Picture of Cardboard Wind Tunnel
In this instructable, which happens to be my first, I will show you how to make a working wind tunnel using only a few easy-to-obtain materials. It only takes a few hours to make, and can generate high enough wind speeds to easily lift up a styrofoam airfoil. I built this to help me with my science fair project last year at school, in which I tested to see if different airfoil designs would generate more lift than a regular airfoil. Anyway, here's the Instructable.
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Step 1: Materials and Tools

All you need to make this wind tunnel are the following items:

-  cardboard
-  duct tape
-  cardboard mailing tubes
-  box fan
-  glass or plexiglass (about 8" by 8")
-  scissors
-  hobby knife or box cutter
-  tape measure
-  hot glue gun w/ glue sticks
-  saw

Step 2: Make the Tunnel

Picture of Make the Tunnel
The tunnel is the part that the air flows through. It needs to be straight so that the wind will be straight.

-  Draw the outlines for the four sides of your tunnel on cardboard. It should be about 5 feet long.

-  Cut out the sides using your box cutter or hobby knife.

-  Cut an 8-inch section from the middle of the top piece. Keep it. You'll use it later.

-  Then cut a square or rectangle large enough for your clear window out of the front piece.

-  Duct tape your window into the square, and then duct tape the whole tunnel together. The section that you cut from the middle of the top should only be taped to the back piece. It will be used as a door to allow you to reach into the tunnel.

Step 3: Make the Funnel

Picture of Make the Funnel

Step 4: Make the Plenum

Picture of Make the Plenum
The plenum is the airflow straightener it makes sure that the wind is flowing evenly through the tunnel.

- Cut your cardboard tubes to 12 inch lengths (you will need about 18).

- Experiment with inserting them into the end of your tunnel to see how they fit best.

- Once you have found the best way to put them in, take them out and hot glue them together.

- Insert the plenum into the end of the tunnel that will be attached to the fan. If it is loose, secure it with duct tape or hot glue.

Step 5: Put it Together

Picture of Put it Together

You are almost done. All you have to do is put it together.
-  Duct tape the tunnel to the funnel. The easiest way to do this is to stand them up vertically and wrap the tap around. That's it!

Step 6: You're Done!!!!!!!!!!!

Picture of You're Done!!!!!!!!!!!
Congradulations! You have just built a working wind tunnel out of common materials. Turn it on and put your hand (or your face) down by the end of the tunnel. You should be able to feel some pretty strong airflow. Use the tunnel for whatever you want. You can modify it, experiment with it, dry your hair with it, or even just use it as a piece of furniture.

Thank you for reading (and hopefully building)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
dave.bozzuto5 months ago

We created this for our 8th grade science classroom. It is 10 feet long and made out of 2" foam insulation. Fantastic...

Thank you.

20pbaxter1 year ago
Could you make this out of wood???
Nice I am doing a science fair project on wing types and some of your info really helped inspire me

Cool! How are you making your wings!

Out of quad paper
Schmidty162 years ago
dude u could put a hole in the bottom and vook it up to a vent so that warm or cold air be directly blow on you
beehard443 years ago
i'll make a small one with a PC fan
but nice idea with the cardboard tubes, simpler than honeycomb
randofo4 years ago
Very nice. Do you have a video of it working? It would be cool to see some airfoils floating inside of it.

Also... "Congradulations!" should be "Congratulations!"
Goalieguy (author)  randofo4 years ago
No, I don't have a video. I have a picture of an airfoil in it, though. I'll see if I can attach a picture to a reply soon, but I don't have the picture on my iPod touch, which is what I'm typing on now.