Nathan Loden’s Magnetic Levitation experiment started with the basic problem of stabilizing a frictionless position control loop with inherent metastability. A fast controller with phase-lead compensation took care of that. Then he discovered a strange phenomenon: The levitated object begins and continues oscillating in rotation about a vertical axis. Explanations have been proposed and discussed, but they remain theories. Can you reproduce his result and discover the cause? The apparatus consists of a wooden frame, a bolt with a coil, a power transistor, an infrared emitter and detector, a few op amps and passive components.
An in-depth survey of 700 current and future users of 3D printing holds few surprises, but results emphasize some major trends already in progress. Two standouts are the big growth in end-use parts and metal additive manufacturing (AM) most respondents expect.
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