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.

34 thoughts on “Ultra-powerful Pneumatic Hand Dryer

    1. My wife and I both read the “In Death…” series of books by J.D.Robb (cop/murder mysteries set in the year 2060). This is one of the pieces of technology (the “drying tube”) mentioned in passing I’ve often thought would be cool to have.

        1. weird, no idea why.
          “OSHA adopted this regulation for a number of reasons. A highly pressurized air nozzle can become a weapon, create a noise filled work environment, cause a respiratory hazard, and can cause a serious medical condition known as an air embolism. An air embolism, in medical context refers to an air or gas bubble moving through the blood stream. If an employee has an open wound on their body and they use compressed air to clean dust off of themselves, there is a risk of creating an air embolism.”


    1. “One issue left to be addressed is ensuring safety with high pressure air near skin. An open skin wound could allow a jet of compressed air under the skin with unpleasant results. The solution is to keep the hands from contacting the nozzle directly. An attempt was made with simple protrusions from the nozzles but these caused problems with airflow. The final solution is likely a wire mesh screen of some sort.”

      Right at the bottom of their pretty short blog post…

  1. I’m more interested in why / what for he installed a distributed compressed air system in the house.
    What else is planned ?
    What would one use compressed air for in a typical home ?
    Replacing motors like the fridge or freezer would be inefficient if the air was generated by electric. If it’s wind generated, sure, why not.
    Whole house vacuum ?
    Pneumatic curtains? :o)

    1. Good commercial shops have compressed air, why not a home? It’s super useful. In this case, I had just installed a CNC mill which required compressed air, and figured I’d run the pipes in the wall instead of having hoses cluttering the ground, and why not just put outlets around the shop? It’s nice to be able to plug in pneumatic tools anywhere in the shop without running long hoses.

      1. I’ve got air in the garage (workshop) on pipes with connections around the garage near where they will be used. Inc a tyre inflater that lies outside so don’t need to unlock etc and the kids can use.
        Multiple compressors tied together saves over one big one, and several tanks. Water traps. etc. Used for the large selection of air tools, blaster cab & plasma cutter.
        Also use air on a waste oil heater.
        But I can’t make the leap to what I’d use it for inside the house. Looking for ideas :o)
        I figure your shop backs on to your bathroom then ?

        Star Trek doors will result in divorce I fear.

  2. As our non-english typing friend above pointed out, a lot of air compresser systems have oilers that keep the air nice and oily to help your pneumatic tools working, along with oil in the compressor itself to keep it running, so I guess if you don’t mind having a light coating of oil yourself, including your lungs since a lot of it gets atomized. Plus using this just to dry your hands means the compressor is going to be running more often. I’ll stick to towels myself, thank you.

  3. On the bright side, there’s no way this could possibly be louder than the existing Airblade/XLerator machines. Since those already put out the loudest sounds human ears are capable of perceiving, I’m thoroughly convinced.

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