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Simpliest way to make a 'tornado' effect with water? 12vdc Motor? Answered

I'm looking to create the tornado/twister effect in a plastic glass without human interaction (aka: picking it up and spinning it). I did this before by hacking up an old 10gal aquarium filter and used the motor out of it. It used a magnet which spun a small prop which created the effect I was looking for.

That filter motor died out and new 10gal motors are around 20 bucks. Is there an easier way to do this with perhaps a small 12vdc motor? Many any other ways? Suggestions?




7 years ago

If you watch the show "Mythbusters", there was an episode a couple years ago where they created something like this on a large scale.

To begin, they tried two ideas in small scale. One was using a motor (a drill actually) to spin a prop at the bottom of a container. The second was to use a pump which drew water from the bottom of the container and recirculated it to the top. The pump method worked best, and that's the approach they ended up using to create the massive rig that was large and power enough to suck a person under.

If I recall, the stirring method required more power to achieve the same kind of results as the pump. Beyond a certain scale, it wasn't even possible to use the stirring approach.

If you have a small water pump, that might be a better approach. If you are trying to use only salvaged parts or stuff you have on hand, it see seems like you will still need motor comparable in power to what you had used before.


Reply 7 years ago

I'll have to check out that episode...I'm really only wanting to do it on a small scale (with a clear plastic kitchen cup - pint glass size), so I was thinking the stirring method would be chepeast/easiest. But how can I use a 12vdc motor and ruin it with water damage?


7 years ago

Buy a mixer cup.


they are only $2 (if you order 3000)