The Mendocino Motor is a solar powered, magnetically levitating electric motor.
I've used this project in my classroom for a while. Since I no longer have a woodshop in my class, I'm reworking it as a 3D printed design.
Here are photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/connors934/sets/72157629433089119/ The pictures show the process of iteratively developing the idea, and not all designs will be represented in these files.
2-24-12-This zip file contains some developments. The most significant part added is the four way connector that fits inside the magnets, and also has three holes sized to fit a standard pencil.
Connectors4 and MirrorConnectors are the two 3D printed parts you'll need along with two standard pencils to make the base.
The G code is for a Makerbot Cupcake with Heated Build Platform.
Initially, all the parts were saved in one zip file.
In the zip file is an assembly file that shows how to put it together.
You'll need 10 1/4" ring magnets id: 3/8" od: 1 1/8"
Print the parts.
Use pencils as connectors.
Wire the motor
Solder the solar cells.
Install the magnets.
This design is very much in process.
I would be interested in constructive feedback on the parts, as I expect to be redesigning for a few iterations.
The block is also found as this separate thing: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4455
More instructions to come...
The connector and mirror connector are the two parts you will need for the base.
Mirror Connectors: http://www.thingiverse.com/download:60284
Use pencils to serve as struts between the connectors. 60mm is a good length for the pencils. Put the magnets on the connectors so the polarity is all the same.
Set the magnets on the floating pencil so the front magnet is even with the front magnets on the base. The back magnet on the floating pencil is centered on the back magnets.
Wrap the wire on the rotor.
Solder the pairs of solar cells.
Float the rotor in the magnetic field.
Turn on the incandescent light.
Watch it turn.