Introduction: Ultrasonic Array

Picture of Ultrasonic Array

In this project we will show you how to build a phased-array controller and a flat array of 8x8 elements. These systems can be used for acoustic levitation, haptic feedback or directional speakers.

This is quite a complex project so I would recommend a little bit of knowledge on ultrasonics, computer science and electronics.

Do not forget to check the other Instructables for more information

More detailed information in our open paper:

All the detailed steps are in the attached video.

Step 1: Gather the Components

The source code is available here:

You will also find the STL files for the 3D printed arrays and the AI files for the laser-cut arrays.

The PCB files for manufacturing are also there here I recommend to use PCB Shopper to look for a cheap manufacturer. The dimensions of the board are 50.8mm by 67.31mm and it has 4 layers. It would be a good idea to order an stencil if you do not want to solder the components by hand.

The BOM can be found here.

Step 2: Assemble the Driver Board

Picture of Assemble the Driver Board

You can solder by hand, or use solder paste and a reflow oven. I am not the most proficient SMD solderer, there are lots of goods tutorials on the Internet.

The code for the Arduino Mega is here

Step 3: Assembling a 8x8 Flat Array

Picture of Assembling a 8x8 Flat Array

You can find how to mark the polarity of the transducer in the previous Instructable In that Instructables there is also a guide to buy transducers for a reasonable price.

The components can be found here

Step 4: Single-sided Levitation

Picture of Single-sided Levitation

I used a 2mm styrofoam particle and a metallic grid to place it in the trap.

The base of the array is laser-cut: link to github

The simulation file is here:

Step 5: Standing-wave Levitation

Picture of Standing-wave Levitation

With this array the trapping strength is greater so it is possible to levitate liquids.

The base of the array is laser cut: link

and the simulation file is here

Step 6: Haptic Feedback

Picture of Haptic Feedback

When the focal point is modulated at 200Hz it is noticeable at our skin.

The base of the array is 3d-printed: link
and the simulation file is here

Step 7: Directional Speaker

Picture of Directional Speaker

I used this audio amplifier TDA7492P but anything that you can find will probably do the job.

* This is just a quick way of getting a directional speaker, the sound quality is not great and it is not very powerful. I am working on a dedicated directional speaker that will be released soon.


WenbinL (author)2018-01-21

hi asier,I want to detect the phase situation, without any input.When I run 3D Acoustic the following error, I change how to solve?


ShubhamJ12 (author)2018-01-14

Hi Asier, thanks for sharing this Amazing project !!! I made Acoustic Levitator and it is working perfectly!!

Now I want to make 'Single-sided Levitation'. I have already ordered 100 pieces of 16mm 40kHz transmitters from Manorshi(MSO-A1640H12T). can I use this transducer for Single-sided Levitation?

Asier Marzo (author)ShubhamJ122018-01-15

It is hard to make a flat single-sided levitator with 16mm diameter transducers. It is much easier to use them in a bowl configuration

ShubhamJ12 (author)Asier Marzo2018-01-15

ohh.. but I wanted to make Single-sided Levitator.So I will have to order 10mm transducers..

Asier Marzo (author)ShubhamJ122018-01-15

The bowl is single-sided and simple to assemble. The Ultrasonic Array is a little bit hard, I recommend some experience with electronics before starting it. In any case, good luck.

ThingEngineer (author)2017-12-25

Another awesome demonstration in sound, wonderful job!

Jakub_Nagy (author)2017-12-21

What's the price of the standing wave levitator?

Asier Marzo (author)Jakub_Nagy2017-12-21

Hard to say. The driver is around 30£, the arudino MEGA clone is 14£. The acrylic and glue for the standing wave is nothing (3£ aprox) but 60 transducers are going to cost anything from 30£ to 60£.

If you want a simpler standing-wave levitator you can check the other instructables , a guy put a kit with all the components for 70$.

Jakub_Nagy (author)Asier Marzo2017-12-21

I already have acoustic levitator built and I'm satisfied with it and also my budget is little drained, so I don't want to build this I'm just wondering. Is this also more powerfull than TinyLev? And also you say that bigLev can lift solids up to 6g, so how much weight can TinyLev and this ultrasonic aray lift?

I started ordering components before the kit was available so I got it for like 110$.

Asier Marzo (author)Jakub_Nagy2017-12-22

This new setup has less strength than the others, it is designed to move the particles in 3D rather than levitating heavy objects. It is mainly for research purposes.

If TinyLev is well-made it can reach 2.6g/cm^3 with quite a lot of voltage, it is easy to achieve 1.6g/cm^3 without forcing the setup too much. Check Figure 4. Bear in mind that the excitation signal is double of the input voltage.

bob8898 (author)2017-12-21

What software are you using in step three in this picture?

Asier Marzo (author)bob88982017-12-21

Can be found at AcousticField3D in the paper there are more insights about how it works:


RobotsMaking (author)2017-12-18

Do these speakers work too?

Asier Marzo (author)RobotsMaking2017-12-18

They are like 5cm diameter and do not output much power. I have tried them in the past and although they are quite wideband their output power is like 20 times less than the regular ultrasonic transducers.

RobotsMaking (author)Asier Marzo2017-12-18

so they will not work?

Asier Marzo (author)RobotsMaking2017-12-18

not at all. I have never managed to use those for levitation.

mfornaso (author)2017-12-18

Hi Azier.

Thanks for sharing your interesting project!

I see vendors are offering ultrasonic transducers in pairs (tx-rx). I suspect they are pretty much the same. Are you using only transmitters, or do you use the rx-marked transducers as if they are also transmitters?

Thank you.

Asier Marzo (author)mfornaso2017-12-18

Hard to say man. In all the brands that I have tried emitters and receivers are the same. In this instructables you have a list of potential providers. At least to manorshi and ningbo you can ask for all transmitters. Best.

About This Instructable




Bio: Build your own cutting-edge devices coming directly from the research lab. Ultrasonics, electromagnetism and more. Researcher at Bristol University interested in Ultrasound and in general ... More »
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