Introduction: Airtight Self-Sealing Inflatable
Hello! We are the CNC HSCM (Heat Sealing and Cutting Machine) Team from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. We have created a large scale CNC machine for creating experimental inflatable structures. We developed a method for sealing our inflatables that we would like to share. Please check out our Patreon page to check out some of the awesome things we do: https://www.patreon.com/hscm
This is a method of sealing inflatables demonstrated on a simple bag. This closing system can be applied to a large variety of inflatables. The design is based on the patent for self sealing Mylar foil balloons. "Self-sealing valve, a self-sealing, non-latex balloon and a method for producing such a balloon EP 0356013 A2"
Materials to make the self sealing inflatable you will need:
Plastic sheeting (PET is used in this example)
Plastic tubing (of the same type of plastic as the sheeting)
Trace Paper or Wax Paper (any paper will work, but these are recommended)
Exacto (preferred cutting utensil)
Step 1: Cutting Out the Shape
The inflatable can come in any shape, but for this demonstration, a simple bag shape is used.
The most important aspect of this is to have the nozzle cut out of the shape which will seal the tube.
Step 2: Sealing
For this step, seal all edges except the valve end where the tube will be placed in.
Step 3: Preparing the Tube
Before sealing the tube, take your paper and cut it to the width of the tube so it can slide in with ease, but fill all of the tube. If it is too tight it will be difficult to remove later.
Once the paper is cut, place it into the tube.
Step 4: Final Seal
Take the tube with paper inside and place it inside the inflatable through the open valve.
The sealer will have to be at a higher setting to accommodate the extra material.
Seal across the inflatable valve with the tube sandwiched in the middle.
Once it is sealed, remove the paper.
Step 5: Inflate!
5 years ago
I've been thinking about inflatables for a bit, but I see you are well ahead of the game.
How hard would it be to transfer standard stuffed animal sewing patterns into inflatables? Do they translate 1-1, or would modifications need to be made? For instance, teddy bear patterns.
Reply 3 years ago
I know this may be a little bit too late and I am no expert, but the translation of sewing patterns to inflatable patterns can work. They may not be exactly alike because of medium elasticity, so be aware that some adaptations may be needed.
One more thing, to have more precise/organic control over the seals, you can use a heating iron with dulled tip.
5 years ago
The real question is if you can make farting noises with it... ;)
5 years ago
That's pretty neat :)