Introduction: Spinning Water Sculpture

About: Basic Mechanics is an educational organisation that teaches basic mechanics.

This Instructable shows you how to make a spinning water sculpture.

My motor was working with just one 1.5 V battery. However, you might need two 1.5 V batteries for your 3 V motor because there are many types of motors out there.


Parts: 3 V motor, 1.5 V battery - 2, blue tack or plasticine, masking tape, packing foam or wood, 2 mm metal wire, insulated wires, old high power wire, plastic propeller or piece of cardboard/thin packaging material.

Tools: pliers, scissors.

Optional parts: 1.5 V AA battery harness (might not work with AAA batteries), 1 mm metal wire, rubber bands.

Optional tools: wire stripper.

Step 1: Make the Base

It's easy to make a mess in your room when working with packing foam. I used masking tape to keep the packaging foam in one piece.

Step 2: Make the Wings

I repeated the procedure for the wings.

I attached the wings with metal wire because masking tape falls apart in the water. Even plumbing/water tape might eventually lose stickiness.

Step 3: Attach Propellers

You might not need this step if your propeller fits motor rotor. However, some propellers have very big holes and some motor rotors are very thin. Thus you will need to remove the insulation of high power wire and insert it into a motor with pliers as shown in the photo. Another advantage of using a high power wire insulation is that you might not need to order a propeller online. You can just make a propeller from a piece of cardboard.

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Step 4: Testing

You can see that the boat is very fast with the plastic propeller. However, the boat was a lot slower with recycled propeller.

Step 5: Modification to Original Design

After finishing the first design I decided to find out what would happen if I add two more motors.

You will need to make two more propellers (one is in the photo).

Step 6: Attach Two Additional Motors

Step 7: Testing Second Sculpture

The battery was slightly discharged. I later charged the battery to find that the sculpture was not so much spinning in circles but mostly moving around the sink. This is because each of the three motors did not have equal trust output. Probably I should purchase two more exactly similar propellers because I only had one propeller. There was also a lack of weight balance. The boat trust and weight balance inequality was a minor issue with the first design and became a major problem in the second design.

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