Project description

Tesla coil

General Description

I built a high voltage transformer called Tesla Coil during the winter and spring of 2016. The concept was first invented by Nikola Tesla, but has since been adapted to be buildable with every day items. I have been interested in learning about high voltage devices and this project certainly taught me much. I was able to use my 3D printing and CAD skills to make the transformer modular and easy to build.

There were no specific plans for this Tesla coil, I got the general plans from various websites, but I have done most of the calculations and simulations that led to this design. The transformer ended up working really nicely. I have done some upgrades to my original plans. For example, I have modified the coil winding ratio and spark gap considerably.

The transformer draws around 450 watts of power for spark generation and an additional 1500 watts of power for cooling it's spark gap. It creates up to 60 cm long arcs, which is a good result for the used power level.

Tesla coil

Purpose: High voltage fun
Date: spring of 2016
URL: Video of operation

  • Project to learn about high voltage
  • Total power consumption about 2kW
  • Makes up to 60 cm long arcs
  • Many parts 3D printed

Current status

The Tesla coil has been demonstrated to work reliably. It always draws a crowd and it is fun to look at. The design of the device allows easy future modifications. I would like to adapt it to play sounds through the arc. A recent improvement has been tuning the coil using an oscilloscope and a function generator, seen in a picture above.