Magnetic Toys

Electromagnetic Levitation Module 

Get a similar inexpensive simple module here:

From EngineDIY: BUY NOW: Mag Lev Kit

Electromagnetic Levitation Module: this bare bones engineered control system uses an adjustable electromagnet (the copper coil) and a Hall effect magnetic field sensor (embedded in the center of the the coil) to levitate a neodymium magnet and keep it from falling. A feedback loop informed by the Hall effect sensors allows fine tuning of the magnetic field to exactly balance the pull of gravity, all powered by a 12 power supply. Once trapped the magnet can also rotate, creating a nice way to display a small piece of kinetic illusion art hanging from a chain. A no frills design that shows the fairly simple circuit and components of such a levitation feedback system. 

Chaotic Pendulum Kinetic Art

These vintage pieces are often available on eBay. 
From Ebay: Search NOW Vintage Otagiri Kinetic Art 

Chaotic Pendulum Kinetic Art: the motion of the skateboarder is that of a pendulum influenced by magnets in the skateboard and the mirrored base- chaotic motion (in the technical sense) is the result. When set into motion the resulting path taken by the figure will never be same as the last. Made in the 1970s by Otagiri. 

Diamagnetic Racetrack

Simiar diamagnetic levitation kits are available here: 
From eBay: BUY NOW Diamagnetic Levitation Kit

Diamagnetic Racetrack: thin pyrolytic graphite sheets levitate above powerful magnets. A set of five concentric neodymium magnets, alternating N-S-N-S-N comprise the racetrack and form the trapping field. Diamagnetic substances develop temporary repulsive magnetic fields only when they are in the presence of a magnetic field from some other source. Graphite of this sort is the most diamagnetic substance known.


Magnetic Top and Snake

Available in a variety of styles: 
From eBay: BUY NOW Magnetic Top and Snake 
 

Magnetic Top and Snake: the magnetic tipped top stays on the perimeter of the steel snake, but since the top has much more mass, the snake moves the most, slithering to and fro. This vintage top and snake came as a give away toy for kids flying on Western Airlines- a kinetic art toy that has been around for decades and takes advantage of Newton's 3rd law and rotational kinetic energy.

Magnetic Tip Spinning Top

Available from my friends at Grand Illusions Ltd.: 
From Grand Illusions: BUY NOW 
Magnetic Top with Spiral & Snake 

Also on Etsy: BUY NOW: Magnetic Top with Spiral

Magnetic Tip Spinning Top: the top stays on the perimeter of the steel plate spiral- but since the top is more massive, the spiral moves with curious motion. This kinetic art toy takes advantage of Newton's 3rd law and rotational kinetic energy.

Magnetic Top & Snake

Available from my friends at Grand Illusions Ltd.: 
From Grand Illusions: BUY NOW 
Magnetic Top with Spiral & Snake 

Also on Etsy: BUY NOW: Magnetic Top with Spiral

Magnetic Top & Snake: the magnetized tip connects to a metal cutout in the shape of a snake, but since the top is more massive, the metal snake is the object that moves creating this curious motion. This kinetic art toy takes advantage of Newton's 3rd law and rotational kinetic energy. Swipe to see the top interact with a spiral cutout.


Tesla's Egg of Columbus Replica

Get an amazing reproduction here:
From engineDIY: BUY NOW: Tesla's Egg of Columbus

Get an aluminum phiTOP "egg" here: BUY NOW phiTOP 

Tesla’s Egg of Columbus Replica: an egg of brass mysteriously spins and stands upright in this museum quality replica of Tesla’s famous demonstration from the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago that first showcased the principles behind wireless power transfer and his AC induction motor. The base has no moving parts- instead special copper windings (very similar to Tesla’s original design) form four electromagnet coils on a circular steel core, and a special circuit supplies each with AC currents in such a way that a rotating magnetic field is created. This rotating magnetic field from the coils under the concave glass induces electric eddy currents to flow in the metallic brass egg. These currents within the conducting metal of the egg then create their own magnetic field, which by Lenz’s law oppose the initial fields underneath and pushes the egg to spin. Finally, the oblong egg stands up vertically (when spun with sufficient rotational velocity) due to physics similar to that of the tippe-top. Flipping the switch reverses the rotation direction induced by the coils.

Spriranetics Magnetic Rotor Toy

This produce was sold in the 1990s. The famous Whee-Lo type toys are still available- some light up: 
From Amazon: BUY NOW: Magnetic Rotor Toys

Vintage Whee-Lo toys on eBay- play with a piece of history! 
From eBay: BUY NOW Vintage Whee-Lo 

Spiranetics Kinetic Toy: a rotor rolls while magnetically connected to a helical track in this toy sold by The Nature Company in the 1990s. The clever geometry allows two modes of operation- swipe to see mode 2. With the right timing, the rotor speed can be ramped up by just rotating the helix in place- or to get it to higher rotation speeds the helix can come out of the base as demonstrated. This device is a fancy version of the Whee-Lo type toys (swipe twice to see vintage 1970 version) with physics of angular momentum, magnets, and combinations of rotational and translational kinetic energy. 

Bismuth Diamagnetic Levitation

Get these 99.9% pure element Bi 83 cubes here:
From Luciteria: BUY NOW: Bismuth Element Cube

Many combinations of strong neodymium magnets will work, here are the versions I used:
From Amazon: BUY NOW: Cylindrical Neodymium Magnet
From eBay: BUY NOW: Tiny Neodymium Cube Magnets

Bismuth levitation artwork and demonstrations available here: 
From Etsy- Element 83: BUY NOW Magnetic Levitation Sculptures 

Bismuth Diamagnetic Levitation: Element 83 (bismuth) is the most diamagnetic of the elements*. Here a small neodymium magnet is made to float between two 99% pure bismuth 10mm cubes which are held in precise configuration by friction with the parallel walls of the acrylic assembly I made. Diamagnetic substances only have magnetic fields of their own when placed in an external magnetic field from another source- here the tiny cube magnet supplies the field. Diamagnetic fields are pretty weak though so a powerful cylindrical neodymium magnet sits above the cubes and is adjusted to help lift the tiny cube magnet against gravity. *except for a special form of carbon known as pyrolytic graphite.


The HoverPen Collection

The HoverPen Collection-- sleek writing pens trapped against gravity:

From Amazon: BUY NOW: The HoverPen 1.0 and 2.0

From Novium: Order NOW: The Hoverpen 3.0

The HoverPen: version 1.0 (vertical), version 2.0 (inclined 23.5°), and version 3.0 (inclined 60°!) sleek and elegant writing pens trapped against gravity by magnetic fields via precision engineered placement of neodymium magnets in their bases.

Solenoid Magnetic Accelerator

Get this and similar devices here:

From EngineDIY: BUY NOW: Steel Ball Cyclotron Accelerator

Solenoid Magnetic Accelerator: six electromagnet coils push a steel ball to terminal velocity. Each coil is triggered to briefly energized only when an infrared led and sensor circuit detects the presence of the ball. The steel ball’s speed seems limited by the strength of the temporary magnetic field and the friction it encounters from the track. This ring configuration demonstrates proof of concept for a means of accelerating steel marbles and I hope to incorporate these coils in other marble run designs I will share in the future. Uses a 12V power supply.