DIYnamics

Affordable materials for geoscience teaching demonstrations

Ordering, Building, and Operating DIYnamics Kits


The DIYnamics Kits

The DIYnamics Project provides the resources for you to order, build and operate your own rotating tank platform! Hands-on demonstrations provide a valuable opportunity for students to ask questions and draw conclusions in linking experimental results to real world phenomena.

The DIYnamics Kits provide rotating tank platforms at various price points, sizes, and complexities. Each is well suited for performing fluid dynamics experiments with students or for public outreach events. Note that price ranges below reflect different options starting from base that increase the capabilities of each platform.


LEGO-Based Tables - $55 to $80

The LEGO-Based Tables are built using LEGOs, a 16”-diameter lazy susan, and other household items. They are perfect for teaching the basics, portable, and safe for audiences of all ages. Despite their low cost, they are robust enough for a wide range of experiments. Add-ons are available that enable capturing rotating frame footage and changing the rotation rate.

Learn more about the LEGO-Based Tables here


DJ Table - $600 to $1,500

The DJ Table is a record player based system for demonstrating geophysical fluid dynamics. The system’s tanks come with transparent lids that make them ideal for visualization via phone or camera, and its minimal footprint makes for easy storage and transportation.

Compared to the LEGO-Based tables, the DJ Table provides much finer control over the rotation rate and a more reliable, consistent rotation rate. This makes it great for demonstrations such as Taylor Columns that require precise changes in rotation rate. While not quite as portable as the LEGO-Based tables, the DJ Table’s rolling cart still makes it highly portable.

Learn more about the DJ Table here


HT3 Table - $3,800 to $4,800

Our biggest table is the HT3. The HT3 is an extremely high quality system, nearly research grade, that includes a nearly 3-foot diameter rotating tank on a powerful, reliable motor. At the same time, its lightweight frame, multi-functional cart, and 100% battery power make it fully portable. This high-end device is ideal for demonstrating simple to advanced geophysical fluid processes, and its sheer size make it an ideal eye-catcher for public outreach events.

Learn more about the HT3 Table here


Helpful Tips

Here are helpful tips when using any of the DIYnamics Kits. We greatly value feedback and contributions from the DIYnamics community to help refine our devices and experiments. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to share with us via email at diynamicsteam@gmail.com or Twitter at @DIYnamicsTeam.


Recommended Parts

In addition to the required components outlined in the order sheet, we also recommend the following items:

Disclaimer: Be careful with experiments involving wall power and water in close proximity. The GFCI halts power in the event of a fault and is a vital safety measure in situations involving water and electricity.

When working with the DIYnamics Kits or any other rotating tank platform, the tank must be level and center for optimal performance. Off-level or off-center tanks create unwanted fluid motions that detract from experiments.

Using the DIYnamics Kits involves filling and draining water from tanks. Be prepared to handle water logistics when performing experiments.


Capturing Rotating Frame Footage

When the tank on any of the DIYnamics Kits are rapidly rotating, it can be hard to see the more subtle behaviors going on inside the tank. To get around this, it’s really helpful to have a camera looking at the tank from above and spinning with the tank. Each DIYnamics Kit features options for doing this — what we call capturing footage in the rotating frame. Zoom can be used to livestream rotating frame footage for real-time analysis of fluid motions.