Mendocino Motor

A Mendocino Motor is an optically commutated, magnetically levitating, solar powered Rotor.
This one consists of 3,6mm plywood and was completely machined with my CNC mill. The Design has been accomlished in Google Sketchup, the G-Code was generated with the Phlatscript plugin.

mendocino base sketchup

mendocino rotor sketchup



The dimensions can be estimated from the screenshots. After milling the parts are taken out of the plywood sheets (cut the tabs that hold them in place) and just pressed together, no glue necessary!
The 2 coils have ~100 turns each with 0,3mm enamelled copper wire. The solar cells are capable of delivering 200mA at 0,5V.
At the end of the rotor that has contact to the mirror a tip of a pencil has been inserted (see pic above) to minimize friction, due to the lubricating properties of graphite.

Sketchup files (1 for the base and 1 for the rotor):
SketchUp files

2 thoughts on “Mendocino Motor”

  1. Would you be willing to share your sketch-up file for the Mendocino Motor parts? Im doing something similar and was thinking of having parts cut in acrylic on a laser cutter.

    1. done 😉
      good luck with the acrylic. When using a mill I would probably prefer polycarbonate to acrylic due to the acrylic’s tendency to melt when milled, drilled or cut. Of course, with the laser cutter you should be fine with acrylic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *