Building An Ion Thruster: Model I

Building An Ion Thruster

  • Battery container from a flashlight (mine held 3 AAA batteries)
  • Boost step-up power module (DC6–12V to 1000kV)
  • 3 metal screws (~6 cm in length is ideal)
  • 3 aluminum cans (mine were Brisk Tea cans)
  • Copper wire
  • Crocodile clip
  • Electrical tape (or heat shrinks)
  • Binder clip
  • Receipt (or another type of thin paper)
  • 3D Printer (I used the Ender 3 V2)+ filament
  • Hot glue
  • Double-sided tape

3D Printing The Parts

  • Platform A holds the stand and the can holder.
  • Platform B holds the screw holder and has a lid. This platform is hot glued to platform A when it’s printed.
  • The stand is made to have a receipt attached to it via binder clip.
  • The screw holder fits into a flat component that can be moved on platform B. This allows me to adjust the distance between the screws and the cans.
  • The platform lid goes onto the right platform after the screw holder is placed in.
  • The can holder holds 3 cans.


How Does It Work?


Potential Improvements

  • The screws could have been copper-plated and centered better. Centering the screws better would require some alterations to the original design of the screw holder.
  • Certain parts of the 3D printed components could have been made smaller to save printing time and filament.
  • A switch could have been added to the power part of this model so that the wires from the power module did not need to be manually attached to the battery container. It would have also made using this model safer.




15 y/o that loves space, science, tech, and philosophy.

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Chloe Wang

Chloe Wang

15 y/o that loves space, science, tech, and philosophy.

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