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Watch electromagnetic force come alive with this DIY!

Team StoryWeavers|September 25, 2020| 3

Build a DC Motor

There’s a good chance that right now, as you read this, you may be surrounded by a few motors in your vicinity. At least two in your laptop/computer, one in the ceiling fan, one in the exhaust fan and many more as you visit each room of your house!

Surprised? 

credits: giphy

It can be said that today’s modern lifestyle is impossible without these motors! Electric motors are easily one of the most important inventions for humankind.  Today we’re going to learn how to make one for ourselves! A really simple DIY with everyday stuff around you – not big enough to power anything huge but just enough to blow your mind! Let’s get started on this DC Motor DIY journey. Before putting on your creator’s hat, let’s first understand what an electric motor is!

The principle behind and electric motor 

An electric motor is used to convert electrical energy into mechanical energy. Similarly, when you convert mechanical energy into electrical energy, it’s called a generator. The working of an electric motor is based on the fact that a current-carrying conductor produces a magnetic field around it. And once you introduce a magnet into this circuit, the conductor will move. If it’s shaped like a coil, it will rotate. Why does this happen? 

The magnetic field of the magnet interferes with that produced by the electric current flowing in the conductor. Since the coil has become a magnet, one side of it will be attracted to the north pole of the magnet and the other to the south pole. This causes the coil to continuously rotate.

Still wondering how all this happens? Guess which scientific phenomenon is the cause of all this? Look closely at your hands, the answer is right there!

credits: tenor

We are talking about Fleming’s Right Hand Rule and Left Hand Rule. You can read all about it here.

There are various types of motors, so here’s a quick diagram of its many types:

While they’re all really exciting and efficient for their specific uses, today we are building the Permanent Magnet DC Motor type. Let’s get started!

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Materials required:

  1. Non enamelled copper wire
  2. Ferrite magnets
  3. 1 C Size battery
  4. Rubber bands
  5. 2 Steel paper clips 
  6. Marker pen

Methodology:

  1. Take the copper wire, wrap it around the marker pen two or three times to make your coil with axles. Position the ends in a straight line on either side of the coil such that they are directly across from each other to form an axle. What you just made is referred to as an armature.
  2. Ensure that the copper wire coil is balanced in shape such that it can rotate easily. Test it by placing its axles between your thumb and index finger and spinning it. It should spin smoothly.
  3. Shape the paper clips such that it has loops at the top to hold the coil axles. 
  4. Wrap the rubber band tightly around the battery.  Insert the paper clips so each one is touching one of the terminals, and they are securely held by the rubber band.
  5. Now insert the coil through the axles into the paper clip loops attached to the battery. You just made a circuit! The electricity through the battery will be flowing through the copper wire coil. You may find the paperclips to be heating up a bit. Break the circuit when not using it.
  6. Now bring the magnets close to the circuit. Divide them into two batches, one being the north end the other the south end. The two batches will repel each other. Place one batch of magnets on top of the battery and then bring the other batch at 180 degrees opposite to the first batch. 
  7. You’ll see that the coil has started moving. It is rotating! You can gently give it a nudge if it’s not rotating. And your DC Motor is ready!

There you have it! A small specimen of what’s inside your fan, toys and many other gadgets. In fact, the vibrating function in cell phones is also achieved through a tiny DC motor inside! Motors, motors everywhere yet only one in front of you, the one you built yourself! While you may understand everything about this motor, can you guess,

What does it take to reverse the direction of the coil’s spinning? 

How can you increase the speed of this motor?

Take a guess in the comments section below!

About the Author


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Charu Verma

Charu, a feminist and an accidental writer, is yet to master the art of writing about herself. Always curious to learn new stuff, she ends up spending a lot of time unlearning the incorrect lessons. She enjoys all sorts of stories – real, fictional, new, old, hers and would love hearing yours too. Feel free to ping her at storyweavers@byjus.com to share anything that you think is worth sharing.

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Anuj Kumar

October 25, 2020

I am very happy to BYJU’S because I love learning with BYJU’S

Jhanvi Singh

October 29, 2020

Very nice

Evansamuel

November 24, 2020

Iam very happy to BYJU’S because I love learning with BYJU’S

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