Not every project has to be an AI-powered particle accelerator using lasers. Sometimes simple projects can be very satisfying, and a simple project can be a great gateway to introduce a friend or a child to our hacker ways. That’s why we noticed [Crazy Science’s] bubble machine upcycled from a CD and a water bottle. It isn’t likely to figure in anyone’s Ph.D. dissertation any time soon, but that isn’t the point
Once you see the pictures, you can probably figure out how to build it. For extra points, consider scrounging everything from stuff you already have. We were curious about drilling holes in the CD as we’d imagine they’d crack with an ordinary drill bit. Apparently, a soldering iron will pierce the disk, but we would advise doing that in a well-ventilated area.
Continue reading “A Bubble Machine Built From Scrap”
This year, [Thomas]’ neighborhood has gone from a quiet burg to a bustling lane full of families and children who go out walking for exercise and a change of scenery. Early on, a game emerged to distract children from the pandemic by turning these walks into bear hunts — that is, looking for stuffed bears sitting in the windows of houses and keeping count of them.
With no stuffed bears in the house, he decided to join in the fun by pasting up a 2D panda bear in the window that’s cute enough to calm anyone’s nerves. That was fun for a while, but then he turned it up to eleven by making an interactive 3D version named Bubbles the Bear that blows bubbles and speaks in a friendly voice.
Bubbles sits in a second-story window and waits for passers-by to press one of the buttons mounted on the utility pole below. Both buttons are wired to a 433MHz remote that sends a signal to an ESP32 in Bubbles’ habitat that says it’s time to perform.
We particularly like the bubble maker that [Thomas] designed, which aims a blower fan with an air concentrator at a carousel of 3D printed bubble wands. Both the fan and the carousel can be controlled with a custom web app, and he gets an email every time Bubbles has a visitor that tells him how much bubble liquid is left. Check out the fun-size demo after the break.
Bubbles are fun, especially if you can make them in extremely large quantities. Bubbles can also do work — remember this next time you need a random number generator.
Continue reading “Bubbles, The People-Pleasing Pandemic Panda”
[Fmilburn] was having fun with his grandkids, playing around with a small Radio Shack solar panel, some supercapacitors and a Zener diode when the kids eventually moved on to blowing bubbles with their grandmother. To regain their interest he got an inexpensive battery powered, soap Bubble Blaster and converted it to run on the solar panel and supercapacitors instead.
His write-up is a pretty fun read, walking through his process, including an oscilloscope measurement showing how the capacitors’ voltage drops from 5.26 V to 3.5 V when the trigger is pressed, and interestingly, slowly recovers until it’s released a second later, when it then rises back to 4.5 V. He’s even included how he worked out of the panel’s maximum power point (MPP), which is what he was doing when the kids were first lured away to blow soap bubbles. But we’re sure Hackaday readers aren’t as easily distracted.
The resulting Solar Powered Bubble Blaster works quite well. At a starting voltage of 5.23 V, it runs for 15 seconds and then takes only a minute to recharge. Charged batteries would have had a longer runtime but take longer to recharge, an important point when trying to keep kids interested. See it in action in the video below.
Want to instead fill your neighborhood with soap bubbles? Check out this 14,000 BPM (Bubbles Per Minute) 3D printed soap bubble machine. Or maybe something more relaxed is your speed.
Continue reading “Hacking A Solar Bubble Blaster With Grandkids”
Post an animation on Reddit of a workable machine that looks neat and does something cool and the next day someone will have built it. That’s what happened when [The-Big-Ship] uploaded an animation of a clever bubble making machine — though we had to look twice to convince ourselves that it wasn’t real. The next day [Over_Engineered_2] posted a video of his working one.
We often hear that you need precision CAD software such as Solidworks and AutoCAD to design a functional machine but the animation was done using Cinema 4D, used for films such as Iron Man 3 and Tron: Legacy. This shows that you can at least get a reassurance that the basic mechanics will fit and move together without having to design precision parts.
That’s not to say that reality didn’t interfere with implementing it though. In [Over_Engineered_2]’s video below he points out that the bigger ring of the original animation didn’t work with his small motor and propeller, and had to switch to the smaller ring. Also, note that the ring needed guide rails on the sides to keep it from twisting, something a real world ignoring animation can get away without. Check out the videos below to see the two in action.
Continue reading “How To Turn An Animation Into A Soap Bubble Machine”
Like bubbles? Then you’ll love this 3D printed bubble blowing machine. It’s capable of blowing approximately 14,000 bubbles… per minute.
Designed and released on Thingiverse, the array of bubble orifices are 3D printed, as well as the gears and chain that rotate the belt of bubbles. The only thing not 3D printed is the 5 gallon bucket, some aluminum extrusion for mounting it rigidly, and the 50RPM motor that spins it around.
Place the bucket in your driveway, hook up a big fan behind it, and Bob’s your uncle — you’ve got 14,000 bubbles a minute to play with. Is it bad we want to see someone set this up inside a house?
Continue reading “Blow 14,000 Bubbles Per Minute With This 3D Printed Contraption”
[GordonKirkwood] needs soap bubbles. Big soap bubbles. Why does he need soap bubbles? Because – soap bubbles!
Actually, [Gordon] is a photographer, and he wants to capture candid moments and fleeting expressions. What better way to inspire wonder and amazement than to be able to produce a giant soap bubble on demand? And what better way to do it than with an intricate, computer controlled giant bubble machine?
[Gordon’s] inspiration for the bubble producing mechanism comes from the end effector of the Canadarm robotic Space Shuttle arm, which used a cable-grapple design to snare and secure payloads. [Gordon] uses a similar principle to interweave bubble juice-soaked strings and pull them apart in a plane to form a soap film. A puff of wind or a quick shot from a fan inflates and launches the bubble, which the mechanism can pinch off for precise control of size.
The amount of work [Gordon] put into the machine is impressive. His Instructables post is incredibly detailed and goes into not only his build but also his design process and prototyping, the science of soap bubble instruments, and even a nod to the work of other pioneering bubble enthusiasts. And he thoughtfully includes a recipe for professional-grade bubble juice, with a secret ingredient that may surprise you.
You say your bubble-producing needs run more toward quantity than quality? Try using the juice in this homemade bubble robot.
Continue reading “World’s Greatest Bubble Machine Born Of Space Program”
Kids generally can be amused pretty easily, but when jangling keys stop holding their interest you might want to take a look at [drenehtsral]’s new project. He’s created an automatic bubble robot (YouTube link) that keeps the kids endlessly entertained!
The project started as an idea at a festival where one of [drenehtsral]’s kids took great interest at a bubble machine. [drenehtsral] had never heard of a bubble machine before, but it turns out that it’s pretty simple in practice. All that’s required is a tank of soapy water, a motor to turn the bubble wands, and a fan to form the bubbles and make them waft gently through the air.
[drenehtsral] also used a 12V battery for power, some other hardware to hold it all together, and a 5V regulator and some other control electronics for the fan and the motor. He notes that he could have bought a bubble machine but in true hacker style found it fun to build himself. The next step in this project could be something to vary the size of the bubbles, or perhaps a set of wheels for the robot so it can entertain the kids on the move!
Continue reading “A Homemade Bubble Robot For The Kids”