Author Options:

3D printable Vortex Cooling tube Answered

I am in the finnishing stages of my project now.
The main body is now a single part :)
My goal to create a vortex tube that works with very little airflow and/or pressure sadly failed so far.
It is simply impossible to the required details printed.
I might try again one day with a 0.1mm nozlze but calculations tell me I would need 2 days to print the body with it :(

So what is the current status on the project?
About 5 rolls of filament later I have now a single piece body that prints in one go with very little support structures required - none in really critical areas.
Why now fully printed instead using ready to go aluminium tubing?
If these things start to work you can't really finetune the design anymore as they fail too quickly and start to leak.
I got sick and tired of UV glue and epoxy glue as well...
Metal expands differently than palstic when temps change drastically...
Still the concept is far from perfect as I found out that printed parts only too often start to sepearte from the temperature changes - they start to leak through the layer even with 5 permimeters printed....
Shortly after you break it all apart...
Right now I went back to PLA with an outer coating of ABS juice or quick drying varnish.
Once the surface gets cracks you know it is time to discontinue the testing and print another one.

My best working model is now a conical tube, all up about 15cm long.
I am able to reach a temperature drop from what comes out of the compressor to what comes out of the cold end of about 30°.
Right now trying to work out the best orifice diameters and angles for the lowest posssible flow rate.
Still it won't work for long on a cheap 130 liter per minute compressore from the home depot...
Would love to have a much quicker acting thermometer, but I guess I will invest in one one day...
As I somehow doubt I will manage to make work continously on a cheap compressor I might try instead to get a bigger temperature drop.
Negative 5-7 is nice, negative 20°C would be better.
I hope to finnish the testing over the next weekend and will then cnsider to make an Instructable from it.
But who can properly test it out?
Someone with a beefy compressor might not have a 3D printer or the other way around...

Might try one day to etch the vortex generator and use glass tubes from droppers in a resin enclosure.
In that size it certainly would even work from a fridge compressor but the cooling capacity would be very low indeed.
Still, someone might need a -30°C spot cooler that can spot cool a pin head...


The forums are retiring in 2021 and are now closed for new topics and comments.