Introduction: DIY Spin Art Machine With Speed Control Via Common Emitter Circuit

About: I like things

This is an art spinner machine which is a turn table platform that spins paper and creates really cool patterns when paint or markers are applied to it. Check out the video for a neat demo and the build process.

January is a month of Birthdays and celebration! I was inspired to build this art spinner toy for my nieces up coming birthdays.

I built this out of an old computer (or power supply) BLDC fan and a cake container lid that I got from GoodWill a long time ago. The BLDC fan would serve as the spin table and the cake container lid would serve as a splatter shield and housing. The cake container had a hole in it from a previous experiment so I mounted the BLDC fan on a circular piece of wood and glued it to the bottom of the cake container to patch up the hole.

I wanted speed control to control the rate of how fast the turntable would spin, not so much that it was necessary but simply so I can play with a transistor circuit and use up some parts I acquired from a liquidated Radio Shack. The speed control circuit is a very rudimentary common emitter amplifier circuit using a NPN transtor. The bias is controlled by a 5k potentiometer and a 1k is to protect the potentiometer from burning up. Everything is powered from a 12V wall adapter (which I hoarded).

Step 1: Step 1: Refer to Schematic

For this project you will need:

  • Cake container (just the lid)
  • 12V BLDC fan
  • 1k Resistor
  • 5K potentiometer
  • NPN BJT power transistor (4 amp or more)
  • DC barrel connector
  • DC barrel jack
  • 12V AC power adapter
  • wood
  • cardboard
  • plastic bottle
  • hot glue
  • soldering iron
  • wire

Step 2: Wire Electronics Together

  1. Solder potentiometer to NPN transistor taking careful not of pinout
  2. Solder 1k to potentiometer
  3. Solder BLDC fan to appropriate pins on the potentiometer circuit
  4. Solder +12V and Gnd wires to the circuit
  5. Wire barrel jack to the 12V and Gnd wires
  6. Connect DC power and test speed control of fan

Step 3: Prep the Spin Art Machine Housing

  1. If the cake container does not have a flat top, cut a circular hole out of the center
  2. cut out a wood disc the same diameter as the hole in the cake container
  3. mount the BLDC fan to the wooden disk
  4. drill a hole in the wooden disk so a pin can be placed through in order to lock the rotor of the fan
  5. glue the wooden disk to the cake container so the fan is in the middle of the cake container

Step 4: Glue a Bottle Cap to the Fan

  1. Cut off the top of a plastic bottle
  2. Glue the top of the bottle (plus cap) to the axis of the BLDC fan (ensure it is well centered)
  3. After the glue is dry, Unscrew the bottle cap and save this

Step 5: Make and Assemble Turn Table

  1. Cut out a cardboard disk that is smaller than the cake container
  2. glue the bottle cap to the center of the cardboard disk
  3. attach the cardboard disk to the BLDC fan via the bottle cap (lock the rotor)

Step 6: Have Fun

Give the art spinner a whirl and try it out!

Tape a piece of paper to the cardboard turntable.

Use markers. Use paint. Have fun!