In this article I will walk you through the steps to make your very own Levitating Planter! I found a Kickstarter for a product called “FLYTE” and I loved the design. You can get one for yourself here. Therefore, I tried making my own! I designed it in Fusion 360, 3D printed the planter, and laser cut the base. It turned out pretty great! Let me show you how I made it:
Step 1: Gather the Parts
First of all, you need to gather all the parts used in this project. You could buy almost everything you need to make your own, directly from my site! Or, you could buy from Aliexpress via the links in the materials list.
- Magnetic Levitation Module
- DC Jack
- Oak vinyl (local hobby shop)
- 3 mm MDF for laser cutter
- White PLA or ABS (I used PLA)
- M3 Bolts and nuts
- 3D printer (or you could get someone to print it for you at shapeways or 3D hubs)
- Laser Cutter
- Razor Knife
Step 2: Design It!
I used the photos I found online from their site, and imported them into fusion 360. I also found the dimensions for the base at their site, so I scaled the photo to match the real product.
Then, I started designing based on the photos. It took a few hours, but it turned out great.
After I had designed the planter, I designed the box. For that I used a fantastic online site called MakerCase.
You can get all the files to make your own, including the Fusion 360 files so you could remix it to your liking here:
Step 3: Printing and Testing!
After you have printed out all the parts (I recommend 0.15 in layer hight with 10% infill for the Planter and 0.2 with 20% infill for the base parts) it’s time to test it! Take the magnet and drop it into the planter. It should be a snug fit, so it stays in place, but I recommend using some drops of super glue to really secure it.
Then, it’s over to the magnetic base. Solder the red positive wire to the middle pin of the barrel jack, and the black negative wire to the negative pin. (This is just temporarily, it needs to come of later) (pictures coming)
Plug it all in, and test!
I recommend to use cardboard or an other soft material between the base and the planter when testing, so the magnet doesn’t brake if the planter falls down.
Take the planter and slowly lower it in the middle of the magnetic base. You should feel the planter trying to push out to the sides, but find a spot in the middle where it holds still. Continue to lower it until the planter supports it self.
It’s now floating!
Step 4: Make the Box!
Now that you have a working levitating planter, it’s time to make a cool box for it! I used the laser cutter at my local makerspace to cut out the parts. (Files on Thingiverse as well)
When I was done cutting, I started to assemble the box. It’s just to puzzle and glue them together. Don’t glue the buttom on though! Leave it to dry overnight.
Next step is to add some vinyl to make it look like it’s a solid block of wood! I cut out pieces in the correct size, and then sticked it to the box. I also used a hairdryer to remove some bubbles and make it really smooth.
Step 5: Fixing the Magnetic Base to the Box
On the back panel there are 4 holes that should line up with the 4 holes in the printed base. Insert 8 M3 nuts, 4 bottom and 4 in the top (The green lines in the photo). Then, screw 4 long Mg bolts through the bottom of the laser cut box and through into the buttom of the printed part.
Continue to fasten the bolts until the printed part is a few millimeters over the back plate.
Next, place the magnetic base on top, lining up the four holes with the four holes on top. Then, take the other printed part and line up the four holes. Use 4 more M3 bolts and screw them trough the holes.
The last thing to do is to unsolder the barrel jack, and insert it into the hole in the box. Then you could solder the wires back on. Now, you could fit the back to the rest of the box!
The last thing to do is to undo the screws at the bottom until the top of the magnetic base touches the top of the box.
Step 6: Add Your Plant!
The very last thing to do, is to add a plant! I got mine from Ikea, and it fits pretty well. Remember to not make it too heavy though. Except from that, you are free to choose whatever plant you want.
Step 7: Done!
You should now have a working levitating planter! How cool isn’t that!? Show it to friends and family, and I am sure they are going to be amazed. If you make your own, or have any questions, please leave a comment below!
If you liked this project and want more, please consider supporting me on Patreon!