This is a fully working proof of concept of a flipdot, an electro-mecanical pixel that can be used to create big displays.
Here a simple demo: https://youtu.be/fEpsv2Hcpz4
This project can be used to understand how electromagnets works.
It uses simple parts and can be easily crafted.
It works with a simple power supply of 5V / 300mA.
You need to power on the electro magnets only when you need to change the color of the pixel. It doesn't use power when idle.
To do this flipdot you need:
- to print all parts (and x2 cap), can be done with 0.2mm/layer with 20% infill
- two m3x20mm screws
- 2x 3m of 0.1mm enameled copper wire (but it should works with larger wires)
- one little magnet of 5x1mm
Place the magnet inside the disc. Assemble the parts like in the images. The screws must be placed straight so as not to block the disc. Place the caps on the screws.
Wind the wire around each screw like in the image, be sure to let a little bit of wire stick out so you can connect it.
Now you can connect each electro magnet to switchs connected to the power supply.
Just be sure to connect them in the good direction to get the disc flipped.
IMPORTANT: An electromagnet heats up when on. Be careful not to leave it on too long, especially if you use a power supply with more current.
IMPORTANT: don't connect electromagnets directly to an arduino or a raspberry, it can destroy your device. A coil have a "current return" that can damage sensitive devices.
Search on the internet how to wire an electromagnet or a relay and do the same with each electromagnet.
Nb: with 3m of wire, you need at least 5V 300mA of current to flip the disc.
You can reduce the required current, it depend on the number of turns of the wire.
With 6m of wire on each electromagnet, you can divide the required current by two.