Wind Sculptures

About: Basic Mechanics is an educational organisation that teaches basic mechanics.

In this instructable you will be making two wind sculptures.

The sculptures that I made are not the same size because the size of the computer fans is not the same. The lighter wind sculpture is smaller than the darker sculpture.

To make one wind sculpture you will need:

- computer fan,

- 12 V power supply or batteries,

- material cloth (four times the fan length plus 2 cm width, 30 cm height) - you will need extra 10 cm of height or width for sculpture top,

- scissors,

- needle and thread,

- rubber bands,

- 1.5 mm metal wire for making the stand,

- pliers,

- pen or thin marker,

- and thin rope for the hands.

It is important to mention that the weight or thickness of the cloth will highly influence the appearance of the sculpture or determine were either the sculpture will work or not. If the cloth is too thin the sculpture will not remain standing unless the fan is turned on. If the wind from fan is weak then the thin cloth might not rise. If the cloth is too thick then the sculpture will not move much with wind from fan. I used a very average cloth from Lincraft store. The best option is to try a few different materials to obtain different types of wind sculptures.

Watch those three video to see them working:

Step 1: Measure the Fans

You measure the length of each fan with the ruler.

The two measured values were 6.5 cm and 8.5 cm. So the width of the first cloth in next step should be 6.5 cm * 4 + 2 cm = 28 cm and the width of the second cloth should be 8.5 cm * 4 + 2 cm = 36 cm.

Step 2: Cut the Cloth in Width

Use scissors to cut the cloth in width.

Although the first material was marked at 26 cm (as shown in the photo) a small margin of 1.5 cm was considered to make the total length slightly more than 26 cm (27.5 cm). However, I suggest you leave a margin of 2 cm as stated in the previous step.

Step 3: Cut the Cloth in Height

Use scissors to cut the cloth in height.

The height of first sculpture without the metal stand will be 18 cm.

The height of second sculpture without the metal stand will be 23.5 cm.

I suggest it would be best to limit the height as much as possible. A short sculpture will not move as much as a tall sculpture. However, tall sculpture might not move at all because of total weight of the cloth or weak wind not reach the top of sculpture. This is why I advised you to choose a thin cloth or low weight cloth.

Step 4: Cut the Tops

Use pen or thin marker to mark around the fans on remainder of cloth materials (this is why you need extra 10 cm of height or width in cloth).

Use scissors to cut the tops of the two wind sculptures.

Step 5: Sew the Shapes

Use needle and thread to sew the shapes as shown in the photos.

Step 6: Check If the Shapes Fit the Fans

Check if the fans are able to be inserted inside the two wind sculptures as shown in the photos.

The material shapes do not have to fit perfectly. This is why you need to use rubber bands stretched around the wind sculptures to secure the material shapes to the fans so that the materials shapes do not fly away as soon as the fans are turned on.

Step 7: Make the Metal Wire Stands

Use 1.5 mm wire and pliers to make the stands.

Each computer fan would have holes for bolts or screws. You put the wire through the holes of the fans bend at around 5 cm to 7 cm and then twist as shown in the photos. The height of the stand could be 10 cm or 15 cm with the fan standing at half the height of total structure.

Step 8: Cut the Top Ends

Use scissors to cut the top ends.

Make four holes in each of the two parts, making a total of eight holes per sculpture.

Then use ropes to attach the two parts as shown in the photos. Tie the knots after you put the rope through each hole.

The reason for this step is to allow the air to escape the wind sculpture. This will improve the air dynamics and make the sculpture move more due to wind. It is also a bad idea to trap the wind in wind sculpture especially if the fan blows strong wind. You put pressure on the fan and might damage the fan and drain high current/power from power supply or battery.

Step 9: Make the Hands

You make the hands by cutting a two small pieces of rope per sculpture, inserting them through the holes and tying the knots as shown in the photo.

Use secure the material shapes to computer fans with rubber bands.

You have now completed the wind sculpture.

Watch those three video to see them working:



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