As a kid, I wanted to understand electronics so bad, but it's incredibly abstract - the math was over my head. So for the last three years I attempted to make a physical equivalent that would let people see and feel circuits. Air and water did not work, but sprockets and chain work beautifully!

As a kid, I wanted to understand electronics so bad, but it's incredibly abstract - the math was over my head. So for the last three years I attempted to make a physical equivalent that would let people see and feel circuits. Air and water did not work, but sprockets and chain work beautifully!

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I bought several of this guy's previous Kickstarter product, the Turing Tumble. One of the best hands on model for helping understand the basic logic of binary computation, and both my kids and myself learned plenty along the way even as we enjoyed just trying to solve the puzzles. After testing it with my kids, I bought a classroom set for my school. If this new project is anything like as brilliant and well-thought out as the Turing Tumble, then it is going to be ***fantastic***.


Wow, thanks so much Kendalf! That's amazing. Thanks for the comment! If there's anything I can do, don't hesistate to reach out.


Holy shit you're the Turing Tumble guy!! I saw that Kickstarter ages ago and thought "as soon as my kids are a little older" -- planning on buying it in a couple years for my son then again for my daughter a few years after that!!


Thank you for thinking of your daughter, too.


Your Turing Tumble game is awesome! This new game is great, too! Keep up the great work, OP!


Oh y'all made the Turing Tumble? I'll send this to the STEM kit lady at the library I work at. We loved the Turing Tumble! Though a patron broke it too soon. :/ This looks much more durable. I hope I can ask a few questions? Will you be selling replacement parts eventually? Will it come in a box capable of storing all pieces safely? How many pieces will a typical set contain? (I noticed that it will be split into 2 box-sets.) How much are you planning to sell it for? Will you offer pair discounts for buying both boxes? The addition of storybook makes this an absolute dream for our library STEM kits. So many of the kids we serve (and the parents!) look at the 100s of parts in snap circuits and get so overwhelmed. This looks a lot cooler.




Kickstarter, Spintronics


If you had been born earlier, we might actually have authentic steampunk technology nowadays. I have no idea what I'm talking about but apparently you do, this is really, really cool. Thanks for sharing!


Got a link to your projects?


Ok if this is the Turing Tumble guy I'm actually hyped.


I'm studying information security right now and had to learn about binary and hexadecimal bases for a data forensics course. I originally thought they were going to be impossible to understand, but, if you digest the information from a palateable source (and don't give up if you don't understand the first time), the basics are relatively easy. A lot of computer science related topics are like that, honestly, from coding to networking to security. They're definitely in-depth topics but not inaccessible!


I’ve been self-teaching myself web development and some Python primarily for data analysis and viz over the past year and I couldn’t agree with what you said more. A lot of times the most challenging part about learning a specific tool or concept is finding a solid, straightforward explanation of what each element of the concept are, what the purpose of each element is, how they fit together within the context of each other, the overarching concept you’re trying to understand, and the general area of knowledge that they are a part of. I can’t tell you how many times over the past year I’ve had an *aha!* moment immediately followed by a *if only this information had been presented in this form from the beginning, I would have immediately understood it and saved myself countless hours of intense confusion and info hunting* moment. Some bloggers in the dev world are much better at contextualizing, breaking down concepts, and tying them into everything else... but unfortunately those individuals can only put out so much content about so many aspects of understanding development. Once you come across these, you realize how simple it was to understand and how convoluted your understanding of the subject has become from seeing the info presented in confusing or overly complex ways.


I'm going to get my finger stuck in that and learn what an electric shock feels like.




What are you doing, step sprocket?


I thought you all might be curious why water and air didn't work, even though they are the most common analogies to electronics. When water flows in a small tube, there's too much resistance, but in a large tube, there's too much inductance (water has a lot of mass and gains a lot of momentum). Air didn't work for two reasons: when it compresses and decompresses, it loses a lot of energy to heat. It also is extremely difficult to make good seals that don't add a lot of friction. And finally, even if I could have gotten it to work with water or air, you still couldn't \*see\* the current flow. Water in a clear tube looks the same when it's moving or still. Edit: I thought I'd answer some common questions: 1. What's the link to this? I was trying to not be too self-promoty, but a mod gave permission (thank you!) as I was getting a flood of requests. Here it is: [https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/upperstory/spintronics-build-mechanical-circuits](https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/upperstory/spintronics-build-mechanical-circuits) 2. The complicated circuits look...complicated! They do look complicated at first - you have to work up to them. However, simple concepts are immediately much clearer. For instance, it becomes obvious why two resistors in parallel have less resistance than either of the resistors by themselves. 3. How is voltage and current represented? Voltage is the force pulling the chain. Current is the speed of the chain. 4. The sprockets of the junction are different sizes - wouldn't they all behave differently? The junctions have different sized sprockets, but the internal gears are set up so that all three sprockets are equivalent. Thanks for all the comments! It's fun to hear from you!


If you could find chains with differently colored links, that seems like it would help to visualize the movement of the chains themselves better. But this is really, really cool!


Yes! Absolutely. I did that a little in the series vs. parallel comparison, but not in the rest. It would be useful there, too, though.


This video was a bit too quick to really understand what you were doing with some of it. I'd be interested in seeing some more detailed videos.


Totally. I'll send you a link. edit: Here's the link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/upperstory/spintronics-build-mechanical-circuits


Hey me too.


Me too! and also if you plan to sell them, just shut up and take my money! (But really don't shut up and let me know how to buy them)


Why didn’t rubber bands work?


Oooo good question! When they stretch, they don't give all the energy back as they compress again. With just 4 connections, you lose about 50% of the power.


You're amazing. Such a brilliant idea. What's your background?


Aw thanks! My degree is in Analytical Chemistry, but I guess I have a broad range of interests.


So, it is indeed possible to make logic gates out of these devices right? Only thing that's left is a steam powered battery and we're good for steampunk!


If you can make a stable flip-flop (demonstrated in the video) then it should be possible to make any form of synchronous or asynchronous logic circuit. I suspect that a synchronous logic circuit would probably run at under 1Hz, even for a small circuit, with the frequency only decreasing as the circuits got larger (due to propagation delay).


A Turing "Bombe" in WW II could do 15 computations per second... so, "less than 1Hz" puts you in brilliant company. It is really tough to do apples to apples though.


Seeing people with multiple areas of interest/expertise succeed is very inspiring to me. Wishing you the best!


I once had to figure out how to explain high voltage, three-phase power to a jury. I kept using water examples with my expert until he told me "I'll start using those explanations when water starts going down a pipe in both directions at the same time."


I tell people it's like having 3 people hitting a nail in turn instead of one person hitting a nail.


That’s… that’s not too bad an analogy.


[So like this?](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-2YN_Ak9eE)




Wait, does electricity flow in two directions at the same time? Sorry if that's a stupid question.


Alternating current changes direction 50 or 60 times per second 3-phase has three alternating currents (on 3 separate conductors) that are a third of a cycle out of phase, which means that at any point in time you'll have some electricity going in each direction


>which means that at any point in time you'll have some electricity going in each direction But on the same wire? Or is that what you meant by 3 separate conductors? Just trying to understand.


3 phase cable has 3 conductors, at any given moment, one is around neutral, one is positive, one is negative. At least in theory (they are phase shifted by 120 deg) PS. In reality most 3 phase wires will also have 4th conductor which is leading to ground as a safety feature, *or a* neutral wire that balances the load. PPS. This is for a basic delta configuration, there are also other configurations, with extra balancing wire (so 5 in total if you also add ground), and triangle configuration, I just didn't want to over-complicate it :)


A three phase *cable* has 3 conductors (wires). At least, that's how the people around me use the terminology.


Right, I learned electrical engineering in other language. 3 phase *cable* has 3 or 4 *wires* in it (4th being ground, which is optional safety feature)


Well, sorta. Depends if you are connected via a delta configuration (3 wires) or wye (4 wires). Ground wire is used as well in both as an extra wire. Delta is used when you just need 3 480V. You go wye when you want to get 277V. More or less.


3 separate lines, but each line in a 3 phase system is equidistantly out of phase of each other in terms of when the “peak” and “trough” of each waveform happens (in geometric terms, this would be “120 degrees” out of phase for each) [Here’s a graph of what the waveforms would look like on an oscilloscope](https://imgur.com/gallery/Jq6Hrpd). In the US, this allows you to very easily combine and subtract power when going large commercial buildings or apartments, while cheaply carrying power over longer distances with less conductor material used. Once you get to a single household, one of these phases gets stepped down to a transformer on your local telephone pole to feed a few houses usually, but what’s a bit confusing at that point is that you still see three wires. This is because what the transformer does is splits that one phase into two opposing ones, now 180 degrees apart, but still from the same “source” single phase of each other. This is how an American house is able to get 240V for your electric stove or clothes washer/dryer, basically you have two separate metal bus bars which come down to your circuit breaker and have alternating fingers for the breakers to “grab”, and that’s why a 240V breaker is usually double the width.


Yes in separate conductors. At any given time it's only going one way in each conductor.


I remember reading the encyclopedia article about electricity as a boy, and hitting the 'alternating current changes direction 50 or 60 times a second'. That was the point where Clarke's Third Law kicked in for me.


>When water flows in a small tube, there's too much resistance, but in a large tube, there's too much inductance Did you try a medium-sized tube?


Ha ha! I never thought of that!


If you look up the equations for the "inductance" of a tube, called inertance, e.g., [in Wikipedia](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inertance), it turns out that a large pipe diameter *reduces* the intertance. There are still other problems with building a water model, but that one is dead wrong.


Thanks for the link! Very helpful. Yes I suppose if you keep everything else the same scale and *just* increase the size of the tubes, inductance (inertance) would be lower as there's less resistance to flow. I guess in my case I am imagining not just increasing the size of the tube, but scaling everything else up to match the scale of the tubes. Thanks again! I hadn't thought about it that carefully before.


This guy Goldilocks


THIS tube is juuuuuuussst right




> I'm trying not to be too self-promoty, but feel free to PM me and I'll send you a link. I think you got us all hooked. I don't think you will upset anybody by posting the link here in the comments. Probably easier than all the DMs you will get.


Going to add memristor?


Ha! Might be easier to make mechanically than as a passive electronic component.


It could actually be awesome for planning circuits with the real ones since those are pretty hard to come by! The three memristor logic gate would be cool to visualize. Physically I think it would be like a continuously variable transmission where the diameter(s)/ratio is controlled by a flywheel but with a spring pushing the ratio back towards the original.


I need to look that up. I don't know any circuits using memristors. Thanks for the idea!


IIRC theoretically memristors could create a logic gate with 6 atoms.


That sounds amazing. Do you have any links to literature? I'd love to see development of reversible logic gates like [Fredkin Gates](https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fredkin_gate) using advanced manufacturing techniques. How awesome would it be to have a computer that doesn't produce heat?


The original article identifying that it is a component as fundamental as the other two terminal circuit elements (resistors, inductors, and capacitors) is by Leon Chua circa 1971 and is only 13 pages, definitely suggest reading at least the start: [https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=](https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi= Unfortunately I cannot find the 6 atom concept but it goes like this: three atoms per memristor where the two on the ends are the terminals and the one in between binds to one terminal when charged and the other when depleted. The second memristor acts as the gate/control for the first.


this is so fucking rad ggty


water with glitter or other floaty bits?


I feel safe in saying that when you claim the math is over your head you're flat out lying. This is really cool.


As someone who learns through visual depictions of processes, thank you. Dear god OP thank you.


So many physics teachers screaming for joy


That's crazy because I've dabbled in microcontrollers and stuff made general sense but this whole visual process broke my brain.


Ha ha! Thanks!


Yeah, in my Tech School in the Air Force we learn from animated schematics. But in our actual Tech Data, in the real world, it’s just black and white and hard to follow with some circuits. We get all walks of life that join and end up in some maintenance or electrical job. I feel like this would be something super beneficial for visual learners. I’m gonna shoot this over to an instructor I know over there and see if they could benefit from it. This is way cooler than Death by PowerPoint animation!


I've been in Electrical for too long. I feel the need to describe mechanical attributes in terms of electrical, plumbing in particular. Mechanical analogies don't help me at all, but I'm sure some like them. Good luck!


I'm in the same boat. Circuit diagrams have always just clicked for me ever since Intro to EE. The whole assortment of mechanical apparatus here actually confuses the hell out of me.


Heck, I'm a Mech E and find the gizmos here a bit hard to follow... The analogy I always made when having to analyze a circuit was to hydraulics. I picture voltage sources as pumps, capacitors as hydraulic accumulators, resistors as flow restrictors, etc.


System dynamics ties these all together nicely


System Dynamics: just Laplace that shit


You’ve triggered my PTSD


I've been an engineer for 32 years, I've not solved a Laplace transform since university!


Got a good textbook?


Introduction to System Dynamics by Derek Rowell was the textbook for my series, it was okay, there was a PDF that summarized the useful tables for it


Never been more humbled by a class than sys d


Yep, this is certainly an extremely neat model and project, but whatever lets you understand resistance/damping/inductance is great. The math is ultimately the same; it's "just" linear ODEs


Excuse me but I think you misspelled Laplace transform ^^^/s


Yeah, as an EE this made no sense to me. And I don't know if it's because of my EE background or if it means I was destined for EE because this makes much less sense to me.


I had the same thought. Even the very simple circuits are weird to wrap my head around. If this is helpful to people, more power to them, but nothing about this is intuitive for me.


Even mechanical engineers use electrical analogies to explain more abstract ideas like heat transfer.




Seconding that this is a bad analogy. Within the linear problems modeled well by circuits, there is no point at which the energy will "overflow the bowl" and rush out. Heat and Water and Electricity all "flow" and so its fine to think of them in terms of each other conceptually. Electricity IS a better parallel for some heat transfer problems because the equations are the same. Temperature difference is voltage, resistance is thermal conductivity, and current is the heat transfer Q. Literally Ohm's law. Fluid Mechanics is much too complicated to get away with just V=IR, and whatever equivalent equation there is (maybe Poiseuille's equation?) has much more than three variables.


A better analogy would be a bowl with a hole in the bottom. Better insulation = smaller hole.


> Insulation is just a bowl with higher sides... eventually, if you keep adding heat, it'll get out anyway. I feel like this is a great example of a terrible analogy. it doesn't really explain any unseen mechanic or have any logical parallels other than any given system having a load limit of some kind. people will nod along to not seem dumb but if an adult told me to try to visualize insulation as a bowl filling with water I would probably spend a good chunk of the rest of the day trying to figure out why someone would say that.


Yea as someone who works in AV Engineering this was MORE confusing to me


I like the "Inductor" I never thought of using rotational inertia for that. Lots of spring type things work for capacitor equivalents.


Yeah, I put some complicated circuits in there, but you would work up to that. Simple circuits like series and parallel are immediately intuitive. You can feel the forces and see how current flows at different points in the circuit. Other concepts like why two resistors in parallel have lower resistance become obvious, too.


I don't get how the "resistor" works. How do you demonstrate concepts like parallel resistors of different resistance getting different amounts of current?


The resistor has silicone oil on the inside that makes it resist turning. Yeah, you can do parallel circuits. A different part (the junction) splits the current along two separate paths. So if you connect a junction to two resistors and to a battery, it will work just like an electronic parallel circuit. There's actually a little parallel circuit in the video.


Man maybe it’s because I already know electronics (or don’t know spintro it’s), but the circuit diagrams looked so much easier to follow than the gears lmao. It’s a cool idea though! I hope people get a lot of education out of this. Certainly looks like lots of fun for kids and stuff.


Actually fluidic computers have been built. Also, I work for a company where we have pioneered the use of pyrotechnics to create complex logic in energetic fuzing.


There are even pneumatic equivalents to transistors called volume boosters. You could make complex circuits out of them, but the power requirements would bankrupt you.


Transistors aren't bad to make with pneumatics, but capacitors are terrible. They are super lossy from heat leaving or entering with air compression/decompression. You can make logic circuits easy enough, but analog circuits are sluggish and inefficient.


Have you heard of the [Water Integrator](https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_integrator)?


Fun fact! The apollo program considered hydraulic and pneumatic computers as a backup technology in case it turned out the outer van allen belts were too hostile to digital electronics. Thankfully, it turned out to not be the case.


Shhhhhh. We don't actually talk about engineering here


Right, logic can be created electrically, mechanically, pneumatically, or hydraulically but OP’s goal was to make something intuitive that you can feel


Really cool! However, the term [spintronics](https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spintronics) is already used to describe the quantum spin analog of electronics. Spintronics (a portmanteau meaning spin transport electronics), also known as spin electronics, is the study of the intrinsic spin of the electron and its associated magnetic moment, in addition to its fundamental electronic charge, in solid-state devices. The field of spintronics concerns spin-charge coupling in metallic systems; the analogous effects in insulators fall into the field of multiferroics.


Yeah, I struggled with that one. I finally decided that (a) there isn't a better name for it and (b) there's room for two Spintronics in the world. I don't think anyone will get too confused.






Well, this is awkward.


Oh hi!




But they're all sprockets. Sprocketronics?


TIL sprockets aren't considered a type of gear.


Makes you look at the Jetsons differently, doesn't it? Spacely Sprockets was a little more specialized.


Makes you wonder why they had so much chain driven stuff in the future.


Maybe they had a lot of difficult concepts to visualize?


Elec-turn-ics? Elec-turn-its? An Elec-turn-it circuit? A kit could be called a turn-it-kit. Or an Elec-turn-city. Idk I'm trying too hard... that's all I got lol 😆


That's much better than spintronics. I think you need to reconsider your name, because as mentioned elsewhere, spintronics already means something completely different. You've put in a lot of work, don't undermine it by giving it an unsearchable name.


Drop the -et, just SprockTronics


Calling it: new band name!


Personally I love geartronics even if it's not "correct". To me the distinction is like the difference between piping and tubing. If you work in the industry you know there's a difference, but literally no-one else does. (If you're curious, tubing is thin walled vs pipe which is thick walled)


You might want to reconsider. I am all over Google looking to buy your product and you are being completely flooded out by the other one.


"spintronics toy" That's literally how easy it is


Physicist here, I was not confused. It was worse: I actually misunderstood. I thought this model could account for actual spintronics... You *really* might want to re-consider, as currently the field of spintronics and quantum technologies is emerging. It is 5 years before the breakthrough of the transistor in spintronics terms. It is absurd to even consider calling something that. (Just my two cents as someone who will get physical access to his first quantum computer based on spin qubits in 10 days...)


It's for kids. I think it'll be fine.


As a researcher working in the field of spintronics and also a physics professor teaching intro-level courses, please consider another name. It's a really cool and informative product, so it would be a shame if people had a hard time finding it because of the name.


I really disagree here. You'll turn a load of physists off by the use of the term. *Chaintronics* perhaps?


I came here to say this, upvoting for visibility!


I majored in electrical engineering. This would have added way more confusion to electronics. There are two things that can vary in a circuit - voltage and current. I'm not sure what is representing what. Is the speed supposed to be current? Maybe there is more to how it works than how it appears, but I'm also not sure how simple circuits like parallel circuits would work if the resistances are not equal as the hub would spin the two resistors at equal speeds. However, maybe this is all nit picky. It works for you, so great. And it looks neat, so there's that.


Yeah, this is sort of a quick overview so I couldn't get too many details in there. Voltage is the force pulling the chain. Current is the speed of the chain. The junctions are set up so that each sprocket (even though they are different sizes) behaves the same.


Makes sense, but the only issue is that torque isn't really a 1:1 comparison for voltage. If you have a really big torquey motor in there, you'll get a really big force on the chain, but this won't change the speed of the circuit. With electricity, the more voltage you apply, you'll get a corresponding increase in current. It's not a huge limitation, but it does mean that the model shows a current controlled model, which is kind of interesting as constant current is less common than constant voltage.


I was having similar doubts, but it's better thought out than it seems at first sight. You should have a look at the second half of the kickstarter, after the bits about the water and air attempts, where Paul really goes into what the different parts are and how they convert to electronics. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/upperstory/spintronics-build-mechanical-circuits


If you have a motor setup up to provide constant torque then it will provide a good analog to a constant voltage. A constant speed motor would be analogous to constant current source. I think its a great analogy.


That is amazing ! All school should have that. I see that some parts are 3d printed, any way you make a kit of non 3d printed part and people print the rest. I would definitely use it to show my kid how electronic works. Much better analogy and the tactile feedback help with engagement.


Thanks so much! I think it would be good for that. Things like SnapCircuits are great for getting kids familiar with electronics, but they don't teach how things work because it's too much math. But with this, it's pretty intuitive. You don't need math to understand the concepts.


In the book The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson, gears and chains are used to teach complex programming to one of the characters.


Not only that: There is also the part where the Engineer (sorry, *Artificer*) describes the use of haptic feedback in order to hack together nanotech. That's what I was thinking of when when the caption was describing "feeling the pull of the voltage".


This looks really neat, but I don't understand how conservation of current works at junctions, i.e. in a Kirchhoff Current Law sense. is this correct: * Voltage: the force on a belt, and * Current: the speed of the belt? So **what is a wire in this model? It can't be *both sides* of the belt that's moving between junctions A and B, because (for example) in the actual circuit, charges (or electrons/whatever) may be actually moving from point A to point B, and *not* back from point B to point A. Is it the *half-belt* moving from point A to point B, then: * What is the rule to determine which half of a belt is the "wire" half? * How is current conserved (i.e. sum to zero) mechanically at junctions with lots of wires, i.e. a big stack of gears? Still neat, tho!


I have a problem with the name as "spintronics" is already used in physics to denote the study of spin of electrons and their associated magnetic moments. "Chaintronics" or "Geartronics" sound cooler too. I have as much problems visualizing electronics using your mechanical approach too lol. This is coming from someone with a PhD in electrical engineering who almost failed all my circuits classes :D. So don't take my comment too seriously.


Damn dude, you're amazing and don't let anyone try to tell you differently.


This is so much more complicated than electronics to me, haha.


Nice! Are you making this open source or plan to sell? Do you have a website/blog where I can find more examples? Good job OP... props for originality!


Thanks! Yes I'm making the 3D files all available as well. I don't want to be too self-promoty on here, but I will PM a link to you.


Me too please!


I would also like a link!


Send it to me as well!


Me, too!


Me too please :)


Sign me up


I would like a link as well, thanks!


I'd like a link please.


I am interested as well if you can send them! Thank you.


If u could give me the link too that would be nice ! Very good job man


Sauce please


Also curious!


Me too! Thanks!


me too please


I don’t understand this at all but it sure looks cool 👍🏼


This is an awesome idea, I hope u start to sell education kits like this to schools and universities, I'd definitely buy one, it's so well made. The thing that bugs me is the name, spintronics is also the name of a new field in physics in which we use spin of particles (like electrons) together with their charge to create advanced circuits.


How do you accomplish the capacitor?


So a capacitor has an internal spring? Couldn’t quite see how that worked, it went by too fast


I appreciate your effort, but this analogy doesn't really work. None of them are exact but I think water is the closest and easiest to see - although apparently not in your case. If this helps you and some others, great. At some point, though, you need to internalize the actual electronics and just think in those terms. Sometimes, it's really hard to make the leap. Stuff like quantum physics doesn't have any intuition for me. I can read about it and follow some of the equations but there's nothing real about it to my brain. I guess if I worked on it every day for a few months it would start to be part of my internal thought process.


Normal person: hydronics and electronics assimilate nicely, and every one is familiar with water and it's characteristics. Engineer: hold my ruler, I'm going to make this complicated.


Can you make a FULL BRIDGE RECTIFIER with this? Certainly not a puny half bridge rectifier


Electroboom will even set spintronics on fire.


Ha! Yeah I never even considered a half bridge one. But yeah, you can build a full bridge rectifier.


In that case get this to ElectroBoom, please. Although he might need... several spare parts to finish the video.


Best case two decades from now the next generation of engineers is building badass steam punk contraptions because they played with this.


This is obviously how dwarven technology works.


It looks like really nice. But as a science teacher I don't think this will help at all . It only confuses kids even more. Looks more like an toy for adults.


Yeah, I gotta say, as awesome as it looks, I've had some basic circuits classes and this confused me even more. There's no real ability to intuit how or why these devices will change the circuit.


I think the point, just like with an introductory electronics class, is that you work up from the most basic thing. It looks complex to us because we don't have the context of having each part explained to us one by one first.


I think this video probably doesn't do a good job of selling it. I look at this and think it's more complex than the circuit diagram it's meant to be an analogue of. I don't doubt it's useful to some people, but man am I more confused than I thought I would be


I think it would be fantastic for teaching series vs. parallel (junction and no junction). So many of my students had a hard time with conventional language and would frequently say circuit elements were parallel when they were actually in series because they were literally parallel to each other on a square circuit. I feel like this product nicely illustrates the idea of junctions (at least at the college level).


I don't think the point of this is to teach how electronics work. The point is to help people truly internalize the knowledge they already have of electronics. It is the difference between memorizing the formula needed to calculate something vs understanding the problem to a level that would allow you to derive the formula on your own.


+1. Exactly my thought as well.


This is amazing, if only I had it in College! As a mechanical engineering I am really strong in the areas that I can visualize like Physics, Statics, Dynamics and Machine Design, but when I had to take my intro Electrical Engineering class, I could never wrap my head around electronics. If I had something like this, I know for sure that I would understand circuits 10X better!


Can you make an ac to dc converter with this? I’d love to see how that looks.


I studied electrical engineering in college, and to be honest, I’m not sure if I understood fully while I was there… your little video here piqued my interest in relearning it better and more hands on than abstract theories from college Note: I don’t use electrical at all in my career… I ended up being a software developer haha


This beats the hell out of breadboarding


I think this would be more difficult to understand for a student 🙂


I show some pretty complicated circuits on here, so it looks overwhelming, but it's great for simple circuits like series vs. parallel, too. You can feel the forces acting on each resistor, you can stop one with your fingers and see what it does to the other one. You can compare the current coming into the branch to the current going to each resistor.


As someone who understands electricity, this is confusing as fuck.




Does this have parts to model advanced parts like zener diodes and triacs?


Wawawiwa!! Good job.




Damn!! I love this


This is fucking genius.




Thank you!


This makes it so clear for me! This needs to be made into a learning tool or toy somehow.




This is amazingly awesome! Just one thing that bothers me is that spintronics is a term that already exists, and is actually much more abstract and hard to grasp, and relates to the quantum property of spin.


I visualize it like water flowing along a pipe and to be honest this is a little confusing to me.


This is beautiful!!!


I wish I had this as a kid! Or even now...


Sweet! Just bought your other product (Turing Tumble) for the kids at my tutoring center and they love it! Keep up the good work!


Thanks. I’m not an engineer and I was abysmal in physics. But that never stopped me from being interested in how everything works. And this set up really helps to portray it in an easier way, so thanks for that


Does it work with ac power? Or do you have one that does


Why did you decide to connect everything with chains instead of axles? It seems like you wouldn't get nearly as much slop that way. But maybe all the bevel gears or universal joints would be an issue.