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As far as electric propulsion is concerned, the vast majority of applications make use of some kind of rotational motor. Be it induction, universal, brushed or brushless, these are the most efficient ways we have to do mechanical work with electricity. There are other, arcane methods, though – ones which [Maker B] explores with a 4-cylinder solenoid engine, link on our blog. 
The principle of the solenoid engine is simple. Cylinders are wound with coils to act as solenoids, with the piston acting as the armature. When the solenoid is energised, it pulls the piston into the cylinder. The solenoid is then de-energised, and the piston can return to its initial position. The piston is coupled to a crankshaft via a connecting rod, and a flywheel is used to help the motor run continually. These are also known as reciprocating electric motors. [Maker B]’s build is a 4-cylinder design in a boxer configuration. Produced with basic hand-operated machine tools, the build process is one to watch. Aluminium and brass are carefully crafted into the various components of the motor, and parts are delicately assembled with small fasteners and plenty of retaining compound. Solenoid timing is via a series of microswitches, installed neatly in the base of the motor and actuated by the crankshaft.

While solenoid motors are inefficient, they’re quite something to watch in action. This one is no exception, with the motor spinning up to 1100 rpm when running at 7.2 volts. We’d love to see some data on the power output and efficiency too. It’s possible to build solenoid motors in different configurations, too. Video on our blog..

As far as electric propulsion is concerned, the vast majority of applications make use of some kind of rotational motor. Be it induction, universal, brushed or brushless, these are the most efficient ways we have to do mechanical work with electricity. There are other, arcane methods, though – ones which [Maker B] explores with a 4-cylinder solenoid engine, link on our blog. The principle of the solenoid engine is simple. Cylinders are wound with coils to act as solenoids, with the piston acting as the armature. When the solenoid is energised, it pulls the piston into the cylinder. The solenoid is then de-energised, and the piston can return to its initial position. The piston is coupled to a crankshaft via a connecting rod, and a flywheel is used to help the motor run continually. These are also known as reciprocating electric motors. [Maker B]’s build is a 4-cylinder design in a boxer configuration. Produced with basic hand-operated machine tools, the build process is one to watch. Aluminium and brass are carefully crafted into the various components of the motor, and parts are delicately assembled with small fasteners and plenty of retaining compound. Solenoid timing is via a series of microswitches, installed neatly in the base of the motor and actuated by the crankshaft. While solenoid motors are inefficient, they’re quite something to watch in action. This one is no exception, with the motor spinning up to 1100 rpm when running at 7.2 volts. We’d love to see some data on the power output and efficiency too. It’s possible to build solenoid motors in different configurations, too. Video on our blog. ...

@evilmonkeyzdesignz is one of 3 winners of the Beautiful Hardware contest! Also happy #microscopeMonday 🔬.

@evilmonkeyzdesignz is one of 3 winners of the Beautiful Hardware contest! Also happy #microscopeMonday 🔬 ...

Join us Wednesday in the Hack Chat to talk about Software Defined Radio!

Poster by @alek.

Join us Wednesday in the Hack Chat to talk about Software Defined Radio! Poster by @alek ...

City of Siliconia is the future of city design by @alpha1zero_, and one of 3 winners of the Beautiful Hardware contest! 📸.

City of Siliconia is the future of city design by @alpha 1zero_, and one of 3 winners of the Beautiful Hardware contest! 📸 ...

Electronic Dice by Jean Simonet is a set of smart dice, the same size as traditional ones, full of LEDs and Bluetooth-enabled. It's also a finalist in the #HackadayPrize!.

Electronic Dice by Jean Simonet is a set of smart dice, the same size as traditional ones, full of LEDs and Bluetooth-enabled. It's also a finalist in the #HackadayPrize ! ...

#tbt To this Ohm Sweet Ohm cross-stitch by @bekathwia ! 🥰.

#tbt To this Ohm Sweet Ohm cross-stitch by @bekathwia ! 🥰 ...

Meet the 20 finalists in the 2019 #HackadayPrize! —> link in bio

Brought to you by @supplyframe @digikey @microchiptechnologyinc.

Meet the 20 finalists in the 2019 #HackadayPrize ! —> link in bio Brought to you by @supplyframe @digikey @microchiptechnologyinc ...

It's #microscopeMonday 🔬! Check out this vintage LED display HP 5082-7002 Patrick Hickey lights up this rare LED display from the 1970s!.

It's #microscopeMonday 🔬! Check out this vintage LED display HP 5082-7002 Patrick Hickey lights up this rare LED display from the 1970s! ...

Join us Wednesday for this week's #HackChat about #MachineLearning with #Microcontrollers with Limor Fried and Phillip Torrone from @adafruit + Google #TensorFlow  poster by @alek.

Join us Wednesday for this week's #HackChat about #MachineLearning with #Microcontrollers with Limor Fried and Phillip Torrone from @adafruit + Google #TensorFlow poster by @alek ...

Via @antoine.pintout -  BOUSSOLE : a compass-like device. It guides you to three locations of your choice to rethink the way we use technology. No Internet, no screens, no battery hassle. SABLIER, BOUSSOLE and SIFFLET are always by your side, durable, resilient.

Photo : @autoiue
PCB : @PCBWAY
Made in Paris at @ensadparis.

Via @antoine.pintout - BOUSSOLE : a compass-like device. It guides you to three locations of your choice to rethink the way we use technology. No Internet, no screens, no battery hassle. SABLIER, BOUSSOLE and SIFFLET are always by your side, durable, resilient. Photo : @autoiue PCB : @PCBWAY Made in Paris at @ensadparis ...

🔌This Smart 3D printer emissions monitor is an entry to our @digikey  Connected World contest! The contest ends September 10, but there's still time to submit your work! #DKConnected.

🔌This Smart 3D printer emissions monitor is an entry to our @digikey Connected World contest! The contest ends September 10, but there's still time to submit your work! #DKConnected ...

This thing right here might be the coolest desk toy since Newton’s Cradle. It’s [Stephen Co]’s latest installment in a line of mesmerizing, zodiac-themed art lamps that started with the water-dancing Aquarius.  All at once, it demonstrates standing waves, persistence of vision, and the stroboscopic effect. And the best part? You can stick your finger in it.

This intriguing lamp is designed to illustrate Pisces, that mythological pair of fish bound by string that represent Aphrodite and her son Eros’ escape from the clutches of Typhon. Here’s what is happening: two 5V DC motors, one running in reverse, are rotating a string at high speeds. The strobing LEDs turn the string into an array of optical illusions depending on the strobing rate, which is controlled with a potentiometer. A second pot sweeps through eleven preset patterns that vary the colors and visual effect. And of course, poking the string will cause interesting interruptions.

The stroboscopic effect hinges on the choice of LED. Those old standby 2812s don’t have a high enough max refresh rate, so [Stephen] sprung for APA102Cs, aka DotStars. Everything is controlled with an Arduino Nano clone. [Stephen] has an active Kickstarter campaign going for Pisces, and one of the rewards is the code and STL files. On the IO page for Pisces, [Stephen] walks us through the cost vs. consumer pricing breakdown..

This thing right here might be the coolest desk toy since Newton’s Cradle. It’s [Stephen Co]’s latest installment in a line of mesmerizing, zodiac-themed art lamps that started with the water-dancing Aquarius.  All at once, it demonstrates standing waves, persistence of vision, and the stroboscopic effect. And the best part? You can stick your finger in it. This intriguing lamp is designed to illustrate Pisces, that mythological pair of fish bound by string that represent Aphrodite and her son Eros’ escape from the clutches of Typhon. Here’s what is happening: two 5V DC motors, one running in reverse, are rotating a string at high speeds. The strobing LEDs turn the string into an array of optical illusions depending on the strobing rate, which is controlled with a potentiometer. A second pot sweeps through eleven preset patterns that vary the colors and visual effect. And of course, poking the string will cause interesting interruptions. The stroboscopic effect hinges on the choice of LED. Those old standby 2812s don’t have a high enough max refresh rate, so [Stephen] sprung for APA102Cs, aka DotStars. Everything is controlled with an Arduino Nano clone. [Stephen] has an active Kickstarter campaign going for Pisces, and one of the rewards is the code and STL files. On the IO page for Pisces, [Stephen] walks us through the cost vs. consumer pricing breakdown. ...