Introduction: Summer Igloo

An instant air-powered summer hideaway. For the kids.

This is dirt simple, but the rumors of summer hotness reminded me of this little trick I used to do as a kid and I felt like posting it. It was perfect for cooling off and reading some Tintin or Asterix & Obelix. I also had a reason to make some god awful pink monstrosity in SketchUp so what the hell.

Step 1: Quick! Find Stuff Around the House!

What you need:

- Duct tape
- Flat bedsheet. The bigger and pinker the better. Try and get a clean one.
- Fan. The big box fans work best.
- Hardcover books, wooden blocks, or some other weight. Go and raid the bookshelf.

Step 2: Slap It Together

Take one of the short sides of the sheet and tape it onto the fan with the duct tape. Make sure the fan's pointing towards the sheet.

With the rest of the sheet lying on the ground, grab the middle of the sheet and pull it up a few feet off the ground and let go. Now place the books along the long sides of the sheet.

Step 3: Turn It on and Let the Breeze Blow.

Turn on the fan and watch the sheet inflate. This should make a nice air dome with the air escaping out a gap on the opposite side. Move the books around the adjust the height. If air is escaping out the side or the entrance is too big, just put down more books.

You can add a second "room" or make this bigger by taping another sheet to the first one. For an igloo effect make a long tunnel that needs to be crawled through to get inside.

Congrations! Now you're a boy or a girl in a bubble.

Comments

author
gunman15 made it! (author)2011-02-05

i used household items

author
ShaunHill made it! (author)2009-04-04

Where can I get a fan like the one pictures?

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Derin made it! (author)2009-03-14

Um...I think you would not be able to read books inside because of the wind ;)

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fungus amungus made it! (author)fungus amungus2009-03-16

Nope. Used to read comic books in mine when I did this as a kid. You can always turn your back t the fan.

author
MySoulWanders made it! (author)2006-06-22

Ironicly my siblings and I used to do the same thing as kids. (Got the idea from watching them fill Hot Air ballons on TV) Note of Caution/Achtung: The OLDER fans from our kids days had much more powerful motors than the current generation of fans. The low price Box fans you find for $20 at Retail stores will over heat from the stress load of the AirTent Pressure buildup. (I tried a couple years back making one with one and it toasted the motor in minutes) Also instead of using a bed sheet, I recommend a thin (3mil or less thick) Plastic drop cloth (found in the hardware section of most stores) It's over all weight is much less than the traditional bed sheet. Whoever makes one of these also be sure to spend the extra money for a GOOD fan. The BEST ones are those that have the metal blades and therefore stronger motor) If you plan on doing it outside I would recommend using the silver coated mylar "spaceSheets" they sell in the Auto &/ Camping departments. Find the biggest ones and either use one big one or heat seal a couple together (with a Hot Iron and using wax paper between the iron and the sheets , cardboard underneath the two sheets )

author
stib made it! (author)stib2008-03-07

No! A plastic drop sheet would be a big choking hazard! I wouldn't recommend this at all. All it would take is for a child to get tangled up in it and it could be very nasty.

author
MySoulWanders made it! (author)MySoulWanders2008-03-07

Choking hazard would only be applicable if the occupants in question are in the age bracket where they should be supervised at all times. Even with a fabric sheet an underaged child if left unsupervised could have the fan fall on top of them if they pull on the sheet too hard. Not to mention the hazard of fingers being poked into the fan grill. When all is said and done, if under aged children are involved adult supervision should be at ALL times.

author
zfolwick made it! (author)zfolwick2009-02-07

"Choking hazard would only be applicable if the occupants in question are in the age bracket where they should be supervised at all times." Like certain former presidents we all know?

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imthatguy1125 made it! (author)imthatguy11252009-01-10

if the plastic falls on you you could sufficate this will happen of the fan cuts off

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fungus amungus made it! (author)fungus amungus2006-06-22

Interesting. I haven't owned a fan for several years and didn't know about different motors in them. To prevent buildup in pressure you can have a larger opening for the air to escape. Aren't those space sheets pretty dark when you're on the inside? You'd still want enough light to read.

author
SacTownSue made it! (author)SacTownSue2007-07-06

Yes those space sheets do reflect light and heat but they're more translucent than opaque. My windows are single pane so I hung some $1 variety mylar sheets to help to cut down on the chill and heat. $1 sheets have lost some silver on the folds. It also keeps my neighbors from looking in and "shopping" for what they want to steal. If the light is near equal on both sides of the sheet then it's difficult to see thru it but on a sunny day it's kinda like mirrored sunglasses. Besides you have four "doors" lots of light can get thru them.

author
=SMART= made it! (author)2008-11-18

Cool, your pretty good at sketchup!

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Aphus made it! (author)2008-08-10

That's really clever! It's a lot more safe than putting books high up where they're capable of falling on your head.

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Mr. Squiggles made it! (author)2008-06-02

You can also make these larger than 10x10x10 cubes.which work well once they inflate.

author
That Hurt This Time made it! (author)2007-06-16

my dad would make these for me all the time and call them "pup tents"

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Mr.Devious made it! (author)2007-01-01

What's with the 3D models? No real life pictures?

author
sam made it! (author)2006-09-13

cool. I made my bed into one when it was really hot, so i could sleep. (we dont have A/C)

author
techhut made it! (author)2006-06-21

As a teen myself, this might be pretty fun to do, but instead of just one fan, I might test on 2 fans and misc holes in teh sheet (I like the cheap ones wherever I can get them... usually a dollar store.

author
fungus amungus made it! (author)2006-06-20

I uploaded the file. There's a weird gap at the fan because I really didn't spend too much time on it. As for the dome shape, I did this: - Drew irregular polygon on top of flat sheet. - Drew a perpendicular rectangle with one corner on the edge and the other on the inside. - Drew an arc shape on that rectangle. - Erased the outside lines to get a solid curve piece. - Used the Follow function to fill up the whole polygon - Closed up the top by drawing a couple lines - Opened up the bottom by deleting the bottom pieces Hmm... this is becoming another Instructable

author
spinach_dip made it! (author)2006-06-20

dude you gots mad skillz with sketchup... howd you get the oblong dome shape? wil you add the sketchup file to this...please please please :)

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SyBerWoLff made it! (author)2006-06-20

Great idea and awesome job in SketchUp!

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fungus amungus made it! (author)fungus amungus2006-06-20

Thanks. I did it in SketchUp because it would've taken much longer to do it in real life. I don't own a fan (I live in SF) or have enough floorspace to do this without any photos looking ridiculously cluttered.

author
fungus amungus made it! (author)2006-06-19

Totally! My backyard was crap as a kid in Orange County so I never did this outside. Using rocks and a water evaporation system would be perfect.

fandome2.jpg
author
canida made it! (author)2006-06-19

Awesome! I'd recommend putting this up outside on the grass (perhaps substituting stakes or rocks for the books) under a tree. If you get terribly creative you could work in a crude evaporative cooling mechanism with your fan, or just periodically mist the interior of your igloo.

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Bio: I like to make things for the internets. I also sell a pretty cool calendar at supamoto.co. You'll like it.
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