Friday, July 3, 2015

Tiny Electric Motor

Well maybe I got too carried away, but this is a response to @giuliaforsythe's design assignment Learning by Design at ds106. This is both an explanation of how an electric motor works and instructions on how to make a tiny one. I have my students do this in my physics classes every year, and it's a favorite hands-on project.

If I had been at school, I would have done it all on the Smart Board, which is easier to draw on and manipulate. Instead I drew on several pieces of paper with a black marker. Then I photographed the pages, and used Photoshop to extract various images from the photos. I carefully built the image up, layer by layer, copying and manipulating many of the layers, and adding color. I designed the page to make the concept and instructions clear with minimal text. It's a pure conceit that it looks like I drew it as a single page. I couldn't resist creating a half-dozen frames for an animation of the little motor at the end, copying and manipulation just one single layer in each frame.

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