Chaos( Iron Man 2) Swinging Stick( Pendulum Sticks) Perpetual Motion




Introduction: Chaos( Iron Man 2) Swinging Stick( Pendulum Sticks) Perpetual Motion

About: Curious... Creative

This is my first ever instructable. So sorry in advance for my bad English and guide me if I have any error as I haven't proof read this instructable. This DIY guide is for making perpetual motion swinging stick. This is one kind of pendulum, which uses a very low amount of energy for continuous motion. This instructable is for DIYers, which do not have expensive tools and willing to make something good by hand work. You need to have some knowledge of hacksaw plate cutting, use of soldering, abrasive paper etc. Voila, you know these things! Then you absolutely gonna love to create this.
Check out this video of Chaos Swinging sticks working...
Working Video
Let me first introduce you with some basic conception and details.

The swinging stick is a sophisticated museum-grade sculpture that appears to effortlessly defy the laws of physics and gravity. Watch as the silent, hypnotic motion of the arms entrances and removes you from all distractions.
Featured in Hollywood blockbuster
The movie as Iron Man 2 and in museums, hotels, offices and shops all around the world, the Swinging Sticks is the must have product for the design conscious consumer.

The Swinging Sticks was created in 1996 by two Germans who spent years perfecting the engineering and mechanics.

The chaos stick(The name I loved the most) is based on the chaos theory, the branch of mathematics that deals with complex systems whose behavior is highly sensitive to slight changes in conditions so that small alterations can give rise to strikingly great consequences. Here, the same thing will happen, a slight change in the air affects the stick and hence change its movement. To bring continuous motion electrical energy is used. By providing potential energy to the coil for the movement against gravity stick can run for longer time. The ideal time for Battery cell is around 3 months. For reducing this life we can eliminate LED bulb and extend battery life about further 1 month.

The model that I am going to produce is a kinematic sculpture, which runs on negligible electromotive force provided by electrical energy to run against gravitational force.

So now let's begin the building of Chaos Swinging sticks or whatever you want to call it.

...First things first...
This swinging stick is considered as very precious and expensive as it is patented by Check yourself, it is almost same product except for hanging portion)

So at starting stage of this project, I didn't even know how to give it motion but after a lot of searches, I finally found the way to give it oscillating motion and after that cost for building these would be around $4 (₹250)

Things to collect or buy for structure:
(From hardware store and your store room)

1a.Wooden sheet from scrap or buy one (Thickness of sheet needs to be around 5mm.) around 30x30Cm

1b.Sunmica for better look as well as saving time(optional) 20x20Cm

2. Thick waterproof paper or plastic paper(For supporting coil)

3.Aluminum tube of ⅓Inch ø (0.9Cm OD) and around 60Cm ( 58 Cm to be precise) in length.(For swinging sticks)

4.Bearing 693zz (any cheap bearing will work prefer to buy low cost instead of high standard)
(OD8mm ID3mm Bore 4mm)

5.Fevicol MR or SH(For adhesion of wood and sun mica)

6.Paper tape (For temporary joint and support)

7.Plastic tape (For alignment of bearing)

8.Copper wire 28 Guage around 50 Grams (For creating coil)

9.5 to7 mm Plastic tube piece 5 to 10mm in length (For core of winding)
(You can adjust proper dimension by using tape)

10.Araldite( For adhesion of Aluminium Tube)

Things to buy from the Electronic store:

1.PCB board 2x3 Inch (buy bigger one than cut it, after circuit creation)

2.Capacitor 3300uF 25v

3.Capacitor 1000uF 25v

4.Transistor 2N2222 (or 2N3904)

5.Transistor 2N3906

6.Any simple Diode or Zener diode( both will work as we are working on extremely small voltage)

7.Resistor 100k

8.Potentiometer 1Meg.( Preset for controlling overall coil volts)

9.LED 3Volt (yellow or white or any)

10.Red, blue, yellow, black wires

11.Solder wire

12.Soldering flux

13.Wax(optional)( For protecting back side of PCB)

Things to search for and buy:

1.Clay or use and throw pen (The pen which has no refill and solid from inside) or pencil

2.Neodymium magnet 8mmx5mm 2 piece

3.Neodymium magnet 4mmx2mm 1piece(you can recover it from any waste handsfree)

4.Small magnet (which can pass aluminum tube)(From waste or take another one from waste handsfree)

5.Steel ROD (Any rod having lower than 3mm diameter will work just use tape to fill gap between bearing inside and rod)

6. small aluminum or Metal sheet (For battery shell creation)

1.Soldering iron (For soldering on PCB)

2.Scale (For length and width measurements)

3.Hacksaw plate(For cutting wood)

4.Pliers( For bending rod)

5.Nail( For carving hole in sun mica)(Thick Needle will work)

6.Screwdriver( for preset setting)

7.Aluminum tube cutter(Hacksaw plate will work)

8.Abrasive paper (File)


10. Permanent marker

11. Mechanical Compass( We use to make circles.)

Check out for exact dimensions and real 3D view if you have any CAD software or PC platform to surf.

That is Enough... Now... ... ...?
Let's get started.

Step 1: The Making of the Coil

Take the copper wire, plastic paper or waterproof paper, scissors, small plastic tube, Fevikwik, paper tape, permanent marker, scale etc.
Mark 1Cm in length of tube using marker, if you have small one tube piece then put something inside to get handling support for winding the coil easily.

Cut two pieces of plastic paper by marking around 5.5cm. Remember size does not matter here (Take larger then 3.8Cm) as we will throw this out after making the coil. But the bigger you make the more trouble you will have while winding by hand.

Take the middle of paper by crossing each opposite side and make a hole of around 4mm( take the size of the tube diameter) by using scissors or thread cutter.

Put tube inside the hole and each paper on each mark.

Cut the paper tape in 1cm width and around 6cm length.( The inside diameter should be around 6mm after sticking paper tape, so the length of paper tape depends upon the tube diameter you have) Stick the tape around tube in-between the papers.

Put the end of the wire from inside to the outside of the paper as shown in a picture.Use Fevikwik to make proper joint do not leave space between paper and tape. You may need to make the small hole to bring coil wire outside from core. Do not hesitate if you need to do that. Remember not to use more Fevikwik as we are going to make the temporary joint.

Make 38mm Diameter, which we have to fill using wire. Start taking the turn by hand or by any small dc motor, if you have but for dc motor you will need to handle the coil by the motor and it needs proper arrangements.

It will take around 15min. If you do it by hand. Try to put the wire in sequence, so coil will fill equally in length.

Use varnish or Fevikwik to make coils every turn stronger. Use Fevikwik or varnish after some layer of wire, so the wire can not jump out when we try to remove plastic paper. For varnish, you have to wait 3 to 4 days for drying coil. That's why I prefer Fevikwik.Yes, you can use Fevikwik for making coil stronger.

If you have taken 50Gms wire than the wind all wire, otherwise remember that 38mm limit. Overall around 780 to 900 turn of wire is enough to create 8 to 10 Ohm resistance.

Take two wires end of the coil and remove coating by abrasive paper or burning it. In the burning method, you may over burn it so I would prefer abrasive paper method.

>If you have Multimeter then measure the resistance of the coil and check contact to wire if it is working or not.(Resistance should be near to 9 Ohm)
>If you don't have Multimeter don't we have another trick to check if coil it working or not. Take the magnet, put it over the coil and directly connect coil wires to 3Volt battery anode(-)and cathode(+).(1.5V x 2)
(Side of wire doesn't matter here.)
If magnetic flux generated in the coil, then you can fill it by trying to hover the magnet over the coil.

So seems like coil worked for you.
Now time to remove plastic paper and fully unleash coil. Try to remove opposite side cover where no wire is coming out of the coil. prefer to do it by hand or by another piece of hard plastic paper. Be Careful with core wire, which is coming outside from the core. Do not break it.(We need coil extremely near to magnet to utilize energy more efficiently. So, cut extra portion of the tube by hot knife or by hacksaw.

Voila, the coil is ready to use.
Now let's make Swinging sticks

Step 2: The Swinging Stick Creation

Things and tools needed for this step:
Aluminum tube 9mm
Steel rod 2 to 3 mm(I have taken one from my bicycle) (spoke)
Use and throw pen
Bearing 693zz 2piece
Refill (which fits into bearing and out of rod)(optional)
Araldite(Use toothpick or compass for holding Araldite compound)
permanent marker
Hacksaw Plate
Thread cutter
Needle(Last step)
Wire cutter(Last step)

Cut Aluminium tube in 17.2 to 18cm (16cm+1.2to2cm) to make base Column. Here 16cm will go upside of the box top and 2 cm will be given for support and it will come inside the box.

Cut hanging portion from the tube of around 33mm in length.

Make the base column's one end curved for the fitting of hanging portion on it. Use plier and Abrasive paper to do that.

Join hanging portion to the base column tube using Fevikwik.

Cut the small piece from plastic pen using a hacksaw.
Make it smooth using Abrasive paper.

Cut 13 to 15 mm length steel rod using a hacksaw.

Push rod inside the pen hole near to 5mm.

Put pen inside the Hanger tube any fix it using Fevikwik and Araldite.

Cut Aluminium tube of 21cm and also put the point of Mark at 3mm from starting and Mark in perimeter at 6.5cm.

Cut another Aluminium tube of 15 cm with Mark in perimeter at 6cm.

In 21cm tube where we marked at 6.5cm scratch that surface by hacksaw and male hole out of it using scissor or Thread cutter as shown in the picture. Do the same thing in the 15cm tube at 6cm. Use plier and Thread cutter frequently to make hole faster.If you have the drill then you can use it by increasing Drill bit operations up to 8mm.

In 21cm tube where we marked at 3mm the opposite side from where we created the hole for bearing, make the small hole of 2to3mm or as per rod diameter using Thread cutter or scissor.

Cut steel Rod around 15mm using the hacksaw and put this inside the 3mm hole we have created.Also, cut a small portion of the pen which can fit into tube horizontally and rod and pen's hole can align. Or you can simply use Araldite to fix the rod in 3mm tube hole.

Put bearing in the 8mm hole in both tube and use the plier to press the bearing inside the hole. check If bearings sides are parallel to the axis of the tube.Use Araldite to fix it permanently. Take precautions while doing this and Araldite will not get inside the bearing.

Let Araldite dry for about 3 to 4 hours.

Until then let's make woodbox.

Step 3: Wood Box Creation(Base)

For these step you will need following things:
Wood sheet, Sunmica sheet, Coil, Aluminum tube, Araldite, Fevicol, Fevikwik, Pliers, Fevicol, Hacksaw plate, Permanent marker, Scale, Abrasive paper, compass or Diamond tip, needle

Gather Wood, hacksaw and permanent marker.

Mark the given scale on the wood sheet and cut it by hacksaw plate.

Now take sun mica and cut it by the reference to the wood sheet as shown.
Use compass or Diamond tip to mark and then band it in the smooth direction to split the sunmica.

Take reference of the sides for marking the top side of the box and split it.

Now you will have 5 pieces of sunmica and 3 pieces of wood.

Adhere sunmica pieces with wood by using Fevicol and Fevikwik as shown in the picture. Use paper tape to support sunmica and wood Temporary.

Let it dry for some time then remove the paper tape.

Mark middle lower of the back side of the box as shown in the picture. Use Aluminum tube and Mark its diameter in under the box on the wood side. Mark this diameter on the outside on the sunmica.

9.Use pliers and needle to create a hole in that portion.

Prepare near to 10ml of Araldite by mixing two compounds.(You can use toothpick or compass) Prepare this compound on the waste paper or anything which is not needed in future as these compound will stick to the surface no matter how hard you try to remove it.

Mark in the Centre of the sunmica under the box. Put some Araldite compound there and put some compound on the one side of the coil.

Take Aluminum rod, which was previously cut and prepared. Put it in the hole we have created. The space between Top of the Tube and top of the box should be near to 157mm.(We can adjust about 5mm by bending rod so don't worry about that.)

Adhere coil in the Centre of the sunmica under the box and let it dry for two to three hours. ( For drying in less time put the box under direct sunlight.)

For LED we have to create the hole between coil and aluminum tube. Do it by hammering needle.

So now the box is ready.

Last thing remaining to build, it is the smallest and easier than any other things in these instructable. We will create the Electronic circuit in next step.

Step 4: Electronic Circuit Creation

Proceed with caution:
If you don't know anything about soldering then Google it and take safety training for it first.
For this step you will need following items and tools:
2N2222 or 2N3904
100 Kohm
Preset 1Meg.
>Any simple Diode or Zener Diode
>Various colored wires
Solder machine
Solder wire
Solder flux
pliers to hold the wire
compass (For setting and removing Excessive soldering)

Solder the Potentiometer and LED with colored wires as we will put it separately from the main PCB for flexibility.
Put transistors, capacitors, resistor, Diode, potentiometer wires, one black wire to battery(-), coil and LED(+), second red wire for LED(-) and coil, third yellow wire for joining battery(+) and in PCB as shown in the figure. Check circuit diagram to figure out connections. If you still have any trouble figuring out connections then just let me know in comments.
Solder the wires and all chips using soldering machine, wire, and flux.
(If you do not know how to solder tell your friend, who knows how to solder, to complete this job for you.)
After doing that remove Excessive solder and if you have wax to prevent Wire breakage melt wax on the PCB soldering part(side).
Will use soldering to join coil, battery and LED wires in the final step.

Wait this was not the final step, the last step is to Correcting things and finishing project by giving it the final touch.

So, proceed to next and the last step.

Step 5: The Corrections and Final Touch Up

Take remaining things and start final touch up and troubleshooting:-
1. Setup circuit voltage by putting the magnet on it and set power that is Enough to continue magnet motion in the case as shown in a picture. Don't forget to connect 3volt the batteries to the wire which was mentioned in circuit making step.

2. Put LED into the hole from the downside to the upside and fix it by Fevikwik.

3. (Optional: -You can use electric tape together batteries and wire instead of doing this.)
Make cover from wood by cutting the scale measurements as given for battery cell. Make keyway near to 5mm of about 1mm depth in all piece as shown. Cut Aluminum sheet to set into this keyway while joining the box by Fevicol (support wood by Paper tape) and leave it for drying. Don't forgot to check if batteries are going in or not.

Fix this cover inside the box as shown.
Solder the battery wires and all remaining wire as per circuit.

Make cover plate to cover bottom of the box by taking the dimensions as shown in picture.(Measure your dimensions and cut it as it may differ from mine.)

Fix it on the box and keep preset out side by providing small space for it.(As my blue preset was failed I changed it with new one.)

7. (The complex part.)
Use one 8mm neodymium magnet for each tube. one for Larger tube larger length section end and other for smaller tube smaller section end. Use magnet collected from the garbage or handsfree for Larger tubes section, which collides with smaller tubes smaller sections end. Put magnet like smaller tubes go far if near to smaller magnet. To prevent direct contact with bearing first put some small portion of pen or clay inside the tube. Then let one magnet go in and other sticking out aide to the stick. Joint bigger tubes bearing with hanging rod and Smaller tubes bearing with rod on bigger tubes.
If you can not Understand this then don't worry I will explain if briefly later by creating video. Cut pieces of small pen and Use these pieces for Balancing the stick. Remember the lower and upper part of larger tube have no more than 5gms difference considering weight of smaller tube hanging on the other side of larger tube. Also same thing applies to the smaller tube. as in steady condition both the larger part of the tube should be towards gravitational force.
8.The distance between coil and 8mm magnet on the bigger tube should not be more than 3mm.

Wow, You have completed the Swining stick don't forgot to share your review and let me know if you have any confusion in any step.

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    28 Discussions


    4 weeks ago

    bro loved ur product .. plz upload the 3d design for dimentioned again


    Question 5 weeks ago on Step 5

    Hi! If I don't want it to have any lights can i just skip the LEDx?


    Reply 5 weeks ago

    Yes, it will be the same circuit, good thing is that your battery will last longer without LED. Set potentiometer resistance accordingly.


    10 months ago

    Bro how does this circuit detect when a magnet is on top of it without any sensor. Please can you post some tips because I tried it multiple times and the electromagnet was so weak if did next to nothing. I did follow all your instructions


    Answer 10 months ago

    When the magnet passes through the Coil. Coil detects the resistance which goes back to transistor and transistor then changes loop current sides. So basically when magnet comes near to the coil. North side of coil becomes south( change of polarity) South》《South and that's why magnet tries to go far from coil. 2 transistor acts as a switch to change polarity of coil when magnet comes near to the coil.


    Question 10 months ago

    Or just post a video on the circuit design.
    Thank you

    Anand Parab
    Anand Parab

    1 year ago

    Great Job...
    Why don't you upload video of Circuit design...will be more helpfull..


    2 years ago

    As per your bellow photo, what is the length of 3mm rod from start of the pipe.
    In your photo it is shown far away from start of the pipe..


    Reply 1 year ago

    Keep 3 to 5 mm distance from end and drill the hole by marking at the both ends. Mean 3mm + your rods radius= your mark. Drill the rod diameter after.


    1 year ago

    I am trying to build this. The only question I have is the potentiometer has 3 prongs and only 2 connections in the circuit. Which do I use? I tried middle and one side and I've got nothin working in my setup


    Reply 1 year ago

    Try the middle one and the other side try to change preset value mean increase or decrease resistance. What I did is setting preset to half and try all configurations. I didn't know anything about different types of potentiometer and wasted around 4 as some have input in the middle and others have input on sides. Although I had two types one with blue cap (closed) and other one is open type. Close one have voltage input in middle, which worked for me.
    Sorry for late reply...
    I certainly didn't had any access to the internet after boarding for a flight, was supposed to answer on the same day as I read it when you did a comment.


    2 years ago

    Hi Purvak, I followed you circuit exactly. Even though my coil is generating magnetic field and repelling the magnet but my LED light is constantly ON without the magnet as well. Any suggestion?


    Reply 1 year ago

    You've gone over circuit voltage try to set preset to higher resistance and that's it. If problem persist try to change the present as it may have lost ability of resistance.

    Kian Hocking
    Kian Hocking

    1 year ago

    Looks good and want to make one but I'm not entirely sure how it works except from the fact that magnets repel each other. How does it repel the stick on its way up and not on its way down the loop?


    2 years ago

    Hi, thanks for the great post. I read your explanations and I would like to make my own swinging sticks. But I have some questions:

    1) What's those hole and plastic piece on upper side of the hanger tube? You had not explained anything about it in your post?
    2) How, where and what for do we use the 4x2 magnet?
    3) What's the thickness of the sunmica you used? (1.2mm?)
    4) I don't understand "where" the magnet (collected from garbage) is being put in? Into smaller tube or longer tube? Or both (by splitting the magnet into 2 pieces). You're saying it should be put into longer tube but the picture shows that the magnet should be put into smaller tube?
    5) What's the length of the garbage magnet you use?
    6) And I don't understand the following part of your explanation:
    "Put magnet like smaller tubes go far if near to smaller magnet. To prevent direct contact with bearing first put some small portion of pen or clay inside the tube. Then let one magnet go in and other sticking out aide to the stick."
    Could you explain these part of explanation a little clearer?
    7) How long of the 8x5 magnets should be out from the sides of tubes?
    8) You're saying that the longer side of the longer tube has only one 8x5 magnet. But the picture shows that as if there is a plastic (pen) or metal (another magnet) under the 8x5 magnet?
    Is there any magnet on the short side of the longer tube?
    Is there any magnet on the long side of the smaller tube?


    Reply 2 years ago


    Hope your project is going well. Is it completed or you need some help. Let me know if you need any help.


    3 years ago

    7. (the complex part) with the magnet placement does have me confused. I wonder if you could post that video. Even a picture that had the magnets positioned alongside the tubes in their ultimate placement would be a great help.

    Thanks! Great Instructable!