Introduction: Engineer's Supercapacitor Santa

About: I am an author and a maker. My current project is Santa's Shop. I'm working on a science fiction type book--more later. @EngineerRigsby

This supercapacitor powered, 3d printed, motorized rotating ornament has Engineer written all over it. Rudolph, riding in an airplane, pulls Santa round and round in this "not available in stores" device.

Step 1:

Print the various pieces and acquire the electrical and mechanical parts.

(1) 30 rpm 6 volt dc micro gear motor

(2) Servo motor extension cables


(1) 350 farad 2.7 volt capacitor

(1) digital voltmeter

(1) constant current bench power supply


(1) Aa battery and holder

Step 2:

Paint Santa and the Reindeer.

Santa and the reindeer plane were created using clay by my wife, Annelle. They were scanned with a MakerBot Digitizer and combined with 123d designs using TinkerCad.

Annelle did the painting.

Step 3:

Remove the female end of a servo extension cable and solder two of the wires to the gear motor.

Insert the motor in the motor holder.

Glue the motor holder to the "ring with base."

Glue the "shaft connector" to the "flying bar."

Insert the shaft connector onto the motor shaft.

Step 4:

Remove the male end of a servo extension cable and connect two wires to the supercapacitor (or battery).

Plug the power cable and motor cables together and the ornament will run.

The supercapacitor (though it has a lot of farads) is rated for .4 watthours of energy storage (that's less than half of what an AAA battery stores). The capacitor can be recharged in a minute or less (depending on the power supply attached) and can be recharged over 500,000 times.

The ornament will run for eight to ten hours on a single charge.