“Disclaimer: This Instructable will not provide a straight forward way to build a big ferrofluid-display like our “Fetch”. That project is so big and expensive that anyone who want to build something similar will almost certainly have different design requirements than we did. Therefore we will instead focus what we’ve learned from building “Fetch”, which traps you should avoid, and which details you should pay the most attention to - as well as some tips and tricks for handling ferrofluid in general.
The team behind this project is currently discussing options for making a smaller, more affordable, ferrofluid-display for more realistic replication by hobbyists. When that work is done we will write a more detailed, step-by-step, Instructable and link to it here. To give a realistic perspective of the timeline we’re working by, it is unlikely that such a project will be done before the end of 2021. It’s developed entirely on a hobby basis by students at the University of Oslo.
All that being said: should you actually want to build “Fetch” yourself, all code and design-files are open source and available. It is a project in continuous development, so it is possible that technical details in this Instructable are already outdated when you read it. The main source of updated information will be Applied Procrastination on YouTube.
- Roughly 60ml EF-H1 Ferrofluid by FerroTec. We bought from this supplier.
- 252 Electromagnets. We used JSP-1515 from this supplier.
- 252 10mm M4 Screws. Example: AliExpress Affiliate Link
- 252 2-pin Connectors (both sides. Example: AliExpress Link
- 2 Acrylic sheets for laser cutting (can be replaced by aluminum sheet and CNC router)
- 10 of our custom printed circuit boards (PCBs). We are currently working on redesigning these to a version where 12 will be needed instead of 10. More info on our Hackaday.io page
- 1200W Server PSU. Example: AliExpress Affiliate link
- Power distribution board for the PS. Example: AliExpress Affiliate link
- 10xMolex-terminated (MiniFitJr) power cables (12 instead of 10 for new PCBs) Example: AliExpress Affiliate link
- Teensy 3.6
- Adafruit DS3231 RTC Module
- Some sheets of plywood
- Some wood-screws and wood glue
- Some 2mm glass sheets
- Some 6mm glass sheets
- Epoxy glue
- Kosher salt
- Distilled water
- Some wires”