Strawbees Hydraulic Flower




Posted in PlayToys

Introduction: Strawbees Hydraulic Flower

About: YuKonstruct is a non-profit society which provides an enthusiastic community of makers and entrepreneurs affordable access to space, equipment and knowledge. This community serves to embrace the individual a...

This fun project was created for the Strawbees Instructables Build Night in May.

Build your own flower that opens and closes when you move a plunger. This is a great project to teach children about hydraulics and pneumatics.

You'll need:

  • Strawbees
  • Regular drinking straws: 10 full bendy straws, 6 medium length straws & 10 short straw pieces
  • Thick straw (the ones from Starbucks are perfect)
  • 2 Syringes (the oral medication syringes we used were free from the pharmacy)
  • Aquarium airline tubing
  • Craft paper
  • Glue gun
  • Tape

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Step 1: Make the Centre of the Flower

Connect 5 short straw pieces with a 5-Strawbee. Add a Strawbee to the end of each piece of straw.

Using a hot glue gun, attach the middle 5-Strawbee to the plunger end of a syringe (this step should be done with adult supervision).

Connect another 5 short straw pieces with a 5-Strawbee. This time add a 2-Strawbee to the end of each piece.

Put the two parts together and secure with Strawbees.

Step 2: Make the Petals

Attach bendy straws to the 2-Strawbees. Add another 5 bendy straws and connect them with Strawbees.

Join the bendy ends of the straws with Strawbees to finish the petals.

Step 3: Add the Stem

Put one end of the tubing over the end of the syringe. You want a tight fit so it won't leak once it is filled with water.

Thread the tubing through the thick straw to create the flower's stem.

Step 4: Create a Base

Make a pyramid with 6 medium length straws and four 3-Strawbees.

Put the thick straw stem through the middle of one of the pyramid's 3-Strawbees.

Fill the syringe and tubing with water and then attach the other syringe to the open end of the tubing. This step is a little tricky as you need to get all the air bubbles out of the syringe and tubing.

Step 5: Finish the Flower

Cut a leaf for the flower out of paper and tape it to the stem.

To make it easier to open and close the flower, tape the base of the pyramid to a table or counter.



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    Very clever! I can see the possibility of using this sort of simple hydraulics in many different applications - for strawbees creations, and beyond!

    This is great! I love the hydraulic action of it!