My interest in Mycology and Tissue culture started long back which led me to collect few laboratory equipment like Petri dishes, test tubes, weighing equipment, measuring glasses and also chemicals like Hydrogen Peroxide, Agar-agar and Potassium Permanganate. One equipment I wanted most but beyond my reach was a Laminar Flow Hood.

A Laminar Flow Hood provides a small sterile work area, where you can carry out all your culture works without the risk of contamination, simply by flowing completely purified air at a specified rate. However, the cost of the simplest form of the equipment is very prohibitive... the one with the very lowest specifications costs more than one thousand US Dollars... large corporations, universities, and research institutions can afford this but individual  hobbyists like me can not.

The alternative...? Construct your own equipment...

There are two main types of Laminar Flow Hoods : Horizontal Airflow and Vertical Airflow. In a horizontal type, the purified air is blown from the back and moves towards the front of the working area. In a vertical type, the air is blown from the top over the working area and moves out through the base

I have carried out extensive study and came out with a design for constructing a Horizontal type Laminar Flow Hood, making use of a vacuum cleaner for the blower and press board / Plexiglas for the hood body thus reducing the cost considerably.

This Instructable will provide you step-by-step instructions on how to build your own portable Laminar Flow Hood without any compromise on standard specifications.

Step 1: Vacuum Cleaner as Blower for a Flow Hood...?

Are Vacuum Cleaners Suitable for Laminar Flow Hoods as blowers...?

I have used Euroclean Star model vacuum cleaner to be used as blower in the flow hood. Let us check out the facts for its suitability for quality and effectiveness for being used in a flow hood.


The model I used consists of unique five stage filtration process and the air coming out after filtration is pure and fresh...

The first stage involves the incoming air to pass through a special particle, anti-microbial, biocide treated paper filter which has been treated for protection against bacteria, fungus and yeast. This paper bag is replaceable and can be used for up to five times. However, for better results, we can use fresh bag whenever we use the laminar flow hood. This air then passes through a cloth bag, which filters out any particle which escapes through the paper bag. This bag can be removed, cleaned and then placed again in position. The next three stages involve the air to pass through specially designed built-in electric filters with carbon which blows out completely pure fresh air.

I have removed the outer-most filter and provided a cheaper version of High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter between the air chamber and the work area. I have also added a pre-filter to remove any heavier particles before the air is sucked into the vacuum cleaner.

Work area provided by the blower

Laminar flow hoods are designed to provide an air-flow of about 0.5 meters per second in the working area. The blower efficiency of the model I have used is 20 liters per second, that is 0.020 cubic meters per second including all filters. I have removed the outer most filter from the outlet for connecting the outlet pipe, and used the HEPA filter instead.

With 0.020 cubic meter of air per second, let us see how much work area it can cover

Air flow provided by the blower = width of HEPA filter x height of HEPA filter x air speed required

Work area (width x height) = air flow / air speed
                                            = 0.020 / 0.50
                                            = 0.04 square meter

Now, if we provide HEPA filter area of 0.27 meter width x 0.15 meter height, the available work area will be 0.04 square meters, which is sufficient for the effective functioning of the flow hood. I have provided the filter dimensions of 0.29 meters width by 0.15 meters height, considering the size of HEPA filter I could lay my hands on.

Advantages of using a Vacuum Cleaner as blower

There are some advantages in using vacuum cleaners, which may not be provided in a Laminar Flow Hood

  • The air input level can be adjusted using a slider provided with the vacuum cleaner as per our requirement. Not all blowers in the laminar flow hoods are provided with adjustable air flow.
  • There is also an option to heat the input air, which will be helpful in sterilizing the air chamber and back side of the HEPA filter which can not be normally accessed.
  • What is more, you can vacuum clean the air-tight Air chamber by reversing the airflow by the vacuum cleaner unit.
  • The vacuum cleaner unit can be separated from the Laminar Flow Hood, which is not at all possible with a normal unit.
The only disadvantage of using a vacuum cleaner is its limited airflow which limits the size of the sterile work area.

I think a suitable vacuum cleaner will serve the purpose of blower in a small Laminar Flow Hood for hobbyists, thus reducing the cost as well as the weight of the flow hood considerably.
Hi would you be able 2 send me details on how to make 1 please to richardsteventon@hotmail.co.uk it's a great idea
<p>Please see that attached files sent to your mail for more information</p>
Thanks great help
I would like to have the detailed instructions. This is great! boonkiat88(a)live.com
<p>Please see that attached files sent to your mail for more information</p>
<p>Great work! I would love the instructions as well! Veronique2012@gmail.com</p>
<p>Please see that attached files sent to your mail for more information</p>
<p>I would also love the detailed instructions: cclark07869(a)gmail.com</p>
<p>Please see that attached files sent to your mail for more information</p>
<p>This is excellent, Thanks for sharing, can you send me the detailed instructions as well?</p><p>cwyothers{a}gmail.com</p>
please see attached files sent to your mail
<p>How inventive! May I please have detailed instructions as well? </p><p>joshmsay @ gmail.com </p>
<p>thank you... please go through the attached files sent to your mail</p>
<p>i would love to have the file as well in order to build it myself , krmelie@live.com ...</p><p>did you test it and used it in culture plantation ? whats the feed back ?</p>
please see the attached files sent to your mail. I have not tried it but will do soon.
Very creative!! I would love the detailed instructions so I can make one myself. If you could send the file to douglasmyle21@gmail.com I would really appreciate it. Thank you for taking the time to share this.
<p>Thank you... Please go through the attached files sent to your mail</p>
<p>could you plz send me the files also?</p><p>Very much appreciated!</p><p>Thank you either way.</p><p>jimmyrnstewart@gmail.com</p>
<p>Please go through the attached files sent to your mail</p>
<p>You made a brilliant and simple solution for a huge $$$$$ problem. Could you share the instructions with me, please? (maurocanaval@gmail.com). Thanks a lot!</p>
<p>Thank you. Please go through the attached files sent to your mail</p>
<p>Wow, Antonioraj, well done..! I already have a very old Eureka forbes vaccum cleaner we thought of discarding. I suppose I found a fit project to repurpose it. Are the HEPA filters the same as the ones that are used in Window Air Conditioners in India? Please share the instructions with me on elite158 at gmail.com. Tons of appreciation in advance. </p>
Sorry for my late reply due to Holiday season. Regarding the HEPA filter, you can use any type used in air conditioners or in some vacuum cleaners or any other equipment you come across. Make sure the area of the filter suits the capacity of the vacuum cleaner you use. Please go through the attached files sent to your mail for more information
Absolutely fantastic..!!! Will keep in touch with you during the making process. Thanks a ton for the files..!!! <br><br>
<p>can i get a copy emailed to me too plzzzzz? thanks so much b1blazin@yahoo.com</p>
Please go through attached files sent to your mail
<p>thank you so much kudos to you</p>
<p>I have a quick question though, would nt this project using a vaccum cleaner blower have the problem of blowing out hot air after sometime ? </p>
<p>when you run the vacuum cleaner longer, it may tend to blow out hot air. But this may not pose a problem for hobbyists for short periods of time using the Laminar flow hood</p>
<p>I'm a novice mycologists myself and love this design mind sharing instructions with me at jstrickler1991@gmail.com please? Thanks for taking the time to write this up! In all of your studies did you come across which out of verticals and horizontal is better and for any particular reasons? Thanks for sharing!</p>
<p>please go through attached files sent to your mail. Both vertical and horizontal models serve the purpose, it depends on availability of working space in the laboratory.</p>
<p>Nice sweet project! Could you share the instructions with me please? I'm Rapturoso on Gmail. Thanks. :-)</p>
Please see attached files sent to your mail
<p>Simply amazing. Could you share the instructions with me (and possibly also with a whole load of like-minded here in NZ) at catherine.mmc@gmail.com? Thanks for the brilliant idea! </p>
<p>Please go through the attached files sent to your mail</p>
Well received. Thank you!
<p>Hi Antoniraj,</p><p>We are starting our own bio-lab in Michigan and I am in the process of building this (just procured a HEPA filter and a vacuum) so it will be lovely to have detailed instruction of your flow hood. My email address is cindy.lin.ky@gmail.com. </p><p>Thank you!</p><p>Cheers,</p><p>Cindy </p>
<p>Please go through the attached files sent to your mail</p>
<p>Hello antoniraj,</p><p>Your DIY project is quite clever and <br>encourages accessibility of science for everyone! Would you mind sharing<br> your instructions with me at thelabrat82@gmail.com?</p><p>Thank you very much!</p>
<p>Please see attached files sent to your mail</p>
<p>Thank you so much, sir!</p>
Hello can you send to doughboy7979@gmail.com please?
<p>Please see attached files sent to your mail</p>
<p>Hi, could you please send the instructions to neeldeferm@gmail.com? Thanks!</p>
please see attached files sent to your mail
Please send instructions to ashleydesignsllc@gmail.com
please see attached files sent to your mail
<p>This is a fantastic DIY project. Could you please send me the instructions to andresabin@gmail.com?</p><p>You will make a group of DIY bio enthusiasts in Seattle, WA very happy :)</p>
thank you... Please go through attached files sent to your mail
<p>great work, really just what I was looking for. would you send me the instructions aswell... My adress is rasta.intention@gmail.com</p>

About This Instructable


208 favorites


Bio: I like to make things more simple with easily available resources. My favorite quote: A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan ... More »
More by antoniraj: Automated Watering of Potted Plants with Intel Edison A Bedroom Shelf to Store Things in a Better Way LPG / Biogas Detection System With MediaTek LinKIt One
Add instructable to: