design down about 25% height and a 10% in diameter, making it so the case was nothing more than that, as opposed to thick and unnecessary armor for the electromagnet.
As for the cup, I initially under-designed and made the cup way too simple to the point where it stood out when looked at next to the base. After some great feedback from class, I decided to make the cup in such a way that when you look at it, you understand that it cannot sit flat on a table, but needs to be lifted off the ground by its electromagnet base. I also decided to give it an hour glass shape rather than just a typical cylinder or cylindrical cone shape because I believe it will look much better considering the very slight perpetual motion.
Unfortunately, life, as it tends to, got in the way and I am behind where I would’ve liked to be in my design process. After the senior design expo this Friday, I plan to really polish everything off and get it totally assembled and set up on my desk. So that I have better pictures and videos to show in Part 2 of this blog post next week.
Today my base finally finished printing and I will be removing some of the supports and sanding it down to my desired look and feel. The cup was started this morning and is nearly halfway done as I am writing this now. Everything is really starting to come together and while I am behind where I thought I would be at this stage; I am nothing but happy and excited about this project and this class in general.
I am still fascinated by this idea every time I read your reports on it. It looks great and I hope it works as well as you want it to. I would really like to see a demo video or picture when it’s done just to stare at the cool factor of it for a while.
Hi Jon, I enjoy how you show your thought and design process through the photos above, especially the action photos of the printing of the parts. How will you ensure the plant is balanced correctly so that it doesn’t tip over when levitating? Excited to see the final product!