Our laptops need frequent dust cleaning. I previously used to make use of the household vacuum cleaner to perform this task. But performing the prerequisite tasks of moving the vacuum cleaner from its location, fixing an attachment to its hose and frequent cleaning of the vacuum cleaner itself seemed a bit tedious to me. Then I resorted to the use of a small paint brush to clean my laptop screen, keyboard, speakers and the internal circuitry. I did not use it for too long though as it might have scratched the screen or disturbed the circuitry. I needed some device that would be portable, easy to clean, maintenance-free and would provide contact-free cleaning. A handheld air blower can serve this purpose. I thought that instead of buying a blower, I can actually make one from the available household stuff.
Here is the list of things you will need to make your own Jugaad Air Blower:
The specifications in the bracket are in accordance with the stuff that I have used. You can choose the dimensions and specifications of the components according to your needs.
1. A plastic container with a proper lid to provide sufficient air-tight fitting (120-130 mm diameter and 40 mm depth)
2. A plastic centrifugal fan (I had to purchase this for 20 Rs.(0.33$)) (60 mm diameter)
3. A long hollow plastic cylindrical pipe to be used as an outlet (shank of a kaleidoscope 120 mm length and 35 mm diameter)
4. A DC motor (rated speed of 500 rpm)
5. A DC power supply ( I have used the battery charger of a defunct emergency lamp which gives 6 V output)
6. Any bracket that can be used as a handle
7. A few 2 mm nominal diameter screws and nuts
8. M-seal and foam for preventing air leakage
9. Screw drivers, plastic cutters and a few electrical wires (I have used a set of wires properly fitted with DC jacks and lugs)
10. Insulation tape
Step 1: Make Markings Inside the Plastic Container
a. Mark the circular area where the centrifugal fan is to be mounted with pencil.
b. Mark the area such that the container gap between the centrifugal fan and the plastic outlet pipe has a gradually increasing cross-sectional area for more pressure build-up as shown in the figure below. It was a bit cumbersome to disassemble the pipe and foam. Hence, they are included in the snapshot as well.
c. See to it that there is no resistance provided by other blower components to the rotating centrifugal fan.
Step 2: Fitment of the Plastic Pipe to the Plastic Container
a. Cut the plastic container at the mid of its depth along the circumference.
b. Make slots in both the plastic container halves in order to accommodate the plastic outlet pipe.
c. Fix the plastic pipe to the container with screws and nuts. Similarly fasten the the two halves of the containers by placing the upper half over the lower one. Make use of hot solder gun or big wool stitching needles to make appropriate holes in the plastic.
d. Pack the gaps between the pipe and the container with M-seal to prevent air leakage and fill the gap to the left of the marking with foam. Screw the foam to the plastic container. Seal the upper container half with the lower one with insulation tape.
Step 3: Motor and Centrifugal Fan Fitment
a. Make sure the speed reduction gear box is removed from the DC motor because we need the maximum available shaft speed.
b. Screw fit the motor to the container such that the shaft of the motor comes above the plastic container base.
c. Press fit the centrifugal fan on the motor shaft such the fan blade curves are in the direction of the rotation of the fan making our blower a forward curved air blower. Here, the rotation of the fan is in counter clockwise sense.
Step 4: Providing Air Inlet
a. Make a hole of 10 mm diameter in the plastic container lid exactly above the the centrifugal fan center. This acts as the air inlet.
b. Press fit the lid over the container. A plastic fitment can be placed in the hole to make the assembly look a bit aesthetic.
Step 5: Fit a Handle for Holding the Blower
a. Use any suitable steel or plastic bracket that can be used as a handle. Fit it appropriately over the container outer surface with nuts and screws.
Step 6: Ready to Blow
a. Use any DC supply to power the motor. I have used the electrical circuitry from a defunct emergency lamp. It takes AC supply and converts it to a 6 V DC supply. The power source is shown in the figure. You can also use a portable battery directly.
b. Connect the motor to the DC output terminals and the blower works just fine.
Modifications required but not yet incorporated:
1. More DC voltage output (12-13 V) will give better output air flow rate.
2. A centrifugal fan with bigger blades will help in building up even more pressure.
3. I was not able to obtain a better DC supply and a fan with bigger blades. Hence, I had to use whatever was available.
4. Proper packing of the power source would give the device a more aesthetic feel.
5. This blower only blows the dust but fails to dislodge it. A better power source and fan as mentioned above will definitely solve this problem.