** Failed: Electric Lego Air Pump (v1.0)

Introduction: ** Failed: Electric Lego Air Pump (v1.0)

FAILURE: This was a failed experiment because I was unable to generate enough torque to actually run the motor. There were also many other glitches as well. The motor had trouble trying to move the shaft up because it needs to push two pistons up at a time. This made a very unstable design. The motors also stopped working when pressure built up even a little bit. Maybe someone can make an improvement to this.

An air pump made out of lego bricks and a motor, first model.

It doesn't work yet, but when the actual pumps get here in a few days, I'll attach them. Then I will update this Instructable. This is my first Instructable, so if there is any advice those Instructable veterans out there would like to give to me to improve my post, please let me know. Any advice at all is appreciated too. If there is anything that you notice needs correcting, please tell me.

EDIT: I forgot to mention this, but I have tried to make this pump out of the simplest parts you can find. I believe it's simple enough, bricks and 1 technic axle. You just need a motor. I had designed the motor for the same reason, even though I could have gotten a Power Functions Motor for a few dollars.

Step 1: Get All the Parts.

Remember, Legos are very versatile, so you do not have to follow this Instructable exactly. Improvising is very easy.

If you are following this Instructable exactly, look at the picture.
If not, I recommend that you have a bunch of legos with you and build as you go.

You're going to need a motor and some way to connect it to a technic axle. The Lego Power Functions M motor is the easiest to attach to the system.

Step 2: The Base.

If you can't follow my wording, just look at the pics.

1. Get a 6x6 plate.

2. Attach the 1x2 wedges to the plate, with the slant facing toward each other on the edge of the 6x6 plate.

3. Place two 1x2 blocks behind the wedges in the opposite direction the wedges are in, on the edge of the plate.

4. Place the 1x6 brick behind the two 1x2 bricks, leaving 12 dots behind it.

5. Place a brick above both of the 1x4 bricks above the wedge, the 1x2 brick, and the edge of the 1x6 bricks.

6. Place a 1x1 brick on the 1x6 brick against the 1x4 brick on both sides. Place a 1x2 brick right behind the 2 spaces between the wedges.

Step 3: The Crankshaft.

1. Get an 8 length technic pin and put 2 belt drive wheels on the end of the pin, both next to each other.

2. Put a 1x2 brick with a hole in it onto the technic pin.

3. Place a 1 unit technic rivet in after that, then another 1x2 brick with a hole in it.

4. There should be 2 units remaining.

5. Attach it to the base. The 2 belt drive rotors should fit into the slot. The two 1x2 bricks should fit into their places nicely.

Step 4: The Cover.

1. Place a 1x6 brick above the second (not touching the belt rotors) and center it. It should fit above the two units on the side.

2. Place a 1x2 brick on the 1x4 bricks on the side in the center, against the 1x6 brick edge.

3. Place the upside-down wedge on the last remaining unit on the 1x4 side bricks, facing each other.

4. Place a 1x2 brick above the uncovered 1x2 brick with the technic pin running through it.

5. Place a 4x6 plate above it all.

Step 5: The Roof.

1. Assemble some form of perimeter around the 4x6 plate cover on the device (so far).

2. On the left of the perimeter, place a 2x6 plate centered, leaving 2 units on the front and back.

3. On the right of the perimeter, place a 2x6 plate lined up with the front edge of the perimeter, leaving four units behind.

4. On the center, place a 2x6 plate like you did in Step 3.

5. Place a 1x2 brick with a pin on the front edge of the 2x6 plate on the left side of the perimeter, and one on the same part of the plate of the one on the right perimeter.

6. Place a 1x2 brick with 2 holes in it next to the 1x2 with the pin extruding, lined up back-to-back.

Step 6: The Back of the Roof.

1. Place a 1x2 brick right behind the 1x2 with the extruding pin, lined up and back-to-back.

2. Place a 1x2 brick behind the other 1x2 with the extruding pin, lined up on the right edge and along the edge of the 2x6 plate.

3. Place two 1x2 bricks that have one hole in it next to each other, so that a 1x4 brick is formed with 2 holes and place it along the edge of the two 1x2 bricks with so that a perimeter is formed around 4 units.

4. >>>After I get the pumps, I will make add this step. Channel the two tubes from the pumps through the two holes in the 1x2 brick and 1 hole through each of the 1x2 bricks with one hole.

5. Place a 4x6 plate above the two 1x2 bricks with holes, the three 1x2 bricks, and the two 1x2 bricks with extruding pins.

6. Now take the 3 unit pin into any one of the six holes in the belt drive rotor.

Step 7: The Motor Assembly.

This section is very broad due to the fact that I custom build my motor, and everyone could probably do it differently. You just need to have a way of connecting it to technic pin axles. I used a motor from old devices and glued on a technic pin connector. It has to be balanced. I used elmers glue since it is flexible and that is good for this purpose. The easiest would be to use a Lego Power Functions M Motor.

Want to use the Lego Power Functions M Motor? I don't have one, which is why I haven't tested it, but I made an adaptor that may or may not fit the motor correctly. Get two technic connector pins, three 1x4 bricks, a 1x4 plate, and a 1x4 brick with 3 holes in it. Assemble it from the bottom up: 1x4 brick, 1x4 with 3 holes, and the rest of them in any order. Insert the technic pins into the 1st and 3rd pin holes of the 1x4 with 3 holes. Carefully remove the bottom plate and the top three plates, leaving the pieces they are connected to intact. Place the completed adaptor into the pump device, fitting the technic pin through the center pin of the pump device. Then plug the motor into that adaptor. The technic pin should fit into the orange output on the motor. Make sure that the flat piece is facing down. Then reattach the plates removed before.

NOTICE: You need a Power Functions box to operate the motor.

Step 8: Done or Not???

There you go! Of course, I haven't gotten the pumps yet, but will in a few days and then I will update this Instructable.

By the way, what would an air pump be without an air tank? Click hereClick here for the Instructable to a very simple air tank that is easy to build.

EDIT: I have made some changes to my design that make it more advanced and a small guide that will help you in improving the design. If your device works correctly, there is no need to go on. Continuing will require some more parts.

Step 9: Only Have or Want One Pump?

If you have only one pump or only want one, here's what you should do to adjust it to it doesn't look odd.

1. Remove the three 2x6 plates that hold the bricks that hold the pumps.

2. Install a 4x6 plate on top or use two of the 2x6 plates to cover it up.

3. Replace one of the 1x2 bricks with the extruding pins on the left or right where the original used to be.

4. Place a 1x2 brick with a hole in it next to that and a 1x2 after that. Along the short edge of the brick, place a standard 1x2 on one side and a 1x2 with a hole on the other. Finish it off with a 1x6 brick then cover it with a 4x6.

There you go, one cylinder!

Step 10: Oh No, It Doesn't Run! Now What?

Well, if your problem is that the motor can't spin (which is the only problem I can think of), check to see if it tries to spin. If it doesn't, check your connections.

If it does try, then you probably don't have enough torque. Remove a pump and then try it. If it still doesn't remove the second. If it still doesn't, something's wrong with the motor.

To increase the torque, you have to decrease the speed that the motor spins the crankshaft, not the motor itself. To do this, just gear down the motor.

You can also add a second motor, so that you do not need to gear it down, making it pump faster.

I will not explain in detail how to do this unless someone requests it. I hope the pictures are enough for you two go out and figure it out alone. I will detail if asked.

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    3 Discussions


    12 years ago on Introduction

    Actually, the pack of pneumatic stuff I bought that has the pumps comes with pneumatic cylinders. There are 2 valves go either up or down, depending on which valve is supplied pressure. I'm going to build an engine using those pneumatic cylinders after I perfect this pump and my air tank.


    12 years ago on Introduction

    COOL! so basically its like a mini lego air compressor. Now can you make a LEGO pneumatic cylinder? (just kidding, but that would be cool)