Picture of How to make a vibrating motor.
Sometimes you need a vibrating motor but just don't have a spare massager on hand to take apart. This usually leaves you with three options:

1. You can buy one online from your favorite electronics site (but this will cost you an arm and a leg).

2. You can take your chances with a massager from the Goodwill Store (but who knows where that has been).

3. Or if you have five minutes to spare, you can build your own.

Not liking to spend great deals of money or break out in strange rashes, I prefer option number 3.

Step 1: Go get stuff.

Picture of Go get stuff.
You will need:

- DC motor with a plastic gear attached to the shaft (easily found in tape players, VCRs, printers, etc.)
- An alligator clip
- Soldering iron
- Some solder
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mona77278 months ago


I am working on an invention and would like to know how to make the vibration move back and forth within a cylinder that is maybe 10 - 12 feet. Would it be possible for me to get the agitation for a lengthy pvc tube or other tube like apparatus?

And if you want you can even make that vibrating thingy into a block that would allow you to build any modular LEGO vibrating robot !!!

Instructables here: http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-build-your-Modular-Vibrating-Robot/
bf5man8 years ago
Or a cork, here's how i did it:

randofo (author)  bf5man8 years ago
Nice. Even simpler than my method.
Here's another simple method:
use the metal part of a screw terminal as shown in the picture. There are different sizes, so you can choose different weights or you can remove one screw for lighter vibrations. It works really well! I use these in adult toys I make for friends.
I like this method best !
I usually use the spinner from a CPU disk reader. They have the middle whole and three symmetrical holes about a half centimeter out. It works very well for vibrating beam robots.
With a cork you can adjust the vibration. Sweet!
knoxarama6 years ago
i stuck a piece of clay on the gear head and it worked just fine
although it could fly off and stick on the mirror like mine did (the clay ) lol
ethiran3 years ago
is this can be used for tamiya motors?

vishalapr4 years ago
This is soooo useful!
I was making a vibro bot and I needed a vibrating motor but couldn't get any in hand so I was wondering what to do and then I notice this instructable and then think! I had lots of spare motors so I made this and it works perfectly!
Thanks for sharing such and awesome tip!
don't you mean "roach" clip sorry for the spelling no sleep for 2 days
trying to be funny there but i would have never tthink that up
Drasa4 years ago
lol, melting the clip. Great 'ible!
prodo1235 years ago
Or you could hot-glue it.
Jodex prodo1234 years ago
I know - from experience - hot glue won't hold it well enough. Or at least with my motors, but that may depend on the motor's power.
prodo123 Jodex4 years ago
Overkill...but epoxy it on? :V or melt the gearhead with a hot glue gun and mold the clip in place?
Wade Tarzia8 years ago
How about an adjustable vibrating motor? Attach a large gear on the motor with holes drilled radially (make them balance on either side of course), then use a screw set into the holes -- the farther from the edge, the more vibration. You know, Instructables really makes me think -- before today, I never ever thought about how to make an adjustable vibrating motor; I don't know why this will be important to me someday, but I think it will; I have that confidence in The Ways The World Works, and to hell with the despair of Cold Chaos! (though I believe in that too).
just adjust the voltage with a variable resistor
That would work but would waste a lot of energy via heat, which won't happen with Pulse Width Modulation and such.
A potentiometer would work.
I am looking at the PWM circuits floating around. In the meantime, Sir Fix a Lot sent along an idea...old train transformers!
Now if someone could write an instructable on how to turn your bed into a vibrating bed like in cheap motels. LOL Pay timer optional. LOL I am sure you would need 4 of these one for each bed leg, or one for the center post running sycncronized with a standard 120 wall plug, and a switch of some kind. Is anyone up for the challange? LOL Probably better (no jail time required) and cheaper than stealing on from a motel as my friend wanted to. LOL Thanks.
josh10015 years ago
 u could have also shaved of some of the teeth form one side of the gear, it would look better. 
wildgorilla7 years ago
Help. Need instructions. Read that rats can lose weight by standing on a plate vibrating at 90 times/minute. Need to build a vibrating platform for my overweight daughter who has cerebral Buzz Platepalsy. Should have ability to vary vibrations. Thanks.
Hello Wildgorilla!
There's more than 2 years between your post and mine, but I hope this is still usefull:
Scientists have proven that the vibration plates that are used in gyms and sold commercially have no effect, or even are counter productive. You can read about that here: http://www.ergo-log.com/vibplate2.html
I understand you are talking about another frequency, I'm curious about how effective this is in humans.
Good luck!
randofo (author)  wildgorilla7 years ago
I'm not sure it would work for people..... but all you would need to make such a thing is a large motor with a weight on it and a 555 chip to pulse width modulate the motor and an h-bridge to keep the motor and 555 chip voltages seperate. You can probably find 555 timer kits and h-bridge kits online.
Thanks randofo.
beetn_chan6 years ago
is it possible to fix the vibrating motor in cuff to make a massager? Does the motor produces large amount of heat?
jesse996 years ago
how do you power this?
with a battery...
Th3Snip3r6 years ago
You could also take one of the motors from a PS2 controller. But just for this, its not really necessary especially at the controllers being $25 bucks. But I have a bunch of broken ones my buddies give me to hold onto for parts and things.
CanDo8 years ago
Neat, what times have you needed a vibrating motor?
I will try one for making a smooth bzzzz on the snare drum. I think it should work, however in my case the shaft should be small (ie shorter than the radius of the motor, so it doesn't touch the head of the snare) yet powerful. Any ideas?
I would use an old xbox controller's motor
PR22 CanDo8 years ago
sex toys
All sorts of uses -- sifting materials of dissimilar density, leveling your cake batter, getting bubbles out of resin-concrete-glue-etc. and more. Simple drawing circuits (there was a project on Make: that did this).
Yes! Your neighborhood archaeologist can use that! Fill screen, turn on motor, eat lunch, come back, and your glass beads, clovis points, and diamond-eyed idols are jingle-jangling there at the bottom of the screen.
Cool, I see... something to keep in mind then.
Give one in a case to your girlfriend, she'll know what to do with it.
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