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The objectives of this project were (1) to make an object float, by means of magnetic levitation and controlled by an Arduino Nano and (2) documenting the whole process allowing other people to build one on their own.

There were some requirements, too. First, I wanted an object of a certain size and weight, floating in a very stable way (no jitter, no oscillations,…). Additionally, safety was a concern (the main magnet has a 24 Volt and 25 Watts rating, producing quite some heat).

And last but not least: the end result had to be ‘nice’, earning its place in my living room !

I finally came up with an 11 cm (4.3”) magnetically levitated earth globe, not only floating but rotating at a fixed pace as well, illuminated by two digitally controlled led strips and nicely fitted inside a wooden lantern.

The movie below explains it better than a thousand words … check it out !

This is a list of the most important components I used
- a wooden lantern (of course). Internal dimensions: 180 x 180 x 300 mm minimum
- wooden laths and planks
- spacers, nuts and bolts
- plexiglass 3 mm (you will have to cut it yourself)
- heatsink 1.85°C/W, 100 x 88 x 35mm
- electromagnet ITS-MS-7040-24VDC: this is a fairly strong electromagnet weighing 800 grams, and rated at 1200 Newton holding force, 24 V DC, 24 Watt
- 3D printed ‘globe rotation hall sensor assembly’ (link to STL file provided in this instructable)
- 3D printed spider to hold the six rotation coils (link to STL file provided in this instructable)
- Empty plastic spools to create coils
- Block Enamel-coated copper wire 0.28 mm
- Adafruit RGB ledstrip APA102 60 led 1 meter
- Honeywell hall effect position sensor SS495AAnalog Devices
- temperature sensor TMP36Neodymium magnet circular 10 mm height 5 mm
- Neodymium magnet cube 20 x 20 x 20 mm
- DC to DC (step down) convertor Velleman VMA404
- Arduino Nano R3PCB designed with Autodesk Fusion 360 (Schematic and Gerber files attached to this instructable)
- a lot of electrical components (PCB BOM attached to this instructable)
- Wall power supply 24 Volt 36 Watt DC plug 2.1 x 5.5x 11 mm

Software, tools and online services
- Autodesk Fusion 360: PCB design. Autodesk has a free version of their software, and it’s working great
- Seeed studio Fusion PCB manufacturing. You will need to upload the Gerber files (zip file attached) when placing your order. PCB will be delivered, ready for assembly.
- Highly recommended: oscilloscope, e.g. Tektronix TBS1052B
- 3D printer
- soldering station
- The usual tools like tweezers, pliers, multimeter …”

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