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Awesome Pneumatic

Making a 3-Barrel LEGO Air Shotgun

Making a 3-Barrel LEGO Air Shotgun

This wild-looking LEGO Technic weapon uses compressed air to spray up to a dozen projectiles at a time. Jamie’s Brick Jams walks us through the construction of his triple-barreled toy shotgun and how it un-crimps hoses to release pressure in an instant. The blast of air alone is quite powerful.

Firing Two Air Cannons at Each Other

Firing Two Air Cannons at Each Other

After nearly destroying a bowling ball cannon, How Ridiculous asked BealsScience to make a pair of air-powered cannons. To maximize their destructive power, they pointed them at each other and then fired them to collide basketballs, LEGO cannonballs, and watermelons in mid-air. It took a lot of trial and error to get them to sync up.

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Making a Powerful Air-Powered LEGO Gun

Making a Powerful Air-Powered LEGO Gun

Using LEGO Technic components, it’s possible to build a toy weapon that fires ammunition using air pressure. After building some simpler LEGO pneumatic guns, Jamie’s Lego Jams created this impressive bit of kit that uses motors to pressurize air tanks. It fires plastic axles, knitting needles, and other skinny projectiles with a strong burst of air.

Making an Air-powered R/C Airplane

Making an Air-powered R/C Airplane

Aerospace engineer Tom Stanton has built a few R/C airplanes powered by compressed air. He’s continued to work on refining the design by reducing weight and increasing thrust. Tom’s latest pneumatic aircraft is the best yet, offering the best flight time of the bunch thanks to improved aerodynamics, a larger air chamber, and an efficient new engine,

LEGO Pan Pipe Organ

LEGO Pan Pipe Organ

Jamie’s LEGO Jams created this musical instrument that works sort of like a miniature pipe organ. It’s powered by compressed air stored in plastic soda bottles, which flows through plastic tubes and into a plastic pan flute. The real magic is made by the LEGO keyboard, which manages airflow by crimping and releasing the tubes. It sounds a bit like a calliope.

LEGO Air Engine Experiments

LEGO Air Engine Experiments

Brick Technology showed off some LEGO engines that run on compressed air. This time, they tested some different configurations to see which ones could achieve the highest RPM, how to minimize vibrations, and even connected one to a miniature transmission with a working gear shifter.

How a Player Piano Works

How a Player Piano Works

Player pianos have been around since the 1890s. Modern models use electronics and servos, but vintage ones use a pedal-powered pneumatic system that forces air through holes in the music roll, actuating pushrods that move its hammers. Chris Plaola shows off an example of this Victorian-era engineering genius.

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Pneumatic Tube Dining

Pneumatic Tube Dining

Pneumatic tubes were a popular way for companies to send documents between offices. These days, the only place we still see them is at bank drive-thrus. Tom Scott visited C1 Espresso, a Christchurch, New Zealand cafĂ© that uses the tubes to send orders to the kitchen, and delivers some food items to customers’ tables.

Air-powered LEGO Engines

Air-powered LEGO Engines

Typical LEGO machines use motors to directly drive gears or belts. Brick Technology shows us how LEGO parts can be assembled to move pistons to move a crankshaft, which spins gears attached to a wheel or propeller. They start out with a 1-cylinder engine and gradually ramp it up to a 12-cylinder radial airplane engine.

Air Wrangler Air Tool Holder

Air Wrangler Air Tool Holder

Do you use pneumatic tools in your workshop or garage? This clever storage system keeps all of your air tool heads organized and at the ready. Each tool head locks securely in place in any orientation, thanks to universal quick-connectors. Sold in packs of five, they include mounting hardware for wood or metal installations.

The Mask Shooter

The Mask Shooter

Despite the science that proves that wearing masks can dramatically reduce transmission of COVID-19 and other illnesses, some people are still refusing to wear them. To solve this problem, engineer Allen Pan decided to build a device that can pneumatically launch a mask onto someone else’s face from a distance.

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