Many people need an oxygen air supply to breathe, which involves long cords of oxygen tubing hooked up between an oxygen supply unit and the user's face and nose. If the user is moving around, the tubes can easily get caught on something, yielding to painful and dangerous yanks.

This instructable shows an easy to build, inexpensive magnetic quick release that attaches to standard size medical air tubing. When subjected to a hard pull, the disconnect breaks at the magnet connection. It can be rejoined easily just by putting the two magnet ends near each other. The inspiration is the Apple magnetic power cords.

Please note, by its nature this device is not 100% air-tight (though it should be reasonably close with proper assembly), nor medically sterile, nor has it been cleared by the FDA. No warranty is given or implied. This has however been successfully used by people with oxygen air tubes.

Public OnShape CAD workspace - you are welcome to remix, please send us a link to your new version!

YouTube video of assembly - this video demos tubing without the connectors, we recommend using tubing with connectors but otherwise the steps are identical.

Related Instructables by our team: Cannula Glass Clips and Tension Management for Oxygen Tubing.

Project homepage - includes related products for air tube supply users. This project was done under the auspices of Tikkum Olam Makers (TOM), and Nova Labs.


  • Neodynium ring magnets (2), about 3/4" outer diameter. Available at Home Depot and elsewhere.
  • Spare air tubing with standard connectors
  • Superglue or epoxy


  • Wire cutters or scissors able to cut the air tubing. Please clean them before using!

Step 1: Cut the Tubing

Using a clean pair of cutters, snip off one end of the medical tubing. You should have the connector plus a few inches of tube, the exact length is up to you.

Repeat for the other end of the tubing so you have two pieces.

<p>I get the frustration of long cords getting caught. I applaud the innovative thought behind this hack. However, as a physician, I have to strongly advise against anyone ever doing this. Oxygen delivery has to be medically supervised because the pressure and concentration has to be titrated accordingly. Further, oxygen deprivation is not necessarily like drowning where you know you are stressing your body to potential death. Moreso, it can be a slow process of taxing your already-compromised body to the point where once you recognize the problem, medical intervention is necessary and potentially too little, too late. </p><p>Again, I think you are on the right track as far as your thought process. But medical device innovation requires failure testing and redundancy-minded safety before implementation. Keep at it! Open-source medical devices are a component of our future. But we need to ensure safety before releasing our inventions into the wild- in this domain. (And yes, thank you for premising this all with &quot;this is not FDA approved or sterile&quot;, etc. But you didn't say this was informative-only...)</p>
<p>Thank you for your thoughtful response!</p><p>I didn't give all the details, but we had a physician with us through the design process. We also had our end-user monitor her oxygen levels over a long period while wearing the device to see if there was any difference. I would certainly encourage anyone considering using this to do the same, and to take it off if it doesn't work well. By definition this object is only useful for active, mobile oxygen users. </p><p>It is also worth considering what the risks of a fall are, because that was our end-user's big concern after a few close calls. There is a tradeoff.</p><p>Hopefully some medical company will read this and make their own version...that would be wonderful.</p>
<p>This is really cool, thank you for sharing.</p>

About This Instructable




Bio: Ph.D. physicist, roboticist, and business owner. Member of the NovaLabs makerspace in Reston, Virginia.
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