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Mesmerize your holiday guests with these motor-driven rheoscopic fluid ornaments

Arduino TeamDecember 23rd, 2020

We’ve all seen Christmas ornaments shaped like a ball – interesting, but a bit passive. Will Donaldson, however, has created an amazing enhancement to these decorations by adding a rheoscopic fluid inside that shows turbulent swirling patterns as it moves.

The fluid is simply tap water and food coloring, plus the special rheoscopic concentrate that contains an array of light reflecting particles. To maintain a state or turbulence, Donaldson affixed a small drone-style motor to the hanger assembly on top of each orb using hot glue.

Motors were inserted with propellers attached, which were bent to fit through the neck of the bulb. To vary the speed of the turbulence, Donaldson included an Arduino Nano along with an L293 driver, using the analogWrite() function for PWM control.