A motor is an object that produces motion or action.The diagram above illustrates the motor you will be creating. The coil of wire (red) carries a current when attached to a battery. Fleming’s Left Hand Rule states that there will be a magnetic field coming out of the coil if the current is going across it. It is also known that like forces repel and opposites attract.
The diagram above shows a positive magnetic field coming out of the coil (also called "North;" noted by the red "N"). The stationary magnet (black rectangle) also has a positive magnetic field facing up (noted by the black "N"). Because like forces repel, the positive field coming from the magnet will push the coil up. The wire on the left side of the diagram only has half of the enamel shaved of. This means that when the coil is pushed up, the wire will spin and the enamel covered wire will come in contact with the paper clips (black lines). This will stop the current and the coil can glide down. Once it glides down, it’s positive field will be repelled by the positive magnetic field coming from the stationary magnet and the whole process will repeat itself, causing a constant spin.
The purpose of this project is to build a motor from everyday objects (shown above). By building this simple electronic motor, you can better understand how more complicated motors work.
Step 1: Gather Materials
For this project you will need:
-2 big paper clips
-a ceramic magnet
-a D sized battery
-a rubber band
-26 gage magnet wire
Step 2: Bending the Paper Clips
For this step you need to use your 2 big paper clips.
1.Take one and pull the inner part of the clip out. This will make the paper clip into a straight line with two “hooks” facing in.
2.Then take one of these hooks and fold it so that it is in the shape of a 2.
3. Repeat this with your other paper clip.
Step 3: Making the Solenoid
A solenoid is coil of wire that acts as a magnet while carrying an electric current. This "solenoid" is what you are trying to get spinning. For this step you need the 26 gage magnet wire, wire cutters, and a D-sized battery.
1. Unroll a piece of wire that is as long an arm’s length. Cut it with the wire cutters.
2. Then wrap this wire as tight as you can around the D battery. The purpose of this is to get the wire in the shape of a circle. When it is completely coiled, carefully slide it off of the battery.
3. Take the two trailing ends of the coil and separate them from the circle of wire.
4. Wrap these ends around the coil to keep tight and together.
Step 4: Shaving the Enamel
There is a thin layer of enamel around the wire itself. The purpose of this is to keep the wire insulated and to keep the current inside of the wire. By shaving the enamel we can allow an outside current to run through the wire.
1. On one of the trailing ends of the wire you need to completely shave off the enamel. You can do this by using sandpaper.
2. On the other end you need to shave off half of the enamel. The diagram above illustrates how half of the enamel should be shaved off.
Step 5: Assembling
Now that you have shaped the paper clips and you have constructed the solenoid, you can assemble your motor.
1. First take the rubber band and wrap it around the D battery.
2. Then slide the paper clips under the rubber band on each side of the battery.
3. Put the magnet on top of the battery, directly in the center.
4. Place the coil of wire between the paper clips. It does not matter which way the coil is placed.
5. Once your motor is put together, the solenoid should be spinning. You may need to give it a little nudge to start it off.
Step 6: Troubleshooting
Is your motor functioning? If not, here are some tips:
1. Make sure that your solenoid is balanced. To do this, make sure that the wraps you made around the coil are exactly 180 degrees apart.
2. Straighten out the trailing ends of the solenoid. This will keep it stable and allow it to spin.
3. Make sure that you shaved the enamel correctly. It should be completely shaved off/ half shaved off all the way to the coil. If too much is shaved off on the one that is supposed to be half shaved, then it may not work.
4. Check to see if the battery you are using is dead. If it is dead there will be no energy flowing, therefore, the solenoid will not move.
Step 7: Improvements for Basic Design
If you have successfully built a simple motor you can modify and adjust it to make it go faster.
1. You can try bending your paperclips to get the solenoid closer to the magnet.
2. You can try changing the shape of the solenoid itself; instead of a circle try a square.
3. You can also change the size of the solenoid. You can see if the size effects the speed at which it spins.
4. Try using multiple magnets or multiple batteries.