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How to convert an air pump/vacuum into a two mode machine which can blow and suck? Answered

Hi, I'm trying to build a simple robot gripper under a budget using this idea http://makezine.com/projects/universal-robot-gripper/. So from what I understand I need a vacuum cleaner that can change into an air blower with a flip of switch using the same nozzle. Is there any cheap option where i can make something similar? I was thinking of buying a cheap car vacuum cleaner or a cheap air pump and reverse the mode by reversing the motor polarity. Will that work? Really need a quick answer for my project, please help. Thank you! 

Discussions

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rickharris

Best Answer 2 years ago

Electrically the vac will not swap suck for blow. You will need to do this mechanically by changing over the inlet and outlet.

How much pressure/vacuum do you need?

In my head I am thinking a simple pump like a bike pump may be a better solution.

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KhayhenSrickharris

Answer 2 years ago

I don think i need that high of a pressure since I wont be lifting heavy stuff in my project. How do I use the bicycle pump and can I control it electrically?

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rickharrisKhayhenS

Answer 2 years ago

Use a linear actuator to operate the pump - If you use a standard bike pump for cheapness you will need to put another air washer on the ram to suck as well as pump as in diagram - lick to see full size.

You could use hydraulics to operate the pump but that will be more complex.

pump.jpg
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KhayhenSrickharris

Answer 2 years ago

Thanks for the help will consider doing this

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steveastrouk

2 years ago

Yes, reversing it is an excellent idea.

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rickharrissteveastrouk

Answer 2 years ago

Will standard car vac with an impeller suck and blow when the motor is reversed?

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Yonatan24rickharris

Answer 2 years ago

From my experiments, with 2 small vacuum cleaners, no.

I don't remember hearing, seeing, or feeling a difference in the suction at all.

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rickharrisYonatan24

Answer 2 years ago

That's what I would expect, an impeller type car vac is moving air by centrifugal force (ouch). reversing it isn't making a lot of difference

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KhayhenSrickharris

Answer 2 years ago

What about an air pump for an aquarium? Is there any air pumps that don't use centrifugal force?

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rickharrisKhayhenS

Answer 2 years ago

Most are diaphragm pumps not reversible

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