I'd like to use 16 electromagnets arranged in a 4x4 grid under a perfectly leveled glass plate to move around a steel ball on the surface of the plate. By turning the 16 magnets ON and OFF in different sequences the ball would roll around in different patterns.
I bought an 11 lbs holding electromagnet lift solenoid from Amazon and used a 1/2 inch E52100 steel ball for a first test. Unfortunately the magnet wasn't strong enough to move the ball even when the ball was just 1/2 inch off horizontally from the magnet.
Looking through different options on Amazon I found different types of electromagnets: a sucked electric lifting magnet electromagnet, a electric lifting magnet electromagnet, the holding electromagnet lift solenoid, etc. Are those basically all the same or are there some essential differences? If there are differences which one would be the best for my application? I also will increase the lifting force, of course.
Are there more suitable balls than the E52100 alloy that are somewhat affordable?
Thank you for your help in advance!