Instructables
Picture of Prototype Hover Platform
Here is a Hover Platform we built for an upcoming Young Innovators Festival that we are hosting at Scitech.

This is how you can make a Hover floating style platform easily and cheaply. The main body of the unit is made from MDF (Craftwood) and a tarpaulin, and uses a portable battery powered blower vac to provide the air.

You can get up to 6 small children on there easily.

 
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Step 1: Description of the Build

Picture of Description of the Build
Description of the Build:

Cut out two circles of MDF - one being a full circle and the other a ring. Wrap the tarpaulin over the ring and staple it to the other side.Trim off the excess tarpaulin.

Drill a hole in the full circle piece to let the air in. Then, screw the ring to the full circle piece trapping the stapled edge between the pieces of wood.

Cut out a small round piece of wood and screw into the center of the tarpaulin side. Then, cut about 6 small holes just outside of the piece you just screwed in.

Fit a nozzle flange on the other side over the small hole you drilled for the air to go in (see step 2).

Attach the blower to the nozzle flange and power up. The platform should lift off the ground and hold your weight.

Step 2: Parts

Picture of Parts
You will need the following parts:
  • 2.4m x 1.2m 16mm thick sheet of MDF (Craftwood)
  • tarpaulin about 1.5m x 1.5m or shower curtain
  • 25mm wood screws
  • Cordless / Corded blower vac or a vacuum cleaner that blows
  • Screw-on flange with an inside diameter to suit the blower vac / vacuum cleaner end

Step 3: Tools

Picture of Tools
You will need the following tools:
  • Jigsaw
  • Drill with drill bits
  • Holes saw
  • Staple gun and staples
  • Screw driver bit for drill
  • Knife
  • Scissors
  • Gaffa tap
heath_kerr12 months ago
Awesome,nice work
pepetito1 year ago
how did you cut that mdf
what blower did you use
ljohnson62 years ago
Do the boards have to be cut in a perfect circle, or would an oval shape work?
bvisser2 years ago
Nice work. I've had my classes build a few of these over the years, and as I was digging one out of the basement last week, I noticed a roll of ground fabric, the kind you put down to prevent weeds from coming up. I was wondering if that would work in place of the tarp or plastic sheeting we usually use. If it did work, it would be more durable (at least than the plastic sheeting). Might be too porous, but I was just wondering if anyone had tried it yet.....
wise2 years ago
Could you give us a better look or description of your blower? Not sure if we would have the same thing around here, but some idea of at least published stats would be nice. CFM or cubic feet per min. How long does the battery last... etc.

I am part of a maker/hackerspace and we are thinking of a hover bowling competition between some other spaces near by.

The idea is to make some large cardboard or foam bowling pins and use ourselves on the hover craft as the balls.

should be fun, but gas blowers are temperamental and corded blowers are well corded.
ScitechWA (author)  wise2 years ago
The blower we used is a Makita BUB142 workshop blower.
14.4V and 2.6 m3/min air flow which is 92 CFM.

Lol. Sounds like a great game.
None of the thumbnails will enlarge...
ScitechWA (author)  JohnathanStein2 years ago
Only the last page has multiple pictures.
They seem to work ok for me.
Try a different browsers. eg google chrome etc
Well, that's interesting: Firefox 11.0 doesn't work, IE 8 and Chrome 18.x do.
ScitechWA (author) 2 years ago
Thanks for all the great comments.
We built this 7 times for a show on the weekend. Everybody loved it.
onrecess2 years ago
I have one of these I built for my students. I use a corded blower. I'll have to try the added ring and small blower. Looks a lot more stable.
ScitechWA (author)  onrecess2 years ago
The ring is what makes it work. Without that you have a blowup pillow.
The ring in the middle makes a half donut shape on the outside which makes a small edge for air to get trapped and ride on.
RayKenn2 years ago
What is the max weight you have been able to lift? This would be handy moving furniture in the house.
ScitechWA (author)  RayKenn2 years ago
I'm 100Kg and it lifts me ok.
A larger one can lift a lot more weight you just need a powerful blower.
blyman2 years ago
We made these in high school... it was a really cool project! I would love to build one again!
vacuum cleaner that blows
can atleast be used lol haha
a friend of mine built this exact same thing once!
however, he used a gas powered blower. It was pretty cool.
mcraghead2 years ago
Wow, I'm amazed at the power of that little blower!
This one I made has worked great  for years:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ldzBo1yrG0c
...but it uses a good-sized Shop-Vac and is tethered by a power cord (which I use to fling passengers around). The next step on this one was going to be a gas-powered blower, but maybe I'll have to rethink after seeing this 'ible! The really hardcore hovercrafts use the engine/prop from an ultralight plane, but now you've got me wondering about battery-operated possibilities...
Thanks, and nice work!
wilgubeast2 years ago
Awesome.
Tree Hugger2 years ago
That is so Cool! At this thing called starbase that I went to in 4th grade we had one of those! it was so much fun:) I've been thinking about making one ever since then........ evil laugh