How to Build a High Speed Centrifuge




Introduction: How to Build a High Speed Centrifuge

About: We are STORM (Secret Tribe Of Revolutionary Maniacs). Our goal is to progress the exploration of economically friendly modern science.

In this instructable you will learn how to build a centrifuge. It took me and Sequence (yes that's a code name) a total of 6 hours to figure out, keep in mind most of that was due to our ignorance. My camera takes mediocre pictures so prepare yourselves… for mediocre pictures (until the end).

Step 1: Materials

Four 90 degree brackets

Four pieces of 3-foot long wood

One 4.5-foot piece of wood

One 1X1 foot piece of wood

One strong motor (we got ours from a blender)

Screws and several nuts as well as some washers

One cord that can plug into the wall (we got ours from a microwave, but any wall outlet adapter would do)

Some long wire (we used magnet wire from an old CRT TV)

One toggle switch

Lots of hot glue

Some sort of epoxy

Step 2: Its All About the Base

Take the 4 pieces of 3-foot wood and arrange them in X shape, this will be the base.

Step 3: The Brackets

Next, arrange the 90-degree brackets so that they connect all the pieces of wood and screw them in.

Step 4: The Motor

Now attach the motor positioned over the center and screw it in.

Take your 1X1 foot piece of wood and drill a hole in the center. Position it directly in the center of the base, we cut ours in the shape of a circle, but it doesn’t matter. Now screw it onto the base.

Step 5: The Electrical

Note, be careful around the motor while it's plugged in, Sequence accidentally licked it and it shocked him.

Wire the 2 wires coming out of the motor to 2 long wires and connect those to the cord that plugs into the wall. I know it's confusing, just look at the pictures. Also, put the toggle switch in there, once again look at the pictures.

Now carve a place out to mount the switch.

Glue the switch in using hot glue and cover it with a piece of bike tube. The bike tube was added to protect from electric shock and make it look better.

Step 6: Check for Mistakes.

I suggest plugging it in to test the electrical, if it doesn't work I wish you luck finding the problem. If it looks like this then you built it right, but if it's this blurry then you have been hit in the head.

Step 7: There's No Such Thing As Too Much Epoxy.

This next part happened at 11:00 PM and caused a lot of frustration. I think Sequence may have cried, it was hard to see through the tears. But due to our tireless experimentation, we figured it out.

Take a hacksaw and cut the top off of one of those tall threaded cap-like things (just look at the picture)

Now remove the head of a screw that fits into the cap thing.

This is done so the cap thing is no longer a cap thing but a threaded tube thing. This will be epoxied onto the output shaft of the motor so the decapitated screw can be screwed into the tube thing, later this will be what attaches the spinny thing. This may seem like a lot of work but it's done because the output shaft of the motor is threaded in a nonstandard way (so when you try scerwing on hundreds of nuts for hours nothing works.)
Screw the screw into the cap so it's only half in and epoxy everything together so it looks like this


Step 8: The Spinny Thing

Now for the arm that spins around, get your 4.5-foot piece of wood and drill a hole in the center It must fit into the thing made in step 7 (just look at the picture.)

Put a washer on bottom and a washer and nut on top and screw it on as tight as possible.

Step 9: Turn It on and Step Back...

Start the arm spinning as if you’re starting an airplane. This is to loosen the load on the nut due to the high angular acceleration. Flip the switch to on. If it spins then you have successfully build a centrifuge. To prove it works we taped a vial of water and with iron oxide, we are using for another project. This will pull the particles out of solution. According to our calculations, this rotates once per .09 seconds (we calculated this with a high-speed camera) which gives it an rpm of 670 this produces about 350 G’s of force. For comparison 46 G’s will kill a human and Eimeria oocysts are centrifuged out of turkey manure at 300 G’s of force. (yes I speak from experience) The length of the arm can be shortened and lengthened to adjust the force.

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Trash to Treasure Contest 2017

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Participated in the
Build a Tool Contest 2017

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    4 Discussions


    3 years ago

    I can definitely see this happening in my garage. Does it take a lot of room, or could I park my car in the garage with this centrifuge? Do you think I should run it outside of my garage?


    Reply 3 years ago

    We currently have it leaning up against the wall, so it doesn't have a huge form factor. We ran it outside due to the danger of shooting parts, but we had no problems with that. We thought about building a chicken wire mesh surrounding it as a cage.


    3 years ago

    Great instructable! Welcome to the community :)


    Reply 3 years ago

    Thank you! We have many more projects like this planned for the future.