CUP TOP AIR CONDITIONER

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Introduction: CUP TOP AIR CONDITIONER

I've seen a number of DIY AC units using a Styrofoam cooler, fan and ice. After many years of sweating in the sun watching youth sports, I thought it would be nice to downsize and personalize the concept. So this is for all the dutiful parents supporting their kids - soccer, baseball, swimming, camping, etc. It's not going to blow your hair back, but it's a pleasant, portable cool breeze. STL files included (step 5). Good luck.

Step 1: BASE TUMBLER

For this project I purchased an Ozark tumbler (Walmart - approx. $8)

Interior of cup mouth is 3 11/16" (seems to be a common size)

Step 2: DRILL

To more easily remove the center of the lid for air flow, drill holes around the inner surface as a guide

Step 3: SAW

Connect the holes with a jigsaw to completely remove the center

Step 4: EDGE CLEAN-UP

Clean up the rough edge with a stone grinding tool and light sand paper

Step 5: 3D DESIGN (download)

Using the 3D software of your choice (3DS Max pictured), create the objects needed based on the specs of the tumbler used - fan blades, spout, fan grill and a surface to hold it all together

STL files available for download

Notes:

1) The bottom of the base surface should be flat as it will be attached to the lid for an air tight fit to the tumbler

2) You'll want the fan blades as close as possible to the sides of the intake tube but allow for the shell thickness during printing

3) You'll also want the fan blades positioned well within the tube to get a better draw

4) Mind the ON/OFF switch when creating placement for the battery pack

Step 6: 3D PRINT

Print individual objects (in this case I used a DaVinci miniMaker)

Step 7: ADDITIONAL PARTS

Additional parts needed - 3V motor and AA battery pack (ON/OFF switch included on pack)

Notes:

The motor used was listed on Amazon as: Flormoon DC Motor Mini Electric Motor 3V 8500RPM

With version 2.0, I will probably place/wire a larger, separate ON/OFF switch in the space to the left of the spout

Step 8: MOTOR PLACEMENT

Epoxy the motor into position

Step 9: FAN BLADE

Epoxy the fan blades onto the motor post making sure that the rotation and tilt of the blades will force the air down, into the tumbler (I ran the motor before the epoxy dried to make sure the placement was level)

Step 10: SUPER GLUE SPOUT

Super Glue spout into position

Step 11: ADD FAN GRILL/BATTERY PACK

Super Glue the fan grill and epoxy the back plate of the battery pack into position

Notes:

Make sure epoxy is dry before you replace the cover to the battery pack

Step 12: SOLDER WIRING

Solder wires - red to red, black to black (heat shrink protection optional)

Step 13: ATTACH TO LID

Epoxy the completed unit to the tumbler's lid

Step 14: ADD ICE

Fill 2/3rds of the tumbler with ice

Step 15: ENJOY

Step 16: NOTES:

1) The mouth seems to be the same size as other popular tumblers as well as a number of commercially used cups, so this unit should be able to fit on top of that ice cold Coke while on the go.

2) I do NOT recommend drinking from the spout - the motor and wiring are not protected or waterproof so tipping the cup to drink is probably not the best course. However, the spout I designed is angled such that a straw can fit down through the space.

3) Yes, this version is a bit clunky (more of a proof of concept). I'll be working on something more aesthetic for version 2.0. Thanks for checking it out.

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    11 Discussions

    The motor used was listed on Amazon as: Flormoon DC Motor Mini Electric Motor 3V 8500RPM

    I'll make this notation adjustment in step 7 - thank you.

    For drinking the content, why don't you just add a small hole for a straw to go through? Maybe even add a pin of some sort to plug in, while not using the straw hole.

    1 reply

    A good thought, and I had thought about a straw hole, but went with angling the spout to accommodate a straw. I was trying to keep it minimal. As you mention, it adds another level of rubber plug and then how do you attach the plug when you're using a straw, etc. I was also looking ahead to version 2.0 when I'd be using the space on the left (where a straw hole would fit nicely) for a larger ON/OFF switch.

    Post pics if you happen to make the adjustment - would love to see folks variations (and improvements) - ty

    For those asking -

    1) I've swapped out the .max files for download in step 5 to .stl files.

    2) The motor used was listed on Amazon as: Flormoon DC Motor Mini Electric Motor 3V 8500RPM

    Thanks again for the interest.

    Great ideas deserve another,

    If you don't have a printer, you can purchase Squrell cage fans at amazon s 5 for 10.00 $.

    Do you have a source and/or partnumber for the motor that fits your MAX design?

    Super great little design BTW

    HI, nice project and use of the printer. When I saw the project idea I thought you were going to blow the air through a wetted material to achieve cooling. Evaporative cooling. I think you may find this more effective than over the ice. Although then you probably won't want to drink the contents.

    1 reply

    Agreed - evaporative is more effective, but on this small of a scale I don't know that there would be enough of a difference to offset the more complex system, slightly larger motor/power source and tighter spec tolerances to push air through a material and still have enough air flow on the back end. My intent was to simply downsize the Styrofoam cooler concept so that it was functional yet flexible enough to work on multiple cup/tumbler form-factors and still maintain the ability to drink the contents.

    Would love to see a sketch of what you had in mind.

    Thanks

    This is a Cool (pun intended) build. I would love to build one for myself, but I don't have access to 3DS Max. Is there any way you would be willing to upload a .stl version, or even like a .dwg or something might get me there (or a thingiverse link or something). Quality instructions otherwise. I look forward to seeing more from you.

    Do you have the 3D print files available?