kinetic Art

Rheoscopic Planet 

Avalable in five colors! Get one here:

From Mr. Sci (Science Factory): Rheoscopic Planet

Rheoscopic Planet: this example of fluid flow kinetic art uses rheoscopic fluid encased in flexible bubble of plastic to reveal the intricate motion of turbulence. A suspension of tiny flat mica crystals tend to align themselves at the boundaries where the fluid is moving comparatively faster or slower, making the typically invisible flow patterns visible. Another unique science toy from @mrscisciencefactory

CineSpinner Hula Santa

CineSpinner animation kinetic art availabe here:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: CineSpinner Santa

From Etsy: BUY NOW: CineSpinner (many animations)

CineSpinner Hula Santa: ole St. Nick showing off his hooping skills in this barrier-grid type animation using Moire╠ü pattern effects of constructive and deconstructive interference. One of many CineSpinner type kinetic animation loops by Scanimation creator, artist, and author Rufus Butler Seder. 

Spinning Snowflakes Convection Candle

Get this convection candle here: 
From Amazon: BUY NOW Spinning Kinetic Candles 

Other convection turbines here on eBay: 
From eBay: BUY NOW Spinning Convection Candles 

Spinning Snowflakes Convection Candle: with chimney effect! This holiday candle is a simple turbine heat engine where rotational motion results from the convection of hot air from the candle flame of a tea light, which is also surrounded by a glass cylinder which enhances the convective flow via the chimney effect. A quick investigation finds the rotor spins twice as fast with the glass cylinder in place. All moving parts of thin stainless steel with some assembly required. Energy transfer: chemical bonds- to heat- to kinetic energy of the rising air- to rotational kinetic energy of the turbine and snowflakes.


Hoberman Orbiter

These are no longer in production but there is one currently available on eBay: 
From eBay: Search NOW Hoberman Orbiter 

Hoberman Spheres are still in production-- see this link for details

Hoberman Orbiter: vintage kinetic sculpture based on the isokinetic structure of the Hoberman Sphere. Here the sphere is opened by centripetal acceleration provided by a motor in the base. The motor is programmed to repeatedly spin for 10 seconds and turn off for 5 seconds. The structure expands with the help of the colored masses that provide additional angular momentum and then contracts as friction slows the spin rate

EDC Gyroscope

Precision machined stainless steel gyroscopic spinners avaialbe here:

From mechforce.com: BUY NOW: EDC Gyroscope

EDC Gyroscope: a metal rotator spins freely within a gimbal arrangement and features precision bearings used throughout (1 ball bearing in core plus 4 micro-bearings in the intermediate ring). Spin up the center gyro and conservation of angular momentum will keep its axis of rotation pointing in a constant direction even as the outer rings are rotated to and fro. Precision machined from stainless steel- the ultimate spinner!

In-Feed Google 2


Uplift 2.0

This amazing device now available here: 

From ArtofPlay: BUY NOW: Uplift 2.0

Uplift 2.0: light powered kinetic sculpture with mesmerizing apparent translational motion due to rotation of a spiral element under glass and mounted on precision bearings. The rotation is propelled silently by a simple and elegant bidirectional motor- a disk shaped copper coil which interacts with an array of six neodymium magnets and powered by a single solar cell. The included hand held magnet allows one to select the direction of flow. A stunning creation for any windowsill by artist and inventor Tom Lawton. 

eyeMo Linear Zoetrope

Get one here: 
From Amazon: BUY NOW: eyeMo Linear Zoetrope 

Click here for similar itmes: Zoetropes

eyeMo Linear Zoetrope: the physics and psychophysics of motion animation- still images flashed in rapid succession produce the illusion of motion through persistence of vision. This unique version uses an array of lenses, and the images are flashed one by one as the series of lenses moves past the eye. When the image flash rate is above the flicker fusion frequency (approximately 16Hz) we perceive fluid motion- the basis for all movies and TV.

Kalliroscope with Heating Element Stand

Vintage (1970s) Kalliroscopes are sometimes available here: 
From eBay: Search NOW Kalliroscopes 

Click this link for the best Kalliroscope currently in production and available.

Kalliroscope with Heating Element Stand: visualizing the invisible- convection currents. This wonderful vintage device was invented and produced by artist Paul Matisse in the 1970s, where suspended microscopic flat crystals of guanine reflect light and allow visualization of the fluid's motion. This rheoscopic fluid is special in that the guanine crystals are the same density as the tetrachloroethylene liquid so the crystals never settle to the bottom making the fluid reactive to showing the slightest movement. Here the stand option (that was sold separately) has a resistive element in contact with the back of the kalliroscope which generates heat at about body temperature to establish these convection currents.


Pearlescent Metallic Lava Lamp

Get this metallic lava version here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW: Metallic Lava Lamp

From explOratorium store: BUY NOW: Metallic Lava Lamp

See aslo: Magnetic Ferrofluid Lava Lamp

The Lava Lamp: with new pearlescent metallic “lava”- kinetic art with an amazing amount of physics on display: convective heat flow, Archimedes principle, surface tension (note how the smaller blobs form into spheres), and immiscible liquids to name just some of the science behind this famous device. In this loop one can see shock waves ripple through the blobs as they detach, and as they recombine at the bottom. Manufactured by Mathmos and invented in 1963 by Edward Walker of Dorset, England. 

Rolling Ball Fountain

Find this and similar fountains here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW: Rolling Ball Fountain

Rolling Ball Fountain: this miniature kugel fountain features a glass sphere that sits on a socket of precisely similar shape, and is suspended on a very thin (less than half a mm) film of moving water which greatly reduces friction. The velocity of the water in the thin layer slows as it spreads out via a hole in the socket, and this hole is offset from the center so that the interaction with the water stream sets the ball spinning. A small pump provides the flow rate, and colorful LEDs illuminate the glass sphere to show off the rotation. Perhaps you’ve seen public art installations featuring giant granite spheres weighing tons and yet similarly suspended on a thin layer of flowing water. Physics principles involved here include viscosity and Reynold’s number, the Navier-Stokes equation, Bernoulli’s principle and the study of thin layer lubricants.

Fog Globe: Golden Gate Bridge

Get a fog globe here:

From eBay: BUY NOW: Fog Globe

Fog Globe: an ideal souvenir for a San Francisco winter- snow is very rare (1976 recoded one inch downtown) but prolonged fog marks the winter season. The “fog” in this globe consists of small glitter particles of uniform density that can be agitated into temporary suspension and then allowed to settle on the bottom giving the impression of dissipating fog. The particles settle out over the span of a couple minutes and at regular rate since they are fairly uniform and the drag force experienced by the particles depends on the size and weight of each.


Hoberman Actuator with Sphere

The Actuator mechanism is out of production but can still be found on eBay, comes with power supply, Expandagon kit, and connecotors that snap on to a Hoberman Spjere. 
From eBay: BUY NOW: Hoberman Actuator

The spheres are still in production and come in various sizes and colors: 
From Amazon: BUY NOW Hoberman Spheres 

Hoberman Actuator with Sphere: This actuator mechanism creates kinetic art out of a Hoberman sphere, designed to smoothly expand and contract the isokinentic structure. The Hoberman sphere itself is a special assembly of foldable linkages consisting of rigid bars and simple hinges is kinematically over constrained- motion can only occur along the radial direction and the movement of any hinge creates motion in all the joints. The engineering and physics behind deployable space structures!

3D Print Planetary Gearset

Similar 3D prints available as fidget toys here:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Gear Spinner Fidget Toy

Or print it yourself! (.stl files are available here):
From Thingverse:
Emmett Lalish Download: Gear Bearing 
Refined version featured here by Don Stewart Download: Honeycomb Gear Bearing 

3D Print Planetary Gearset: amazingly this gear set is printed assembled, with interlocking herringbone teeth. The gears will not come apart, in fact this design can only be accomplished by 3D printing the gears interlocked with each other. Designed and first printed by Emmett Lalish in 2013, and this version with refined precision and honeycomb by Don Stewart. 

Heart Gears

Get a nice 3D print made here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Heart Gears

Or print it yourself:
From Thingverse: Download Free: Heart Gears Print Files

Heart Gears: This 3D print is guaranteed to put your heart in a twist- comprised of eight bevel gears attached to an octahedron center block, with the axis of each gear oriented to the center of each face of the octahedron. Rotate any one gear 360 degrees and the heart shape will reform. Another amazing design by Emmett Lalish, first printed in 2014.


Dual Spiral Kinetic Art

Here are some available kinetic illusions that operate on the same principle: 
From Amazon: BUY NOW Spiral Spinner Illusion 
From eBay: BUY NOW Spiral Spinner Illusion 

Dual Spiral Kinetic Art: hanging by fishing line, thick gauge steel wire is shaped into connected helixes- a pair twisting clockwise and a single coiled counterclockwise. When spinning the rotational motion creates translational motion both upwards and downwards along the vertical direction, and also the striking illusion that the quartz sphere is climbing or descending.

Micro Mirror Interactive Art Memo Pad

My freind Tim Rowett over at Grand Illusions Ltd. has this item in stock:

From Grand Illusions Ltd: BUY NOW: Love/Hate Micro Mirror Art
Also availble in South Korea: BUY NOW: Love/Hate Micro Mirror Art

Micro Mirror Interactive Art: mirrors as pixels- the "love/hate" memo pad by Luycho. The displayed message is the product of 1280 tiny square mirrors (dimensions 2.0 x 2.5 mm), where each mirror is angled to reflect a specific part of the memo pad below. Alter the distribution of colors on the pad and the message on pixel array can change between the two options.

The eTOP

Get this and other beautifully crafted math themed tops here: 

Fropm Etsy: BUY NOW: The eTOP

The eTOP: an ellipsoid based on the famous Euler’s constant e, diameter 2” and thickness 2/e”- spinning magnets from the magnetic stirrer induce electric currents to flow in the copper eTOP- these currents then create their own magnetic field which opposes the magnets underneath and pushes the eTOP to spin, producing interesting motion and sound. Credit to astrophysicist Kenneth Brecher, the creator of the eTOP, PhiTOP, and this unique means of using Lenz’s Law to spin it up. This top stands up vertically (when spun with sufficient rotational velocity) due to physics similar to that of the tippe-top. The concave mirror keeps the top from wandering off of magnetic stirrer.