Mimicing real-world mechanisms. Possible?

Hi everybody! I need your help.

I have two inventions that I have built prototype models of. The one is a magnet engine where circles of permanent magnets are arranged on circular disks in a way that the forces of the opposing groups of poles first attract then repell one another to generate enough torque to turn a driveshaft.

The other is a carousel of sails arranged around a central mast that catch the wind on one side, then, as it turns they release the wind and reorientate, flipping around to tack into the wind making use of the aerofoil to generate force. The idea being that wind from any direction will turn it and the power is directed along a driveshaft to a propellor.

As both of these involve the same principle for opperation the question in each case is basically the same one. Is there a way to set this up in blender?

I downloaded 2.23 some time ago as I was advised that I would need to do it in the game engine. It’s taken me a while to get my head around blender but the game engine has got me beat!

Both of these models work on the bench. I spin the sails with a hairdrier. I’d like to think that it’s just a matter of this old dog learning new tricks. I’d be obliged of any help or suggestions I could get!

I’ve got to say it’s a pleasure to come here and even if this doesn’t work I won’t give up blender. You guys have a mighty fine program and a mighty fine forum.


I actually learned blender for just the same reason, filing an invention through work, my winbox was down and I needed a good drawing/modelling program in Linux.

I now have no life. I spend my lunches surfing for tuts, and gleaming everything I can from elysiun. I have bought a new computer and rigged all the old machines into a blenderfarm. I’m not sure if my GF still likes me. And I still don’t have a completed F1 entry!!!

Does it use only permanent magnets?
What’s its source of power?
How well does it work?

If you just want to build the models to show and to animate them you don’t need the game engine. You can set rotation and location animation keys and made them perpetual by setting the extend mode to cyclic - you’ll find this in the IPO window to the right of the copy/paste buttons. You select just above the one that selects teh 3D window.
Hope this helps,

Thank you for your replies!


I was hoping it would be possible to actually have the force(s) of the magnets and the wind applied realisticly so that they could be variables rather than use an IPO. With the magnets you will appreciate that they can opperate in the reverse direction to act as either a govenor or a brake. Having variable inputs would simplify any further research in this area. At the moment, each time I need to make changes I have to disassemble the model and in some cases build new gears or carraiges. One of the early models ‘ran away’ and I couldn’t stop it. In a few seconds the centrifugal force just blew it apart and smashed the magnets. Being able to do it in blender I may be safer.


  1. yes
  2. magnetism

Any further questions of this nature are going to require a big pile of ‘Ben Franklins’ to wheedle an answer from me. 8)


I’m there, Brother, in the depths of distraction. With the same reaction from the Old Lady, bless her heart! Every time I get stuck I have to remind myself “Shucks, somebody actually wrote this program and I can’t even figure out how to use it” But, hell, I reckon it’s just a big treasure hunt.

Thanks again to all of you. I had a PM from Dani that gave me some positive direction and, one way or another, no matter how long it takes, I’ll find a way!