Introduction: Airbrush With Marker

About: Interactive technologist/industrial designer

This project will guide you through making an airbrush using Copic markers, a 3d printed handle and Programmable-Air. Let's get started!

full build video demo:



* 3D printed handle(downloadable on thingiverse)
* Aquarium tubing(vinyl, 3/16" OD, 1/8" ID)
* Wires
* Small push switch
* Luer lock female connector
* Luer lock needle (1mm end diameter)
* Berg stick connector (not pictured)
* Programmable-Air kit

* Hot glue gun
* Soldering iron
* Needle nose pliers

Step 1: 3D Print the Handle

I designed the handle in Fusion 360 based on this reference handle. I printed it out of PLA on an Ultimaker, but pretty much any FDM printer and filament should be fine. Printing takes about an hour with a 0.6mm nozzle. You can find the 3d files oh thingiverse here.

Step 2: Clean Up Your Print

The handle uses support material. You can easily clear it with some needle nose pliers.

Step 3: Assemble the Handle

Fit the vinyl tube through the front of the print and down into the handle. Insert the luer lock connector to the tube and then fit it into the end of the handle. It should be a snug fit. Then connect the needle to the connector.

Step 4: Wrap the Wires

The wires are going to get connected to the Programmable-Air board along with the tube. We can wrap the two wires around each other to prevent them from dangling around too much. You can do this by hand, but a drill speeds up the process significantly.

Step 5: Solder the Switch

Solder wires to the switch. Pay attention to which two of the four leads you are soldering to. You want to solder to the two leads that are on same side of the switch.

Step 6: Solder Connectors to Programmable-Air

This project is powered by Programmable-Air, an open source kit for controlling pneumatics.

Attach a berg stick connector to Programmmable-Air port 3. And solder the wires between pins A0 and GND. The pin A0 will be later used as input with internal pullup resistor, so pushing the button will pull the pin down to ground.

Step 7: Switch the Tubing on Programmable-Air

By default Programmable-Air has one pump being used as compressor and one vacuum. But, we want to use just compressor. So, we can double up the flow rate by using both pumps as compressors.

Step 8: Connect the Output Tube

The tube of our airbrush connects to the output of Programmable-Air. You should wrap the wires loosely around the tube to make sure they don't dangle around.

Step 9: Code It Up

Program the Airbrush example from Programmable-Air library into the Programmable-Air board. Instruction for programing it can be found on Github, which library can be downloaded from, or simply by searching Programmable-Air in the Arduino library manager.

Step 10: Attach Your Marker

Attach a Copic marker to your handle. Make sure that the tip of the marker is very close to the tip of the needle. Feel free to adjust the luer lock connector position if needed.

That's it. You're the proud owner of an Airbrush!

Step 11: Make Some Art!!

Let your dreams fly :D

Thanks a bunch for reading this instructable! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Please check out the Programmable-Air project, it's an open source kit for controlling pneumatics.

Project link:

Project github:

Project website:

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