Have you ever played with some neodymium balls? These are potent magnets, so we had to find a way to use them in our device without making them dependent on the magnetic field of another marble. Because if we had to manage this field, we would have always to power our coils, and they would have burnt. That’s why we choose to buy many different balls to try to find the best compromise between the distance and the diameter of the marbles.
With a plank of beech, we cut with a laser engraver. We made many different holes of many diameters with various distance to know which one is the best. We already made 40 holes, and here is the result.
The 10mm marbles were too powerful, the 5mm were too small, we cannot use them, the 8mm too. We were waiting to have the 6mm marbles, hoping they would solve all our problems… When we finally had them, we tried to make a square with 10mm between our balls (the one on the right on the previous photo). The marbles were still too powerful, we cannot flip one of them without flipping the others. The minimal distance for this was the diagonal of the square, which is very big (about 1,4cm, if you remember the old Pythagorean theorem). So we try to use another type of neodymium component: a ring magnet. One more time, it’s too powerful.
At last, we will try to make it with the 6mm marbles and to use another magnet which has less strength.