Mike Flynn’s Ferrofluid Magnetoscope

Mike Flynn’s Ferrofluid Magnetoscope

Being at a Maker Faire, you can tell what’s making an impact by what you overhear people excitedly talking about. At World Maker Faire, there was the usual chatter about old favorites like the Life Size Moustrap and Coke Zero and Mentos, and lots of excited chatter over ArcAttack!, the Madagascar Institute’s Chariot Races and their Jet Ponies (actually, nobody heard what was said about the Jet Ponies ’cause they were REALLY LOUD).

But one of the quieter indoor exhibits that garnered a lot of buzz was Mike Flynn’s Ferrofluid Magnetoscope. Mike showed this at Maker Faire Detroit and San Mateo, too. To operate it, pairs of users strategically position magnets to sculpt a levitating puddle of ferrofluid. It’s super fun to operate, and to watch others operate, and creates an experience that people want to talk about afterwards. Very cool. Above are a couple of pictures taken by Blake Maloof and a video from 2008 of the Magnetoscope in action.


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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at garstipsandtools.com.

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