DIY Levitating Plant!

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About: This is me!

In this Instructables I will walk you through the steps to make your very own Levitating Planter! I found a kickstarter for a product called "FLYTE" and I loved the design. You can get one for your self here. Therefore, I tried making my own! I designed it in Fusion 360, 3D printed the planter, and laser cut the base. It turned out pretty great! Let me show you how I made it:

Step 1: Gather the Parts

First of all, you need to gather all the parts used in this project. Here is a list of the materials and tools I used:

Materials:

Tools:

  • 3D printer (or you could get someone to print it for you at shapeways or 3d hubs)
  • Laser Cutter
  • Razor Knife
  • Screwdriver

Step 2: Design It!

I used the photos I found online from their site, and imported them into fusion 360. I also found the dimensions for the base at their site, so I scaled the photo to match the real product.

Then, I started designing based on the photos. It took a few hours, but it turned out great.

After I had designed the planter, I designed the box. For that I used a fantastic online site called MakerCase.

I have published all of the files free to download at Thingiverse.

Link here: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3286792

Step 3: Printing and Testing!

After you have printed out all the parts (I recommend 0.15 in layer hight with 10% infill for the Planter and 0.2 with 20% infill for the base parts) it's time to test it! Take the magnet and drop it into the planter. It should be a snug fit, so it stays in place, but I recommend using some drops of super glue to really secure it.

Then, it's over to the magnetic base. Solder the red positive wire to the middle pin of the barrel jack, and the black negative wire to the negative pin. (This is just temporarily, it needs to come of later) (pictures coming)

Plug it all in, and test!

I recommend to use cardboard or an other soft material between the base and the planter when testing, so the magnet doesn't brake if the planter falls down.

Take the planter and slowly lower it in the middle of the magnetic base. You should feel the planter trying to push out to the sides, but find a spot in the middle where it holds still. Continue to lower it until the planter supports it self.

It's now floating!

Step 4: Make the Box!

Now that you have a working levitating planter, it's time to make a cool box for it! I used the laser cutter at my local makerspace to cut out the parts. (Files on Thingiverse as well)

When I was done cutting, I started to assemble the box. It's just to puzzle and glue them together. Don't glue the buttom on though! Leave it to dry overnight.

Next step is to add some vinyl to make it look like it's a solid block of wood! I cut out pieces in the correct size, and then sticked it to the box. I also used a hairdryer to remove some bubbles and make it really smooth.

Step 5: Fixing the Magnetic Base to the Box

On the back panel there are 4 holes that should line up with the 4 holes in the printed base. Insert 8 M3 nuts, 4 bottom and 4 in the top (The green lines in the photo). Then, screw 4 long Mg bolts through the bottom of the laser cut box and through into the buttom of the printed part.

Continue to fasten the bolts until the printed part is a few millimeters over the back plate.

Next, place the magnetic base on top, lining up the four holes with the four holes on top. Then, take the other printed part and line up the four holes. Use 4 more M3 bolts and screw them trough the holes.

The last thing to do is to unsolder the barrel jack, and insert it into the hole in the box. Then you could solder the wires back on. Now, you could fit the back to the rest of the box!

The last thing to do is to undo the screws at the bottom until the top of the magnetic base touches the top of the box.

Step 6: Add Your Plant!

The very last thing to do, is to add a plant! I got mine from Ikea, and it fits pretty well. Remember to not make it too heavy though. Except from that, you are free to choose whatever plant you want.

Step 7: Done!

You should now have a working levitating planter! How cool isn't that!? Show it to friends and family, and I am sure they are going to be amazed. If you make your own, or have any questions, please leave a comment below!

3 People Made This Project!

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36 Discussions

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ncostis

Question 3 months ago

Which is the proper way to place the magnet in the pot? The only way to fit in is from below.
It snags only the small part in.
Is that right? because I cannot not see it in the pictures

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GrzegorzP7

4 months ago

I try stabilizing the planter in the middle and the forces of the magnet are jerking side to side and the LEDs on the magnet are dying out and blinking like it's going into overcurrent protection...

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gurrzAlexanderG159

Reply 4 months ago

I hat this problem for a while, but now its working.
When I got it everything worked fine. Then suddenly it does not hold in position.

After a few tries, and a few cool downs(this thing is getting really hot after a while when it is not working correctly) it worked. Maybe you need to hold it in the right position for a while.

I think this might be "calibrated", and when it has its values set incorrectly, it needs some time until the values correct themselves.


But it could also be that you parts are not correctly configured at all. I think I can remember that there are two small blue things on the bottom where you can change x/y values with a screwdriver. But there is no warranty that this will work either.

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gallaugher

5 months ago on Step 7

This looks fantastic. Congratulations! I've got the parts & am 3D printing. Is it possible that the posted .SVG is blank? I can't seem to see anything when opened in Illustrator, Preview, or even a Browser. Thanks (I've sent you coffee, too).

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ananordsgallaugher

Reply 5 months ago

Thank you so much! I replied to you on the "buy me a coffee" site, but I am going to post parts of the reply here as well, if anyone else is wondering about the same thing:

"I looked through it, and it looks like the program I used did something weird when I downloaded my file. It still has the parts, but it is in the middle with a lot of blank space around it. If you zoom far enough out, and look in the middle, you should be able to see the parts. When I laser cut my parts on the laser cutter at my local maker-space, the program they used there (I don't remember exactly what program) had no problem reading it. I am not sure if other programs has problems reading it, but send me a message or a mail if it does, and I could see if I could fix it."

Thank you so much for the coffee!

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GrzegorzP7

Question 5 months ago

I'm extremely confused on the necessity of the soldering but I know I'm messing up something. The magnet which was instructed for me the buy has a convenient clip to plug in the barrel jack into. That being said my magnets aren't repelling each other, they are attracted to each other.

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ananordsGrzegorzP7

Answer 5 months ago

I am not quite sure that I understand your question. When it doesn't have power, the magnets should be attracted to each other. Even when it has power, they are being attracted. You just have to find the sweet spot in the middle, where it's repelling.

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4146452040

5 months ago on Step 1

please note that the magnetic module you linked to has changed and now come with LEDs on and does not fit your 3printed parts. Can you modify for the LEDs or suggest another module?

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ananords4146452040

Reply 5 months ago

Hi! As far as I know, the LEDs can be snapped of pretty easily. If you look closely, you could see that it has a dotted line between the PCB to the LEDs and the PCB to the main module. Meaning that you could just use some pliers to remove the LEDs.

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Metalfist

5 months ago

Nice! Now I am wondering if you could make it without using electricity by using the poles of a normal magnet? :)

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meteorincaMetalfist

Reply 5 months ago

The stable levitation of magnets is forbidden by Earnshaw's theorem, which states
that no stationary object made of magnets in a fixed configuration can be held in
stable equilibrium by any combination of static magnetic or gravitational forces,.
Earnshaw's theorem can be viewed as a consequence of the Maxwell equations, which
do not allow the magnitude of a magnetic field in a free space to possess a maximum,
as required for stable equilibrium.

More info here: http://www.its.caltech.edu/~atomic/display/displaycase.htm

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Victor HeidKMetalfist

Reply 5 months ago

The spin of the tabletop spinner makes it work, in a simple manner, the electric magnet is making the base polarities change positions constantly, stabilizing the levitating object, and in the case of the video, the spin of the object makes it be stable (for a while)

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cvissa

5 months ago

Awesome! Will definitely try to make this at some point, thank you for the instructable!

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BaliSurfCamp

5 months ago

Wow this would make an amazing centre piece for the dinner table

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Proto-Pasta

5 months ago

WOW! Great idea! By far the coolest planter we've seen.

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AshishT62

5 months ago

Amazing!
Can we make a long strip of this so that each pot is in a line and this system is kept on a window?

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DGW

5 months ago

Nice job! This is good to know these things are available. I immediately started wondering if I could think of a way to slowly rotate the magnetic field by slowly varying the current to each of 4 coils. This would make the plant slowly turn giving it light on all sides. Plus it would add more mystery to the display and attract the eye. I hope someone can think of an easy way to do this. Probably could be done with an Arduino mini controlling 4 FETs. How much current does the thing draw in total? What voltage is used?

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Arbormakes

6 months ago

I really like the idea, but I cannot build it because I don't own a 3d printer and the 3d services in my city are either too expensive or too far away.
Can it be made with a small plastic pot?