How to Make a Mini Vortex Cannon




Introduction: How to Make a Mini Vortex Cannon

Before we get started I want tom let you know what a vortex cannon is. A vortex cannon is a toy that fires doughnut-shaped air vortices — similar to smoke rings but larger, stronger, and completely invisible. Ok lets get started the stuff that you will need are: a paper cup, a plastic garbage bag, rubberbands, tape, a box cutter, a bolt, a end cap nut, a small piece of wire, three popsicle sticks and  hot glue gun with hot glue. This project was made at the TechShop in san jose. The TechShop website is .

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Step 1: the Body

What you are going to want to do is get the cup and cut a hole in the middle of the bottem of it. you should leave a 3/8 to 1/2 of a inch space between the side of the cup and the hole. Next you need to cut about a 1/2 inch of one end the popsicle sticks off, so that the popsicle sticks won't stick out of the cup. Then glue the popsicle sticks on the inside of the cup so that they are eveny spaced on the inside. When that is done you need to cut holes around the bottom of the popsicle sticks so that the rubberbands will fit thew them. Pull the rubberbands through the holes and loop each one around itself so that they will lock in place if pulled. and that is the main body of the cannon.

Step 2: Step 2: the Plactic Bag

Your going to want to get your bolt and end cap nut and put the nut on the bolt. Then get your garbage bag and rap the plactic around the end cap nut and rap a rubberband around the nut to hold the plactic on the nut (in the pictures I used a marbal but I put the bolt and nut later). Then get your cup and put the top of the cup down on the plactic so the the bolt in in the middle of the cup. Pull the bolt with plactic up through the hole that you cut. Then cut off the acess plactic withe the box cutter. You should end up with a something that looks like the last picture.

Step 3: Step 3: Putting It All Together

The first thing that you need to do is get the part of the bolt that is sticking out of the bottom of the plactic and rap the rubberbands that are in the cup around it. Lock the rubberbands around the bolt by raping the wire around them. The last thing that you will need to do is rap 3 or more rubberbands around the outside of the cup so that it will keep the plactic from going in to the cup. To use it all you need to do is pull the bolt and let go and it will shoot a vortex of air, also if you fill it with smoke and shoot it, it will make smoke rings.

Be the First to Share


    • Declutter Speed Challenge

      Declutter Speed Challenge
    • First Time Author Contest

      First Time Author Contest
    • Scraps Speed Challenge

      Scraps Speed Challenge

    5 Discussions


    4 years ago

    A good project, I learn something new every day.


    5 years ago on Step 3

    i tried raping the wire like you did in step 3, but it's not working out. any pointers? am i not using enough lube or should i just put on some mood music?