If you’ve ever mistakenly drank ferromagnetic fluid thinking it was coffee, you’re likely dead, or highly magnetized and sitting at In-n-Out gnawing on a burger dressed like Magneto. I am… right now actually, staring into the screen at the Kickstarter project David Markus has launched. Ferrite – Interactive Liquid Sculpture is a visual display of magnetic waveform tubery. Ferrofluid is trapped inside a clear container (just like my arm) with the globs of ferromagnetic particle taking the visual waveforms of the magnet placed against it. Here’s a look at the iconic desktop art piece and more from David about the project.
Ferrite – Interactive Liquid Sculpture
Ferrofluid is a liquid suspension of ferromagnetic particles. It reacts and conforms to magnetic waves, while also exhibiting properties of a fluid. Ferrofluid has been used extensively in hardware, and in art. But until now, there has been few consumer options available. That’s where Ferrite comes in. And with funding, it can become a reality. – David Markus
What was the inspiration behind the Ferrite Project?
I wanted to engineer and design the best ferrofluid display I could, using premium materials and manufacturing techniques. It was important to me that the form of the vessel follow its function as an interactive display piece.
What did you use to model/design/render it?
I used Rhino to model the containers, and Grasshopper (a parametric scripting plugin) to generate the ferrofluid. I wanted to create a nice rotating shot to use in future videos, and that was incredibly easy with Keyshot 3.
What challenges came with the design process?
It was important to me to make both designs as safe as possible. Because the containers are made of glass and filled with liquid, I knew that I would have to shape my design to be both protective and aesthetically pleasing.
What other applications does Ferrofluid have?
Probably the most common is as a seal around the spinning disks of hard drives, but my favorite is probably its applications in loudspeakers because of how clever it is (thanks wikipedia!).
“Ferrofluids are commonly used in loudspeakers to remove heat from the voice coil, and to passively damp the movement of the cone. They reside in what would normally be the air gap around the voice coil, held in place by the speaker’s magnet. Since ferrofluids are paramagnetic, they obey Curie’s law, thus become less magnetic at higher temperatures. A strong magnet placed near the voice coil (which produces heat) will attract cold ferrofluid more than hot ferrofluid thus forcing the heated ferrofluid away from the electric voice coil and toward a heat sink. This is an efficient cooling method which requires no additional energy input.”
David has 57 days to go in the project, so there’s plenty of time to help fund his Ferrite project and get in on a deal by becoming a backer. Here are more shots of the project rendered in KeyShot.