1. Alex says:

    Very clever! I like that it’s not over-engineered. Stencils work just fine.

  2. Oren Beck says:

    Why waste good Helium when Hydrogen might add some effects potential?

    Dyes+ Lasers with enough Testes to provide Foam Ignition- even on a “Per Color” granularity being one path to investigate.

    This is a VERY nice basic concept Hack that may end up spawning many Stunning derivatives.

    I will be trying to clone this someday.

  3. bob says:

    I’m not a big fan of pissing helium away into space.

  4. Alex says:

    @bob: better start stockpiling then, because right now helium is inexpensive and available to anyone who wants to inflate balloons!

  5. abobymouse says:

    Helium is a non-renewable gas. Any bulk users of helium (eg NASA) are careful not to waste it; not just to keep costs down but because they know it’s non-renewable.

  6. Alex says:

    When they finally get fusion plants up and running, we will have plenty of helium! But you’ll want to stock up on hydrogen.

  7. brad says:

    NASA waste things? Don’t be ridiculous.

  8. abobymouse says:
  9. fabien says:

    Ok, that’s beautyfull. But… :

    -How much soap did they spread in environnement just to make their demo ?
    -Is hackaday the right place to speak about something that shows its patent number everywhere on the website ?

  10. Will says:


    I feel this thing uses far less helium, than your average child’s brithday party. think HUGE waste of helium there. At least this thing is fun

  11. Volkemon says:

    Wow… try following MAKE: online and you would have seen this almost two years ago… Still cool, and the laser+hydrogen addition…… good idea Oren!!!

  12. Hirudinea says:

    Needs coloured bubbles.

  13. Drake says:

    Now suspend a throwie in it …

    Or @Oren

    Make it a game … Shoot the err logo?

  14. Elias says:

    That is very cool for sure :)

  15. M4CGYV3R says:

    It’s like cartoon smoke signals, except for real.

  16. Hack Cell says:

    Like for these comments, M4CGYV3R, Oren Beck, abobymouse

    @fabien, Who cares if they’ve got a patent number on their site? And it is a form of physical advertising that doesn’t leave any actual trash left over so I will overlook the minuscule bit of bubble liquid spread into the environment by the few of these machines that exist. If you want to complain about environmental stuff

  17. Joshua says:

    Hydrogen and a laser sounds awesome.

  18. nikescar says:

    If they made a matrix of holes that could be opened and closed they’d have a dot-matrix foam printer.

  19. notmyfault2000 says:

    Helium is non-renewable? Doesn’t it go right back where it came from (i.e. the atmosphere) just to be harvested again?

  20. Techie says:

    @notmyfault and others: of course Helium is renewable if you are counting on another “Big-Bang”….

  21. CameronSS says:

    @notmyfault2000: Helium is refined from natural gas deposits. It’s too light to stay in the atmosphere and eventually floats off into space. Natural gas reserves are directly proportional to helium reserves.

  22. benboy00 says:

    I call toast. This thing was posted ages ago.

  23. benboy00 says:

    Possibly not from these people though

  24. Trivino says:

    Mr Oren Beck, please forgive my ignorance, but what “Dyes+ Lasers with enough Testes to provide Foam Ignition” really means?

  25. FBI, Agent Douglas says:

    This is a neat machine, would be great at our meetings (not everyone listens) colored bubbles would be great but UV bubble mix would be better and have a much cooler effect at night. Sell these to the ravers and you have your main market.

  26. Oren Beck says:


    I’m just a working stiff often called a “Senior Engineer” So bear with me a moment while I flesh out the concepts behind my comment.

    In one overly simplistic explanation:

    Dyes WILL burn if you pump enough thermal energy in. Power level= Testes AkA “Balls” in crude terminology..

    I’ve been asked by PM to expand on this for a few folks waiting for me to prototype something.. Be patient on a model- my Real Soon Now list’s a bit full. But for the moment- here’s the fleshing out:

    Your basic “bubble” of any soap based chemistry tends to be mostly transparent at the single bubble level. That “mostly” qualifier applies to effects like scattering and diffraction which in bulk masses of bubbles produce an appearance of “white” as the reflectivity averages a net balance.

    Which makes any color of Laser inherently be reflected plus diffused by each bubble’s inner and outer wall. Further details like power per unit of area calcs are out of scope here.

    The simplest videos showing the effect are those of a red Laser bursting a blue balloon inside a red balloon.

    Thus, dyes could potentially reproduce the effect in dyed masses of bubbles.

    Oh, there’s a whole basic field we could play “Laser Whack-A-Bubble” in. By tuning dye and bubble ratios to interact with Lasers of varied color, focus and beam diameter.

    IF any of us make something AWESOME from all this- do please open source it as a matter of Karma..

    Using 100% O2 in some foam areas and 100% H2 in others could make it go from ignition to detonation..

    Don’t try that one– EVER, lest ye wish to meet Darwin.

    The history lesson to close this for now describes how a Razor blade became a unit of relative Laser power:

  27. talkingjazz says:

    But of cause you might run into problems shining lasers up into the sky.

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