Ultra-powerful Pneumatic Hand Dryer

Have you been let down by the inadequate performance of a hand dryer? We know that feel. [tesla500] recently installed a centralized compressed air system and decided he might as well do something interesting it, so he built an ultra-powerful hand dryer that rivals the performance of any hand dryer on the market.

[tesla500] set out to make a clone of the Dyson Airblade. He started out with a simple prototype out of milled aluminum with one nozzle. Even with just one nozzle the hand dryer performed incredibly well. Next he designed a Solidworks model with a smaller nozzle gap (50um) and 4 total nozzles which has even better performance and emulates the airflow of the Airblade.

The dryer was originally controlled with a foot-activated pneumatic valve, but it severely restricted airflow. [tesla500] decided to use a 3/8″ solenoid valve instead, which solved the airflow restriction. According to [tesla500], the dryer works even better than the Airblade when running at full pressure, although he notes that you might need to watch out if you have any open wounds on your hands.

Mexican law enforcement seizes a hacked together Weed Cannon


Here’s an interesting hack. It’s a small pick-up truck with a Dope Cannon attached to it. Sure, it looks more like something you’d see in Syria, but this item was actually seized in Mexico where it was being used to fire 30 pound slugs of Marijuana over the border fence with the US. Usually when you fire artillery there isn’t someone on the target range trying to recover the projectile!

The device uses a PVC barrel to guide the pot-pellet as it’s propelled by compressed air. Hey, swap out the drugs for an energy drink and that sounds pretty familiar. Our qualifying entry for the 2012 Red Bull Creation Contest was an energy drink cannon which  used the same setup with a slightly smaller caliber. It makes us wonder if the drug cartel uses little parachutes like we did?

Doesn’t it arouse suspicion to drive something like this around town? You’d think they’d use a box truck or something similar to hide the giant gun.

[Photo Credit: AP via NY Daily News]

[via Reddit]

Heatless compressed air dryer

The pressurized air from a standard air compressor is fine for most uses. But some applications like plasma cutting call for low-humidity air and the hardware available to facilitate this can cost a bundle. [Roland] and his cohorts at TX/RX Labs (a Houston, Texas Hackerspace) just built this air drying system.

It works using a desiccant; a substance that sequesters moister. It’s the stuff in those little packets you find in shoe boxes and the like with a warning that you shouldn’t eat it. The image above shows two chambers which house the desiccant. Only one is used at a time, so that as it’s ability to remove moisture drops, the system can switch over to the other chamber. There’s even an automatic recharging system built in that uses a portion of the dried air to remove the humidity from the unused desiccant chamber.

There’s a functional diagram at the link above. It’s resolution is low enough that the text is almost unreadable but we’ve asked [Roland] if he can repost the image. This seems like a build in which other hackerspaces will be interested.

Solder paste dispenser hacked to run off compressed air cans


[John] got a shiny new solder paste dispenser for a steal, and before he hooked up the tool, he decided to take a look inside to make sure everything was on the up and up. Aside from a few questionable wiring practices he didn’t approve of, everything else looked to be in good working order.

The only thing that was bothering [John] is that he wasn’t too keen on keeping his noisy and large air compressor in his workshop, so he set off to find a different way to provide compressed air to the device. He settled on air dusters like those used for cleaning the crumbs out of your keyboard, but he needed to find a way to reliably get the air to his solder dispenser. He heated the air can’s nozzle until he was able to screw his dispenser’s hose barb into it, creating a tight seal. The modified nozzle was reattached to the can and placed in a simple jig that keeps the nozzle held down continuously.

[John] fired up his dispenser, and the 80 psi coming from the duster was plenty to get the solder paste flowing. Sure the rig might not be the most high tech solution, but we think it’s a pretty good means of getting quiet compressed air anywhere you need it.

Robot hands you your ass at beer pong

Guess who built this contraption? You’re right, college students. But as much as we like to make fun, the subject of Beer Pong is our addition, not theirs. The device uses an air stream that can be directed along two axis to control and sort ping-pong balls.

Unlike the lethal ping-pong ball launcher, the goal here is elegant control of the ball. They’ve achieved a great success. Watch the video after the break to see balls sorted into beakers by color, transferred to vessels over a large distance, and navigated through an elevated obstacle course. To give us a hint of what you can do with this, we see the machine controlling an apple, an onion, and a water bottle at the end of the video.

Continue reading “Robot hands you your ass at beer pong”

Ping-pong launcher your wife can’t know about


Sometime the projects you see at the local hacker space are better left a secret when you return home for the evening. Case in point, this ping-pong ball launcher that can put holes in a sheet of OSB. The projectile is made more lethal because the ball has been injected with water to dramatically increase the density. Compressed air is used to propel it from the 14 round magazine with devastating effect.

We’ve embedded a video of the gun being fired after the break. The creator, [Ron Kessinger], demonstrated this at a Denver hacker space called Club Workshop. We’re hoping there’s no plans for turret automation because this thing’s dangerous! Either way, the significant other who usually watches out for our safety would never approve. Continue reading “Ping-pong launcher your wife can’t know about”

Refillable CO2 cartridges


For those who use these little cartridges, you know how quickly the price can add up.  [steve] takes us through the process of adding a valve to a spent cartridge so it can be refilled. Over all, it doesn’t seem too difficult, and [steve] offers lots of tips to increase longevity and reliability. It isn’t very often that we show a hack here that doesn’t involve some kind of electronics, so take a break from the resistors and microprocessors for a moment and enjoy.

[thanks Wolf]