In this article, you will learn how to build a simple electric motor that is great for experimentation or a science project. You will use the electrical energy from the battery to generate mechanical energy that turns the coil. This is a very simplified version of motors used in household appliances, power tools, computer disk drives, and many other appliances that make our life easier!
Step 1. Make a magnetic coil
Take a thin coated magnet, wire, or copper wire and wrap it 10 times around the edge of the paper tube. Leave a few inches of loose wire at the beginning and end of the coil.
Step 2. Carefully remove the coil from the tube
Wrap the ends of the wire around the spool at opposite points of the circle. If necessary, secure the spool with duct tape. Once the coil is secured and balanced, you can cut off the excess wire, leaving 2.5 centimeters on each side.
Step 3. Start making the foundation
Use the button to poke four holes in the plastic cup. Make one hole at a distance of 1 centimeter from its top edge, and another one at a distance of 1 centimeter from the bottom, and then do the same for the opposite side. If you don't have a plastic cup, a Styrofoam cup will also work.
Step 4. Make current leads for the battery
Cut two pieces of stiff wire three times the height of the glass and thread them through the holes you made in it.
Step 5. Place the glass upside down
Place the magnet on the bottom of the glass. Place another magnet from the inside, or more as needed to hold the first magnet in place.
Step 6. Strip the wires
Strip the ends of the wires at the base of the cup and slide them in to connect to the battery.
Step 7. Set up the wires that will hold the coil
Place the coil over the magnet and align the coil and support wires. Bend one of the wires attached to the base forward and the rest backward at the same height as the coil.
Step 8. Make a support
Continue bending the wire and support the coil so that there is as little space as possible between the wire and the magnet when hanging.
Step 9. Strip the supporting wires
Take a coil and scrape off any insulation on one of the support wires. On the other wire, remove only half of the insulation so that it touches the support when the coil is closest to the magnet. If you want to tweak the stripping, you can simply apply a new coat with a permanent marker (applying a coat with a permanent marker is very important as it breaks the magnetic field and stops the coil from spinning).
Step 10. Connect the battery and test the motor
Secure the battery with adhesive tape so that the corresponding end of the wire touches the positive and negative edges of the battery. Minor adjustments may be needed.
You can make a more complex motor called DC Motor with Switch,
- If you use thin wire and high current, the wire can get very hot!
- If a child is doing the project, take care to provide the necessary adult supervision to avoid accidents.