Open Source Air Purifier :Air B Development Timeline : Made in Shanghai




Introduction: Open Source Air Purifier :Air B Development Timeline : Made in Shanghai

About: we are building open source air purifiers.

This is the Development Timeline for what is our most polished, most powerful, and most exciting model from the group in Shanghai, China .

People involved:

Brad ,Berni ,Robert, Vince, Amanda , Time

First Step: Look into existing Purifiers

Second Step: Design a DIY Version

Third Step: Share

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Step 1: Take Apart an Existing Purifier

We actually took a bunch of different models apart. This just happens to be a very cost effective one. We kept wondering, where's the tech?

We learned that the most important component is having :

  • Good Hepa Filter
    • Hepa
      • High Efficiency Particulate Air
    • Merv Rating:
      • Minimum efficiency reporting value
        • 1x Merv 13+: Filters Particles Between 1.0–0.3 μm (Smaller than PM 2.5)
    • Large Dust Holding Capacity
  • A Good Prefilter or Multiple Prefilters
    • The better the pre filter, the longer the Hepa Lasts. This way large particles are not blocking the capability of the Hepa filter and getting the full life out of them.
    • 1x Merv 5 Prefilter : 10.0–3.0 μm Particles
    • 1x Merv 4 Prefilter : > 10.0 μm Particles
  • Carbon Filter
    • Filters VOC, Smoke, Smells
      • We are still testing as far as the most effective and cost effective
  • Fan
    • Power
      • Sufficient Power to Create Pressure when Pushing Air through the filter and recycle the air in the room multiple times
        • CADR
          • Clean air Delivery Rate: A figure of merit that is the cubic feet per minute (CFM) of air that has had all the particles of a given size distribution removed. (wikipedia)
    • Proper Seal around filters and encasing

Step 2: First Prototype : Plexyglass

It was ugly and it did not work very well... But well worth it. Was great to build something we could better understand the importance of the sealing the filters, fitting them, choosing a fan, as the general design and esthetics .

Step 3: Second Prototype : Improving the Design : Metal Box & Wood Front

This was a great leap forward. One of our goals was to make it beautiful, so mixing in the front wood board was a great boost in its appearance. Also began experimenting with the adjustability to add single or multiple filters.

Step 4: Third Prototype : Jolly Green Box


  • Light Wood Varnish
  • Painted
    • To hide Weld Marks
  • Details to make it look better

Step 5: Latest: Air B 5

Major Improvements:

  • World First Adjustable Air Purifier
    • Add 1-4 Filters. Up to you
  • Flat Lid
    • Cleaner Design
  • Black Paint
  • Subtle Legs
    • Rubber Pegs to hold it in place
  • Bamboo Front and Laser Cut Vent Finish (Thanks Robert!)
  • Bamboo being treated with food Safe Mineral Oil (Thanks Robert!)
  • Using a Silicone Strip to Better handle the Air Flow
    • Still Needs to be improved on the top portion
  • Powerful Fan 700+ CBM/hour
    • More powerful than most models out there

Needs to be Improved:

  • Sound, this thing is powerful. We are thinking of changing the position of the filters to use them as a way to better isolate the Air outflow
  • Better understanding if we need such a powerful motor
  • Need more feedback
  • *Easier to Manufacture Box
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    4 Discussions


    4 years ago

    Just curious if this is still being worked on or not. Awesome work btw!!

    This is looking great! I'd still love to hear more about how you put together each prototype, but it's really interesting to see your design process and I commend you for your commitment to affordable clean air for everyone!


    5 years ago on Introduction

    We are working on better plans/instructable instructions, stay tuned!