How cool would it be if you could harness the invisible waveforms of the world’s magnetic power in a small vessel that sits atop your desk? Then, what if you could shock people into gum-swallowing awe by manipulating the liquid inside with magnets you’ve implanted beneath your fingertips… Perhaps, that last bit goes a little too far, but it’s certainly feasible, as is the vessel on your desk. David Markus is making it possible with Ferrite, an interactive liquid sculpture project he’s launched on Kickstarter. Using ferrofluid trapped inside a container, the globs of ferromagnetic particle take the visual waveforms of the magnet placed against the container.
Ferrite – Interactive Liquid Sculpture
To launch the project on Kickstarter, David modeled the concept, then took the model into KeyShot 3 to see the renderings and animations you see below.
I wanted to create a nice rotating shot to use in future videos, and that was incredibly easy with Keyshot 3. – David Markus
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.
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 it?
I used Rhino to model the containers, and Grasshopper (a parametric scripting plugin) to generate the ferrofluid.
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.”
Any KeyShot tips you have?
I always make a special file for rendering where I give all the hard edges on my model a .01 fillet. It’s such a small trick but it really does give an extra pop of realism!
Great tip David! Thanks for telling us about the project.
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.
Via David Markus