A Cyclonic Vacuum Cleaner On A Hacker’s Budget

Have you ever seen a product in the store and been shocked at what the manufacturer was trying to charge for it? Since you’re reading Hackaday, we can safely assume the answer to that question; building a homebrew version of some commercial product for a fraction of its retail price is practically a rite of passage around these parts. So it’s fitting that for his entry into the 2019 Hackaday Prize, [Madaeon] submitted the “DIYson”, an open source version of a popular high-end vacuum made by a British company who’s name you can surely guess.

As [Madaeon] explains on the project’s Hackaday.io page, the idea behind “cyclonic” vacuums is not particularly complex. Essentially, with a powerful enough blower and carefully designed chamber, the incoming air will spin around so fast that dust is pulled out by centrifugal force. The trick is getting it working on a small enough scale to be a handheld device. Especially given the energy requirements for the blower motor.

Luckily for the modern hacker, we’re living in the “Golden Age” of DIY. With a 3D printer you can produce plastic components with complex geometry, and thanks to a resurgence in remote controlled aircraft, powerful motors and high capacity lithium-ion batteries are easily obtainable. Powered by what’s essentially the hardware that would go into an electric ducted fan plane, the total cost of all the electronics for the DIYson comes in right around $60 USD. Even with a roll of printer filament added to the mix, you’re still comfortably at half the cost of the “name brand” alternative.

With some refinements, [Madaeon] hopes that this open source dust-buster will be a staple of labs and hackerspaces all over the world. Judging by the performance his early prototype shows in the video after the break, we know we wouldn’t mind having one.

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Beer Mini-kegs Turned Into A Cyclonic Dust Collector

[Darrell] made his own cyclonic dust separator which connects to a shop vac. We’re amused by his poke at Dyson’s marketing machine where he mentions that the ads say it took years to perfect those vacuum cleaners and he managed to put his together in a few hours…. from trash/recyclables no less!

Two mini-kegs are used as the separating vessel. The only other parts are some PVC plumbing fittings which help to direct the air and give him a way to attach the collector to the shop vac. The top keg is where all of the magic happens. Air and debris is sucked in through the hose coming in the side wall. A 45 degree elbow directs it downward and to the side, which starts the cyclonic action. The shop vac is attached to the tube in the top, with a cylinder extending into the keg. The spinning air must make a sharp turn to get into that cylinder; it’s at this point the debris drops out into the lower keg. See for yourself in the clip after the break.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen dust collectors that use this concept. [Darrell] pointed out this one made out of plastic cups, and this other made from a 5-gallon bucket.

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