Electromagnets Power Captain America’s Shield

Electromagnets Power Captain America’s Shield

Captain America has been a pop culture icon for over 80 years. From his ongoing Marvel Comics series to blockbuster movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain America is one of the world’s greatest superheroes. His star-spangled Shield is just as iconic. Captain America uses it for protection and can launch the shield like a discus when it’s time for action. For a brief moment, the shield was modified by Marvel’s Stark Industries with a magnetic mechanism that controlled its launch. BuyMagnets customer Hacksmith has built their own fully functional prototype of Captain America’s Shield in the same way. But instead of using magnetic technology from Iron Man’s company, the tech geniuses over at Hacksmith use electromagnets that can be found on BuyMagnets.

Hacksmith is famous for making working prototypes of fictional technology from sci-fi and fantasy worlds including Batman’s bat-gadgets, Lightsabers from Star Wars, Wolverine’s Claws, Thor’s Hammer, and of course Captain America’s Shield. We sat down with Hacksmith’s engineering team to learn more about their creative uses of magnets.

Question: What is Hacksmith all about?
Hacksmith Team:
We make technology entertainment videos, focusing on taking ideas from the worlds of fiction and making real working prototypes. Our audience is anyone who wants to see incredible ideas from movies, TV shows, games, and comics turned into reality. And for anyone who enjoys seeing random, wild experiments — that are science-adjacent, of course. In wider focus, we want to inspire and excite the next generation of engineers and inventors — people early in their pursuit of STEAM careers. 

Q: When did Hacksmith first start using magnets, and why?
Our first popular magnet videos date back almost a decade, to founder James Hobson building electromagnetic mechanisms for a Captain America shield prototype. This remains one of our most viral videos to this day. 

Electromagnets Make Captain America’s Shield Fly

Q: What are some of the challenges of working with magnets?
HS: Electromagnets are great since they can be turned on and off, making them very easy to transport and build around when not active. We prefer these in larger projects, or where very large holding forces are required. Smaller magnets and permanent magnets can be really convenient for small/quick projects, enhancing 3D prints, and building shop equipment. But a lot of small magnets can also be very brittle, so care is required to avoid shattering them. They can also be quite tricky to glue or stick into place, as their surfaces are often very smooth. Countersunk magnets that can have a screw passed through the center to hold them in place are a nice middle ground if you have the space for them in your project. 

Q: Do you have new projects planned that incorporate magnets in the design?
HS: We can’t reveal all our top-secret plans, but there are some very cool gadgets in video games that involve “magically” repelling and attracting objects. We’d like to see how we can use real world tech, like electromagnets and air cannons, to replicate some of these effects in the real world. 

Q: What excites you the most about the future of Hacksmith?
HS: The most exciting thing about the future is seeing what else we can do! We’ll never stop making awesome YouTube videos, but we also plan to: 1. expand our facility to become a creator hotspot where anyone can go to make amazing technology real; 2. host/attend more events internationally, build programs and systems that can benefit people even offline, or those who may never have seen one of our videos. The more people who can be inspired by science and technology, the better!

Explore the latest Hacksmith projects and get inspired. Contact the experts at BuyMagnets and let’s talk about how our electromagnets can help your next big project.