Magnetic Express

Students:  Giuseppe Pivari (5M); Arianna Balducci (4N); Andrea Scatà (4R); Luca Manfrin (3P); Sebastiano Bellettati (3U). 

Tutor: Eleonora Signorini (5M).

Name Description/SkillsRoles (*)Responsibilities
GiuseppePivari““good”” knowledge on math and physics,wide use of word, powerpoint and excel and technology in general (computer,smart phone and internet),use of laboratory and carpentry tools Construction ManagerKeep the drive folder organized
Arianna BalducciMatematica, utilizzo generale del computer e capacità di analisi.EditorCheck the logbook
Luca ManfrinMathematics, physics, programming (C ++), problem solving, use of laboratory or carpentry tools and construction of simple structures, models or circuits.Manager, Editor Theoretical partmonitor activities
Sebastiano BellettatiConoscenze matematiche, fisiche e informatiche del biennio e della terza, conoscenza teorica di altri argomenti in generale, osservatore con capacità di analisi della situazione.Construction ManagerMaintaining material order
AndreaScatàMaterie scientifiche in generale e capacità d’analisi/osservazione critica.Editor Theoretical Part

Photo of the first 3d model of the project: 

Team mission:  The main goal of the team is to build a train (or vehicle) which is able to move  thanks to magnetic levitation. During this project we would like to increase our knowledge about electromagnetism.

Why do you want to do this project?

Out of general curiosity of the members of the group about magnetism and the means of transport that take advantage of it, since everyone has always seen it like an almost magical phenomenon.

Why can it be of interest to someone else too? Because it is an interesting and innovative theme.


A small-scale means of transport that uses magnetism to move.

Purpose of the project: To have a train that takes advantage of magnetic levitation in order to deepen the magnetism applied to means of transport.

Project structure: We’re planning to do an oval track (or linear if not possible) with magnetic rails on both sides of the bottom, lateral vertical constraints (made of low-friction materials) and round magnets of different (or same)  polarity in the middle of the track. About the train we’d build an aerodynamic structure. The movement of the train is based on switchable electromagnets inside it which work with a program that regulates them, using a magnet field sensor.

Necessary materials:

  • magnets strips
  • round magnets
  • electromagnets (copper wires and iron)
  • magnetic field sensor
  • wires and electronic components
  • constraints  made of plastic (and other low-friction materials)
  • wood base/plastic base
  • wood/plastic for the train structure 
  • relay
  • Arduino
  • breadboard

Minimum, maximum and definitely achievable goals.

Minimum goalBuild a  train which can levitate and move using different methods.
Maximum goalBuild a  train which can without any kind of external help. The train should also respect the environment.
Definitely achievable goalBuild a levitating train.

Problems during the duration of the project.

  • make the train run smoothly, without sticking to the track or bouncing;
  • find a compact solution to put all the circuits in the train;