Introduction: Flying Machine
For this project we worked togheter with the organisation MyMachine. They organize a annual project where kids from elementary school come up with an idea for a certain "dream-machine". Next the industrial design students from Howest (us) take these ideas and transform them into manufacturable machines. In our case the machine was supposed to give you wings so you could fly. we took this idea and created the "flying-machine"
Step 1: Materials Needed
in this list you will find all the materials needed.
there are also a lot of electric compartments on the list, these are completely optional. We did not include these in the instructable, but if you have some knowledge about electronics this will not be any problem to build these elements in.
Step 2: Measurements
In this file you can find all the measurements needed to build the wooden pieces of the flying-machine.
Step 3: Fan
An important element in this build is the fan. As you can’t build it yourself, you will have to find one to use. We used an industrial fan and hooked it up to an electric motor (specs in photo). After we made sure everything works properly, we build a safety-case around the fan and all moving compartments.
Step 4: Frame
A steel frame is needed for optimal stability, we think this is the best solution although the machine is stable enough without it. To build this frame you will need 6 steel angle sections (120°) from 2,80 meters long (we worked with 70x4mm). If you can’t find these in your regular hardware store, you can weld 2 strips together at the right angle or bend a plate from 14cm in the middle. Along the sides you need to make some holes (one each 40cm), diameter is free to choose according to the nuts and bolts you have (see photo), you should also tap thread in every hole.
The horizontal pieces are hexagons made by 6 steel angle sections (90°), outer length 90cm cut to a 60° angle. Every angle section needs 3 holes for later assembly (see photo). When fit together they will form a steel hexagon. You will need three of these (same measurements).
The hexagon’s corners have to be welded to the long angle sections. One at the top, one 7cm from the bottom and the middle one 50cm from the bottom of the long angle sections.
Step 5: Bottom Plate
To prevent the air from escaping trough the bottom, we need to make a plate that fits in the frame at the bottom hexagon. This plate needs to be a hexagon as well, sides are slightly less than 90cm to secure a smooth fit. To put it in place we have to bolt it to the underside of the steel hexagon frame.
Step 6: Middle Plate
The middle plate needs to be equally as big as the bottom plate (90cm side). This plate needs a big opening in the centre for the trampoline. The diameter depends on the size of the trampoline. Make sure that the trampoline can lay on top of the plate without falling through. Around the trampoline is space enough for perhaps a protective foam cover. An important detail: the plate needs some extra holes along the sides to let the air through, you can chose how big you make these according to the amount of wind you want to create.
You will have to test for yourself if the plate is strong enough to hold the trampoline and the person jumping. If not you will need to make some support columns.
Step 7: Upper Plate
The upper plate is used as roof, therefore this one needs to be slightly bigger than the other two (see photo). In the centre of this plate there also needs to be a big opening so that the wind can escape through it. It’s best to cover this hole with a net of some sort so the wind can pass through but possible “clouds” can’t.
Step 8: Walls
The 6 walls are all the same size (280x90cm) and can be bolted on the frame. Two of these walls need doors as seen on the drawing, this is where the stairs and slide will be connected to. In one other wall we made some small windows so kids can look inside while their friend is jumping around, just a fun little detail.
you will also need to make an opening in one off the walls to hook up the big fan. the sizes of that opening depend on the type of fan you will use.
the general idea is to create an optical illusion with mirrors. But because mirrors are expensive and dangerous we choose to work with highly reflective foil on the inside of the walls. this will create an everlonging picture inside the machine and increase the epic experience.
we also painted everything, this is also optional offcourse.
Step 9: Stairs
The stairs can be handmade according to the following plan. If you don’t feel like going through all this trouble, you can just put a chair or a small stepladder in front of the door, although we recommend to build the fitting stairs to really make it look like one finished piece. It is best to include a handrail for safety, remember this a machine for kids to play with.
we also painted the stairs (optional)
Step 10: Slide/exit
A fun way to exit the machine is by sliding down a custom fitted slide. The dimensions of the sides can be seen on the drawing. For the sliding surface we recommend concrete plywood because of the strength and smooth surface. It’s best to secure the concrete plywood a bit lower than the edge of the side panels, that way small side rails are created for safety.
we also painted this part (optional)
Step 11: Wind Divider
Underneath the trampoline is place provided to build a wind-divider. We built a large circle from cardboard, with a diameter slightly larger than the trampoline so you won’t touch it while jumping. This is free to choose if you want to build it or not, it slightly improves the wind velocity.
Step 12: Proof of Concept
To see if the concept realy works on scale 1:1, we build a model as close as possible to the mock-up and drawings. We used only scrap parts, thats why its not completely the same as the one we described in this instructable.
We modified some rings from euro-pallets (fitted two toghether to form one hexagonal). A total of six of these rings stacked on top of eachother forms the basic form of the machine. We cutted a door and reinforced the walls and the door with slats. The trampoline was fitted in afterwards by making some cuts in the bottom ring. a opening in dthe back was provided for the fan we used.
we had a big presentation for some elementary schools to prove that our machine was the most awesome. A lot of kids tested it and they were all verry happy and excited. The machine withstood this test of safety and stability.
We hope someone will make the "flying-machine" like it was supposed to be.