Vapor Trails And Fan Make For Fantastic Photos In DIY Wind Tunnel

Every wanted a mini wind tunnel to check the aerodynamics of scale model cars, drones, or other small objects? Then check out [dannyesp]’s mostly-3D-printed DIY wind tunnel (video, embedded below). Don’t forget to also browse the additional photos in this Reddit thread.

A junk parts project doesn’t have to look like a hack job.

There’s not much for plans available, since as [dannyesp] admits, this device was very much the product of trial-and-error and junk bin parts. The video and photos are more than enough for any enterprising hacker to work with.

The core of the device is a large fan made from a junked drone motor. This fan is located at the rear of the tunnel. A small anemometer is placed at the front, where some 3D-printed baffles also work to smooth out turbulent incoming air.

The foggy trails of vapor come from a hacked-up vape pen. Vapor gets piped through some tubing to the front of the tunnel. There, the vapor trails are drawn towards the low-pressure area at the rear, traveling over and around the object on the way. [dannyesp] also mentions that the platform holding the object is mounted on a rail, which incorporates some kind of pressure sensor in an attempt to quantify wind drag.

We want to take a moment to appreciate just how clean this “junk parts” project looks — even though it is made from things like broken photo frames. All of this comes down to thoughtful assembly. A hack doesn’t have to look like a hack job, after all. We also love the little control box that, instead of having a separate power indicator, lights up like a little nightlight when it has power.

Hacking vaporizers is a fantastic way to create a small, portable fog machine. These can create fantastic costume effects like this smoking Ghost Rider skull. They are a great way to turn an off-the-shelf consumer item into something that cost quite a bit more just a few years back.

4 thoughts on “Vapor Trails And Fan Make For Fantastic Photos In DIY Wind Tunnel

  1. OK this is the kind of project that makes me want to go back to the shed and finish setting up the workshop
    Beautiful from start to finish
    It would be nice to use it to reproduce the Wright Bros study of the aerodynamics of wings and propellor design

Leave a Reply to no Cancel reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.