Acoustic Levitator

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Introduction: Acoustic Levitator

About: Build your own cutting-edge devices coming directly from UpnaLab. UpnaLab is the future interactive devices lab working with Ultrasonics, electromagnetism, lasers and more.

Use acoustic waves to hold in mid-air samples such as water, ants or tiny electric components. This technology has been previously restricted to a couple of research labs but now you can make it at your home.

If you want more background and details you can check our Open Access papers:

Do not forget to watch the attached video. The first video is the instructions whereas the second one is a fantastic video by Physics Girl explaining the physics behind it.

If you want to build other devices coming directly from the research lab subscribe or get in touch: Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/asiermarzo

Twitter: @AsierMarzo

Step 1: Gather the Components

Kit

Now you can get all the components in this kit:

https://www.makerfabs.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=508

https://www.tindie.com/products/Makerfabs/acoustic-levitator-kit/

https://www.robotshop.com/de/de/acoustic-levitator-kit.html

Individual components

We present a list of the necessary components. I have tried to place links for different countries. However, the same parts can be found all around the world, some useful websites are http://www.findchips.com/ http://www.dx.com/ http://www.findchips.com/ http://www.lightinthebox.com/ http://www.findchips.com/

  • 72x 10mm 40kHz transducers. Manorshi provides MSO-P1040H07T at a very good price, minimum order is 500 but they will ship with less at a higher price. Also Ningbo has good ones FBULS1007P-T
  • 1x 3D-printed TinyLev support. (STL file provided in Step 2)

Necessary Tools

  • 3D printer -> you can use an online service
  • Soldering Iron, Tin and Flux.
  • Hot-glue gun
  • Multimeter
  • Cable Peeler
  • Screwdriver and Pliers.
  • Drill
  • Oscilloscope with two probes (optional) -> you can get one for less than 50£ http://amzn.eu/5ey6ty2

Step 2: 3D Print the Base

3D print the base for the levitator. We used a 0.4mm nozzle and brim but no support. It should be possible to print it in one piece. A 0.6mm nozzle also provides good results.

Included in this step, you have the first version (v0 14 x 7.86 x 8.31cm). Or you can use the next version with some reinforcement in the joints (v1 15.6 x 7.86 x 8.54cm).

  • You may also want to print the fantastic stand from Jeff Bearer
  • Or you can also use a full case to make more robust and look awesome. by Jakub_Nagy

Step 3: Clean the Base

You may need to use a file to clean the edges around the levitator and clean the sockets. A Dremel will do the job faster. You may also want to drill a hole in the centre of each side, this will allow to insert a camera, a needle or evacuate liquids.

Step 4: Mark Polarity (using a Multimeter)

If you have a multimeter and some copper tape, this method is quite simple to perform.

DO NO TRUST THE POLARITY MARKINGS FROM THE MANUFACTURER!!!

Step 5: Mark Polarity (Using an Arduino)

The easiest way to mark the polarity is to use the Arduino itself. This method does not require an oscilloscope or to poke the transducers inside.

Install the code from this section into the Arduino. Connect one wire to A0 and another wire to GND.

While the Arduino is connected to the PC, run the Serial Plotter (Tools->Serial Plotter) and be sure that the speed is set to 115200.

When a transducer is connected between A0 and GND the signal will do one of the following things:

  • Signal goes down or remains at 0. Then, mark the leg connected to GND.
  • Signal goes up or remains at 1023. Then, Mark the leg connected to A0.
  • It is important to not touch the transducers leg or the wires while doing that or the values will reset.

If it is still not possible to detect the polarity, poke the inside of the transducer with a thin wire and check if the spike goes up or down (like in the obsolete method). Spike up -> mark A0 leg, spike down -> mark GND.

Step 6: Mark Polarity (Obsolete Method)

The transducers have polarity and it is important to glue them in the base oriented with the same polarity. Do not trust the marks made by the manufacturer, they are not reliable at all. The easiest way is to connect a transducer to an oscilloscope and poke the inside with a thin wire. If the spike goes up, mark the leg connected to the positive part of the probe. If the spike goes down, mark the leg connected to ground. You can use two stripes of copper to make this process faster. After all, you will need to mark 72 transducers.

Step 7: Glue the Transducers

Apply a little bit of hot glue on the side of the socket (if you apply glue near the holes for the legs, the legs will be covered in glue when you push the transducers through), push the transducer in and apply some pressure with your fingers to make it lay as flat as possible in the socket.

It is very important that all the marked legs are pointing towards the centre of the device (where the hole is).

Step 8: Wire the Transducers

Wrap the exposed wire in six concentric rings around the legs of the transducers.

Step 9: Solder

Solder the pins to the wires.

Step 10: Prepare 4 Long Wires

Now, we need to make the wires that connect the transducers to the driver board.

2 red wires and 2 black wires. They need to be around 1 meter. In one side there is only the tip exposed. On the other side there are 3 segments exposed, in the video it is shown how this can be done.

The side with 3 segments will go into the transducers rings and the side with only the tip will go into the driver board.

Step 11: Solder Long Wires

Solder the long wires to the transducers. The side with the 3 segments exposed goes into the transducers, one segment for each ring. Each side of the levitator has a black and a red wire. You can use flux and tweezers to facilitate the soldering. Tin the other sides of the wires (the side that only has the tip exposed)

Step 12: Solder Arduino Headers

Solder the headers of the Arduino, backwards if possible.

Step 13: Program the Arduino

Upload the code provided in this step into the Arduino Nano.

Step 14: Glue Arduino and Driver

Glue the Arduino Nano and the Driver into the base. It is important to use the positions and orientations of the figures.

Step 15: Create the DC Supply

You will need to solder the DC female connector to the Switch and leave two wires prepared to supply power to the driver board.

Step 16: Glue DC and Wiring

Glue the DC connector and the switch.

Connect the red wire from the supply into the 12V input of the driver.

Connect the ground from the supply into the middle connector of the driver, also insert a male-female jumper there.

Insert a male-female jumper into the 5V input of the Driver.

Connect the male-female jumpers that we connected to the driver into ground and 5V of the Arduino.

Connect 4 female jumpers from the Arduino (A0,A1,A2,A3) into the inputs of the driver (IN1,IN2,IN3,IN4).

Connect a female-male jumper into ground of the Arduino, this jumper can be connected to D2, D3 or D4 to move the particles up, down or reset them to their original position.

Connect D10 to D11 with a jumper. This is vital for the synchronised emission of the signals.

Step 17: Test the Driver

When powered (always between 6V and 12V) the output signals of the driver (IN1&IN2 or IN3&IN4) should output a 40kHz square wave of twice the voltage provided to the circuit.

Step 18: Test for Shortcuts

Test that there are no shortcuts between the red and black wires of the levitator.

Step 19: Test the Transducers

Connect the levitator to the driver board and switch it on (always provide between 6V and 12V). For testing, 6V will be enough.

You will need two probes with transducers connected (pay attention to connect the marked leg into the positive part of the probe).

Transducers of the same array (side) should be in phase.

You can correct mistakes by cutting the exposed wire and bridging with wires.

Step 20: Test Optimum Resonance

Connecting the wires as shown in the right should provide optimum performance and minimum power consumption. Otherwise, swap the red and black wire.

Step 21: Secure the Wires and Glue the Legs

Apply some hot-glue to glue the wires to the levitator for mechanical support.

You can now glue the legs.

Step 22: Levitating Solids

Provide up to 10V. You can use a tweezer to place the particles. Also a metallic grid or thin fabric (acoustically transparent) will be useful since the particles can be placed there and then introduced into the levitator.

Step 23: Levitating Liquids

It is necessary to adjust the voltage to the type of liquid. Too high and the droplets will pop, too low and they will fall. For water around 9V is enough and for alcohol around 8V.

It is important to place a thin fabric on the bottom to absorb falling droplets, they can damage the transducers.

Place a particle to have a guidance of where to inject the droplets.

A syringe with a bent needle and the tip removed is the best option.

Step 24: BIGLev (optional Device)

If you want a more powerful levitator you can use the 16mm transducers. The process is exactly the same but you will need to 3d-print the levitator base in 2 part and glue them together (one half is attached in this step). This levitator can take up to 20V in the driver board (40Vpp) and levitate solids of up to 6g/cm3 but it is not as easy to use for liquids.

You can use instead 25kHz transducers, they are weaker but would allow to levitate larger objects. For that use the simplified code attached, and modify it to match your frequency.

Step 25: Mid-Lev (Optional Device)

If you want to use 16mm diameter transducers but BIGLev is too big, you can use MidLev. It uses 16mm diameter transducers but it will fit most of the printers.

Step 26: MiniLev (Optional Ultra Low-budget Device)

This solution only requieres an Arduino Nano and two transducers. You can desolder the transducers from a cheap Range Finder HC-SR04.

Install the provided Arduino Code from Step 12. Connect pin D10 to D11. Connect one transducer to A0 and A1; and another transducer to A2 and A3.

Put the transducers opposite to each other to levitate a particle between them, it is easier to place the particle with a metallic grid.

You can use this 3D-printed case designed by IB-as.

You can also use the simplified code by morlok.

Make It Fly! Contest 2017

First Prize in the
Make It Fly! Contest 2017

57 People Made This Project!

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737 Comments

0
lim jeong
lim jeong

Question 4 weeks ago

hi, i'm trying to make a your levitating kit use 25Khz sensor.
if i want to use a 25khz sensor, what i have to do exchange the aduino coding?

0
UpnaLab
UpnaLab

Answer 4 weeks ago

Take the simple Signal40kHz.ino and change 199 to 318

0
lim jeong
lim jeong

Reply 4 weeks ago

Thank you, i will try to make a BigLev for 25khz.

1
eskilkveim
eskilkveim

Question 3 months ago

Hi, i´m trying to uploade the programs to the Nano but having issues. Computer doesn´t find the arduino. Managed to upload the program to test polarity, but only when i chose the old bootloader for the ATmega328P. Now I can´t find it anymore. Is it possible that that i have troubles because of the old bootloader?

0
eskilkveim
eskilkveim

Answer 6 weeks ago

I got a new arduino, and it worked great. So problem solved.

0
edwardcho234
edwardcho234

Question 7 weeks ago

Am I able to change the frequency and the amplitude of the soundwaves with this kit? If so, how can I do it?

0
UpnaLab
UpnaLab

Answer 7 weeks ago

Amplitude can be changed by changing the input voltage. Frequency, you can do it with the simplified code but be aware that the emitters are very narrowband so will only work at the operation freq.

0
EdgarMar
EdgarMar

Question 2 months ago

hola soy nuevo en la realización de este proyecto y tengo una duda, todos los transductores deben ser de transmición o tambien ocupamos receptores? y si es que se ocupan los 2 tipos de transductores, donde va cada uno? gracias

0
UpnaLab
UpnaLab

Answer 8 weeks ago

Normalmente son iguales así que puedes ponerlos intercalados para que estén bien disitribuidos. Acúerdate de marcarles la polaridad.

2
Rommy123
Rommy123

Question 3 months ago

Hello, I am trying to build the Acoustic Lock version of the Tiny Lev and I would need a hint on how to adapt the code to make that possible. This my first contact with the Arduino, so I am a bit lost.
Thank you in advance.

0
dlogan365
dlogan365

Answer 2 months ago

I have the same objective, if you make any progress let me know, I will be happy to do the same

1
javiernicolasamado
javiernicolasamado

3 months ago

Excellent work.
I've made the miniLev, but with no results. I've desoldered the transducers from the HC-SR0 (they are marked with T and I've checked polarity), but it can't levitate a tiny telgopor piece.
How can i check that the transducers are working just fine?
I've 3d printed this (the nanoLev: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3617801) instead the one you posted. The distance is 13mm

0
krunal_weld
krunal_weld

Question 3 months ago

Hello sir,
Can you help me with "How much weight can be lifted and at what power consumption??" Calculation formulas.If I want to make big lev which can lift upto 500gms or so then what will be the design parameters and how much power consumption will be there in that case?

1
brythedude
brythedude

Question 5 months ago

Hi, I'm trying to build the MiniLev, but I don't have a working Arduino nano. Does the provided code work on the Uno?

0
UpnaLab
UpnaLab

Answer 4 months ago

Yep

0
19phoboss98
19phoboss98

Question 4 months ago

Hello again, is there a way to control the pressure on a point in the app? more importantly is it possible to create separate points with high and low pressure?
EDIT: I was wondering where in the code would I have to change so I can induce a "negative" pressure on a point where instead of pulling things into it it repels them

0
19phoboss98
19phoboss98

Question 5 months ago

Hi, Is it possible to get things to move around faster? I tried sequencing an array in the netbeans sim to move a particle across as fast as possible but I'm not to sure how to measure the speed.

0
HeribertoL2
HeribertoL2

Question 1 year ago on Step 17

Greetings, I am doing this project with my son and the frequency at the driver is 39khz but the voltage is .285v can some one help? the power supply that came with the kit the measured output is 9v. Do we need to change the power supply? frequency seems to be right but the voltage is not 6V.

WhatsApp Image 2020-02-08 at 10.33.45 PM.jpegWhatsApp Image 2020-02-08 at 10.33.21 PM.jpeg
0
HeribertoL2
HeribertoL2

Answer 1 year ago

Upgraded the power supply to 12 volt and voltage at driver went up to 6v

0
matthewumoh
matthewumoh

Reply 5 months ago

I’m getting the same problem. Did you change the DC barrel power jack?