Suggestions for small motors for an art project?

Howdy Folks, I'm doing an art piece that will require many small motors and know nothing about them or even where to start looking.

What I'm thinking is something similar to a clock that will spin 3-4 roundish cast paper layers (one nests inside the other) on the same axis but at different speeds and maybe different directions. Initially I had thought about using small battery operated clocks but I need something with more options.

Each layer will be lightweight (made of paper) and the speeds will be relatively slow.

Since I may need about 30 of them I'd prefer them to be inexpensive. And, since I'm new to this area of knowledge I need them to be relatively simple.

Grateful for any suggestions! Thank you in advance.

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Sounds like you are looking for small DC gear motors.

Gear motors are slow and DC motors are easy to reverse just switch the wires.

Bangood has some as cheep as $3

leelu9 (author)  Josehf Murchison8 months ago

Josehf, Thank you for your recommendation. The website you recommended looks like it has TONs of stuff to browse through! Cheers.

BangGood was a sponsor for one of the contests here at Instructables. I bought a few things from them I could not get anywhere else and the prices are good.


Amazing site....

I have gotten a few things from them, the prices are good even better than Amazon.

iceng8 months ago

Try something like this lampshade arrangement,

It can be lit inside.

Each motor can be individually direction and speed.

There is no limit how many concentric cylinders you want to use.

As always click the pic to see the whole image.

leelu9 (author)  iceng8 months ago

iceng, Thank you for this ... I will look into these. I especially like the "lit from inside" idea as it's something I've been considering. Cheers!

Maker Saga8 months ago

You could use N20 geared motors from Ebay. They come in a variety of rotation speeds (rpm), and you can switch the rotation direction by switching the polarity of the power input. There are also similar geared non n20 motors that use different voltages. Keep in mind varying the voltage and input power to the motors will change the rotation speed rate. A decent price to pay for an n20 motor is $1.00 to $3.00 US Dollars. Keep in mind shipping could take up to 50 days in some cases.

leelu9 (author)  Maker Saga8 months ago

Maker, thank you for your answer, I'll check these out!

Jack A Lopez8 months ago

I think using one motor for each moving thing, i.e. 30 moving things requires 30 motors, is kind of a naive approach. It ignores the fact that moving things can move other moving things.

You know: belts, pulleys. You can put more than one mechanical load on a shaft.

In the bad, old days, they used to build factories filled with machines, all of them driven by a single prime mover. The Wikipedia article for, "Line shaft" has some pictures of this.

leelu9 (author)  Jack A Lopez8 months ago

Jack ... I *am* naive unfortunately in that this is my first foray into using motors ... but you do have a good point, especially in the context of the idea behind my art piece! Thanks so much for your input.