Practical Coilgun Design

Finite Element Magnetics

Do you want to analyze coilguns without building them? Want to study effects that you can't build? Want to see your coilgun's invisible fields?

It's easy -- just use finite element analysis (FEA) software and simulate your coilgun. Thanks to David Meeker, there is a free modelling package, FEMM v4.2. You can write scripts to move parts and change parameters.

This chapter shows the modelling I've done, with complete instructions and explanations about what I've found. These pages include all the files so you can run them yourself. I hope you try a few and explore your own variations.

These web pages reveal some extremely important principles of coilgun design. If you do nothing else, visit the bottom of each page and study the conclusions.

FEM Models

Each model studies the effect of a single change in coil geometry. They are generally presented in the chronological order in which I ran them. So they tend to advance with increasing complexity.

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