These are the steps required to make a ferrofluid glass display. Ferrofluid is a magnetic fluid that responds to strong magnetic fields. For this display, we will suspend ferrofluid and water in a glass, and use a magnet to interact with the fluid. Fun and easy!
I made this display at Techshop SF, visit their website here: http://techshop.ws/
Step 1: Necessary Components
From left to right:
-Strong neodynium magnet
-Light lubricating machine oil (any oil will do)
-MICR, a.k.a. magnetic ink. I ordered this online for about $10. Try searching ebay for magnetic toner refill.
Total, the components cost around $25.
Step 2: Make the Ferrofluid
Mix the machine oil and the magnetic ink. This is where you should play around with the ratios. Too much ink, and you end up with something too viscous to flow. Too little ink, and the mixture is not magnetic enough. I found if you mix them in roughly equal parts, it worked well for me. But play with it to get the mix you want.
Use the stir stick to ensure the oil and ink are well mixed.
Step 3: Mix the Ferrofliud and Water Into the Jar
Put the two together in the jar. I added just a little bit of ferrofluid, and a whole lot of water. If you add too much fluid, it just all sticks together.
This is the finished product! I like to shake the jar up so there are little suspended blobs of ferrofluid, and then bring the magnet to the side of the jar. The blobs race to magnets and converge into one mass that you can move around using the magnet.