Find Out How to Make Some Powerful and Fun Magnetic Accelerators

These magnetic accelerators really pack a punch.
Christopher McFadden

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Magnets are incredibly fun to play with at the best of times, but when you can use them to make powerful accelerators, then you can take your magnet fun to a new level. 

Be warned, however, these accelerators are surprisingly powerful, so we'd advise you to keep any fragile or valuable things well out of the way. In fact, it is not too far from the truth to call them mini-railguns

magnetic accelerators
Source: Magnetic Games/YouTube

As you can imagine, you'll need some tools and materials before you get started.

Materials and gear needed

  • Neodymium magnets (cube, disc and blocks)
  • Neodymium magnet spheres
  • Sheet metal
  • Regal Games Marbles
  • Grooved non-magnetic strip (wood or plastic)
  • Tubular steel lengths
  • Grooved wooden length
  • Glass marbles

With all your gear in hand, let's get on with the build.

Accelerator 1

magnet accelerator 1
Source: Magnetic Games/YouTube

Take your W-10-N cubic magnets and lay them out on your steel sheet at regular intervals. You can straighten the magnet using something like a length of wood or a ruler. 

Keep the gaps between the magnets as similar as possible. With that done, place a pair of wooden lengths (one grooved) between the lengths of magnets as shown to make a flute. 

Also ensure the polarity of the magnets is opposing either side of the wooden lengths e.g. north above, south below. 

With that done, take one of our magnetic spheres, place it on the grooved wood, and let go. The sphere should travel along the wood and come to a stop towards on end of the wood. 

Next, grab some form of target, a piece of polystyrene will do, and place it at one end of the accelerator. Then grab a large glass marble and place it at the end of the wood. 

Use the first sphere to speed along the wood and launch the second as shown in the video. You can also raise the device and use different sizes of glass marbles as your projectiles if desired. 

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Accelerator 2

magnetic accelerator 2
Source: Magnetic Games/YouTube

For the next accelerator, take your S-20-10-N magnetic disks and stick them to the steel sheet in a line. Make sure the last of the disks is larger (S-30-15-N) than the others. 

Add a second row of magnet disks in parallel too. Like the first accelerator, wedge some lengths of wood between the magnet rows and rest a grooved piece of wood on top.

Like accelerator 1, place glass marbles at the end of the wood and launch them using a magnetic sphere.

Accelerator 3

magnetic accelerator v gate
Source: Magnetic Games/YouTube

For the next accelerator grab your S-30-07-N magnetic disks and tubular steel lengths. Place a row of the magnetic disks along the tubular steel lengths. 

Rinse and repeat to make a magnetic length of tubular steel. With that done, create a wooden frame to hold the steel tubes and place them facing each other. Ensure the rails are at an angle to one another to form a V-gate.

With that done, add a length of angled plastic within the middle of the V-gate. Next, take one of your magnetic spheres, and release it inside the plastic rail from the wider end of the V-gate. As with the other accelerators, use glass marbles as projectiles. 

Accelerator 4

magnet accelerator 4
Source: Magnetic Games/YouTube

For the next accelerator take your bar magnets and create a row of ever-increasing numbers of magnets on your steel sheet. For example, two in the first step, three in the next, four in the next, so on so forth. 

With that done, place a length of clear plastic above the wedge of magnets. Next, take your rod magnet and place it at the thinnest edge of the wedge on top of the plastic. 

Release it, and it should roll along the wedge of magnets at speed. Like the other accelerators, rest a large glass marble at the wider end of the wedge, and hit it with the magnetic rod.

This setup can also act as a kind of magnetic elevator too. To do this, rest the steel plate vertically (or at an angle), and roll the magnetic rod towards the thinnest end of the wedge. It should travel vertically once in range.

And that, magnetic fans, is your lot for today. If you enjoyed these magnetic accelerators, you might enjoy making some other magnet-based projects?

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