Rheoscopic Disc Coffee Table — Projects | Make:

When I last visited the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, I saw a really beautiful interactive fluid exhibit demonstrating the swirly, churning patterns of turbulence. The fluid was contained in a 3-foot-diameter disc, about 2 inches deep with a sturdy glass top. A large Lazy Susan bearing supported the disc so that visitors could spin it with their hands, creating a vortex in the fluid within. The effect was mesmerizing, causing folks to spend several minutes intently watching the shimmering pearlescent fluid as they rotated the disc. Upon returning home, I immediately began building a similar disc that would fit into my custom wooden coffee table. I showcased this table at Maker Faire Bay Area several times, and in this article I’ll describe how you can build your own fluid turbulence disc from readily available parts in just a few hours spread over a weekend.

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