There are plenty of aluminum can stove designs out there. This one is different in that it is not made from aluminum cans but rather from aluminum bottles (aluminum beer bottles to be specific) After building a few stoves myself I wanted to design one to address a few shortcomings of other can stoves:
1. Priming - A number of stoves require an external heat source to bring the alcohol to vaporization temperature. Some require heating the bottom for a few minutes or burning some alcohol in a separate "primer pan" or on the ground around the the can as a means to heat the exterior of the of the stove to achieve a self-sustaining burn.
2. Separate pot stands - A number of stoves have a low profile and are very compact however the smallest of the small require separate pot stands to cook with. Kind of defeats the purpose of a compact stove in my mind.
Sure there are side jetted designs that hold a pot however I wanted a design that would also address a third shortcoming.
3. Cold pan Flame-out - Of the can stove designs that do support a pot, I have seen them suffer from this condition. When a pan of cold water (fresh from the camp pump) is placed directly on a can stove, it acts as a large heat sink. Before the stove can warm the water, the cold pot cools the aluminum stove so much that it cannot maintain alcohol vaporization and the stove goes out.
Admittedly, there are are many great can stove designs out there; many are self priming (nothing new there) and some have integral pot stands. Each has pros and cons depending on your priorities. This is another design for consideration.
and besides, I just wanted an excuse to work with those cool aluminum beer bottles.
Update 9/15/09: Just posted an Instructable that that shows another stove related use for aluminum bottles http://www.instructables.com/id/Aluminum-Bottle-Tumbler-Cup-Cook-Pot/