One of our favorite activities for both the tinkering studio floor and workshop is wind tubes, where people create objects out of everyday materials that float in interesting ways on a column of air.
We have instructions of how to create the tubes online, but unfortunately they are a bit outdated and use a model of fan that has been discontinued. As well, we are still looking for the best way to build the exhibit cheaply, simply, and sturdily (not always an easy task).
Luckily for us many people around the world are experimenting with windtube designs and we get to learn from their prototyping. This week I received some pictures from Casey Shea, a local teacher who works to integrate many making and tinkering activities into bay area classrooms, about some modifications his group has made to our original wind tubes.
His group used 1/32" thick polycarbonate for the tubes instead of the acetate which he says may be easier to source in the wild. As well they decided to use a wire cage fan as a replacement for the discontinued honeywell model.
They built this snazzy clip system to attaching the tubes to the fans so that the pieces would be removable but also sturdy enough when the wind tubes were in use.
I like this laser cut engraving on the side of the tube, but Casey also wanted to share that besides that decorative element, this version of the activity could also be built using traditional tools.
If you've made windtubes for your classroom, after-school program, museum, or garage send us pictures so we can share more iterations of this delightful tinkering activity.