Build a Simple DC Motor

Build a working DC motor in 20 minutes if you have the right materials!


  • AA battery or equivalent power source with two wire leads
  • 2 feet of thin magnet wire
  • neodymium magnet
  • two short pieces of thicker wire
  • simple breadboard


  • Create a round coil of wire with about 20 wraps of magnet wire around a small bottle cap or other small round object.
  • leave excess on either end of the coil and wrap the ends around the coil a few times and then straight out from each side of the coil.
  • Gently scrape the wire coating off a portion of each of the two leads coming from the coil. Be careful here because you only want to scrape half the side of each wire and leave coating on the other half.
  • With the two short pieces of thicker wire, simple bend a small loop on one end of each wire.
  • Insert the two short pieces of wire into the breadboard anywhere is fine (depends on the width of your coil)
  • Place the ends of the coil through each loop of the two short pieces of thicker wire
  • Lay down a neodymium magnet under the coil (coil should be close but not touch the magnet with the coil spins)
  • Spin the coil to make sure it is balanced and freely spins (bend/shape as necessary)
  • Hook up the battery leads, one to one post and other other to the other post
  • Tip: you may need to tap the coil to get it spinning.


  • What did you observe?
  • Can you explain what is happening?

simple DC motor


  • When electricity passes through a wire, it creates a magnetic field. The coil of wire…
  • Coming soon


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Coco Science

Coco is interested in STEAM with a particular interest in the A. She has a hamster named Marshmallow and likes to read, craft, cook and dance.