DIY Confetti Cannon

Introduction: DIY Confetti Cannon

About: I am 17 years old and I love learning about electronics, motors, robotics, etc. Thanks for visiting my instructables page!

My older brother recently graduated from high school. As a gift I built this confetti cannon to launch at his party! It works by compressing air using a bike pump and then releasing the compressed air using a sprinkler valve. The air is then distributed into different pipes that are holding confetti. Now lets get on to the build!

***NOTE: Videos have been added to the last step

Step 1: Parts & Tools

Here are the parts and tools you will need for this build!

Parts & Tools

  • 2 inch PVC pipe (I used a 2 ft length)
  • 3/4 inch PVC pipe (I used a little of 10 ft)
  • 2 inch PVC end cap
  • 2 inch PVC T-fitting
  • 3/4 inch slip outside to 1/2 inch threaded inside PVC fitting
  • 3/4 inch slip to 3/4 inch threaded PVC fitting (x2)
  • 3/4 inch PVC 90 degree elbows (x4)
  • 2 inch to 3/4 inch PVC reducer (x2)
  • 3/4 inch PVC T-fitting (x2)
  • #4 hose clamps (x2)
  • 1/2 inch to 1/4 inch threaded brass fitting
  • 1/4 inch threaded to hose barb brass fitting (hose barb should fit your clear tubing)
  • 3/4 inch PVC + (cross) fitting
  • Sprinkler valve
  • Plumber's tape
  • PVC cleaner and glue
  • 3/4 inch PVC end cap
  • 12 volt wall wart
  • Push button
  • Extra wire
  • Bike tire valve
  • Bike pump
  • Clear tubing
  • Heat Shrink Tubing
  • Pliers or wrench
  • Soldering iron
  • Solder
  • Screw driver

Step 2: The Compression Tube

We are first going to build the tube that holds the compressed air. I like to refer to this as the "compression tube"! First, you will need to attach the 2 inch end cap to one end of your 2 inch PVC pipe. On the other end attach a 2 inch T-fitting as shown in the pictures above.

Now lets make what I like to call the "air input device"! First, find you 2 inch to 3/4 inch PVC reducer fitting. Attach the 3/4 inch slip outside / 1/2 inch threaded inside fitting to the 2 inch to 3/4 inch reducer fitting. Next, wrap the 1/2 inch to 1/4 inch brass fitting's outside with plumber's tape and then attach it to the 1/2 inch threaded inside of the PVC. After that, you need to wrap your hose barb with plumbers tape and then attach the hose barb to the other brass fitting.

Finally, attach the air input device to the 2 inch PVC T-fitting as shown in the pictures above.

Step 3: The Air Release Mechanism

Next, lets build the part the releases the compressed air. I will refer to this as "the air release mechanism"!

First, attach a 3/4 inch slip to 3/4 inch threaded fitting to a 2 inch to 3/4 inch reducer fitting. Use plumber's tape to wrap the threads and then insert it into one end of the sprinkler valve (Make sure to follow the arrows on the sprinkler valve). Next, attach another 3/4 inch slip to 3/4 inch threaded fitting to a length of 3/4 inch PVC pipe (My pipe was 2 feet long). Wrap these threads in plumber's tape and then insert into the other side of the sprinkler valve. Make sure both sides of the sprinkler valve are tight. Finally, attach the air release mechanism to the compression tube.

Step 4: Air Output Splitter

Now we are going to split the air output from the sprinkler valve.

First, on top of you 3/4 inch PVC pipe add a 3/4 inch cross fitting, and then add 2 inch lengths of 3/4 inch PVC pipe to the sides that are perpendicular to the pipe coming from the sprinkler valve. Next, add 2 3/4 inch PVC T-fittings and also add more 2 inch lengths of 3/4 inch PVC pipe to all the remaining T-fitting sides. After that. add four 3/4 inch PVC elbows to the 2 inch lengths. Make sure they are parallel with the pipe coming from the sprinkler valve. Finally cut four 18 inch lengths of 3/4 inch PVC pipe, and attach the 18 inch pipes to the elbows and the cross fitting.

Step 5: Final Additions

Just a few things to finish up this project!

Slide on you clear tubing to the hose barb and secure it with a #4 hose clamp. On the other end of you clear tubing insert a bike valve and secure it also with a #4 hose clamp.

Next, we need to wire up the sprinkler valve so we can open and close it. Attach the positive lead of you 12 volt wall wart to one wire of the sprinkler valve. Wire the ground lead of you wall wart to one end of a push button. On the other end of the push button attach the other lead of the sprinkler valve. When you plug it in and push the button you should hear a clicking noise.

Step 6: How to Launch

There are two ways to launch this confetti cannon. The first I call "direct mode" and the second I call "distributing mode".

In "direct mode" most of the air will go up the middle tube. I like to loosely attach the 3/4 inch end cap to this. When you compress the air to 60 - 80 PSI and hit the button the cap will go flying!

In "distribute mode" you will need to firmly secure the 3/4 inch end cap to the middle tube. This will prevent air from going straight up the middle tube. I put netting inside the side tubes and secured it with rubber bands. I put the confetti inside the netting and filled the tank up. When you hit the button the end cap should stay on and the confetti should fly into the air.

I hope you enjoyed this project as much as I did. Thanks for taking the time to look at my instructable. Have a nice day!

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    5 years ago on Introduction

    This looks great. Very cool project, thank you for sharing this!