Suspend particles in midair with this acoustic levitation setup
November 29th, 2018—
Of course Styrofoam floats on water, but have you ever seen it float in midair? That’s exactly what Julius Kramer’s 3D-printed acoustic levitator does, using an array of 72 40kHz ultrasonic transducers to form standing waves of low and high pressure. When turned on, he’s able to simply insert a tiny foam ball which hovers like magic.
If this seems familiar, his Arduino Nano-powered device is based on work by Asier Marzo, Adrian Barnes, and Bruce W. Drinkwater. What’s interesting about Kramer’s build is that he does a great job illustrating how it works, starting at around 3:00 with an oscilloscope, and continuing on with diagrams, and even a visualization of the waves using steam. He also shows off a miniature version at around 6:00, which while less capable, could make this type of project approachable for those that don’t feel like soldering six dozen small speakers together!