YouTuber BLACKHAND is a master at constructing DIY projects that allow us to experience tantalizing chain reactions. His burning matchstick pieces are wildly popular enjoying views in the millions! But just when we may have been tempted to dubb him Mr. Combustable and were itching to burn something else, he’s done gone and changed up the game on us! Yep, BLACKHAND recently released a DIY project that’s totally safe for all ages, both man and beast! This time around he’s exploring the world of pneumatics. Just check out this fun air-powered pet toy constructed from a totally safe, readily available, and super cheap material……cardboard.
Air Powered (Pneumatic) Levitation System
There’s nothing quite as fun as a game of catch-me-if-you-can. Perhaps it’s even funnier when played with a pet and on the sly! BLACHAND’S project accomplishes this by way of providing a way to levitate a collection of ping pong balls at random via a good old super-duper extended puff of air! By blowing air through one of five tubes, a pet lover can cause a ping-pong ball to mysteriously float right before the eyes of a pet sending it into a curious tizzy! Just about the time the pet takes a swipe, you alternate the flow of air to another puffing-port aka tube. Simple breath and repeat to prolong the fun!
Main Body Construction
He starts by cutting two semi-circular pieces out of what looks to be perhaps B-flute corrugated cardboard. These two pieces form the top and bottom body of the toy. The top pieces get five octagon-shaped features marked off with equal spacing around the curve. These will later become depressions that serve to support the ping pong balls. Each octagon shape is lightly scribed around its perimeter and cut completely through into wedges that meet at the center. later these pie-shapes are pressed down slightly to create a funnel that brings the balls to the center of the holes without letting them fall into the cardboard body.
Two lengths of cardboard are constructed to serve as the vertical walls of the toy body. Taking a length of cardboard that matches the arc-length of the inner semi-circle, he creates a series of evenly spaced relief cuts to make the piece more flexible. He then glues the piece onto the bottom part of the body to give the top portion more elevation. In a later step, the same is done for the outer semi-circle arc.
Air Delivery System Construction
To make the pneumatic system that powers the toy a series of five tube mechanisms are constructed to match up to the ping-pong ball ports. The system is constructed using flexible clear tubing, bendy straws, plastic support brackets, and hot glue strategically applied. Once complete air can be directed to each location where the balls rest.
BLACKHAND cuts off segments of bendy straws to be used as elbow fittings to change the direction of the airflow. Each straw elbow is glued to plastic tubes. To make sure the tubes are always facing upright, he makes five plastic brackets and glues them to the bottom of the body. Once finished, it’s just a matter of fitting the tubes in and carefully routing them in the proper direction. Once they are in place strips of tape are used to secure them.
With the mechanism finished, BLACKHAND sets to construction the remainder of the body. The entire pneumatic system eventually gets concealed inside of the toy body.
Now its time to secure the outer semi-circle in place. Before installing this piece an opening is cut that will allow the cardboard housing that covers the air delivery tubes to be fitted later. These tubes lead to where the user will puff sending the needed flow of air to each ball.
To make blowing into the tubes easier, the air delivery housing is angled upward. The cardboard is constructed as the bend presenting each tube at a comfortable height and angle.
All that’s left to do now is glue on the corners, cut the extra tubing, depress ball resting ports, drop the balls in place and let the fun begin!
A powerful puff of super-duper human air sends each ball into magical levitation! Such a feat cannot but pique the curiosity of any adventurous pet, be it of the canine or feline sort!
To see more of BLACKHAND’s other creations, be sure to check out his YouTube channel.