The Wind Tube is a popular and versatile Maker project. This build uses all common and accessible objects.
This is an easy build that requires only simple tools and measuring. The entire project can be done by one person.
Number of Makers Needed:
One person is sufficient for all steps. Having a second person to stabilize the frame while assembling is helpful but not necessary.
- If you use a saw, the ability to use a saw. If you use one of the safer PVC pipe cutting tools, it’s not as dangerous.
- Tape Measure
- PVC Cutter
- Sharpie Marker (optional)
The Wind Tube is three parts: the fan for the wind source, a rolled acetate sheet for the tube, and the PVC frame. The materials and build is designed to be accessible and modular, making it a welcome and relatively compact addition to any makerspace.
The frame of this build is 1/2″ PVC pipe. These are the cuts that you’ll need for a 15″ fan.
How to Make a Wind Tube
Our construction plans are are built around a PVC base that can be assembled and disassembled when needed. The PVC and the joiners form a sturdy foundation for the tube.
Step 1: Align the Fan
Align the fan bed so that it sits completely flat, parallel with the floor. The “fan stand” sits at two sides of the fan’s diameter.
Step 2: Measure and Cut the PVC
Measure two 10″ segments of PVC. Cut each segment.
Step 3: Find the Fan Stand
The first sides you’ll assemble are the ones adjacent to the fan stand. These are the most important sides of the frame because they provide stability.
Step 4: Assemble the Side
Assemble the side that touches the fan stand. Each of these sides is made from two of the 10″ segments joined with the T joint in the middle.
Step 5: Connect the T Joint
Connect each of the two segments in the middle with a T joint. Do this so that the T joint sits flush with the fan stand.
Step 6: Connect the Elbow Joints
Attach an elbow joint to the end of each segment. These should be facing inward – these are the corners of the frame.
Step 7: Repeat Steps 4-6
Repeat steps 4-6 to make the other side.
Step 8: Locate the Logo
Next you’ll be constructing the sides that run parallel with the Honeywell logo. Each of these sides use two 11″ segments joined with a T joint in the middle. These pieces are longer to compensate for the additional length added by the fan stand. Recommendation: Start with 11″ cuts and then reduce down to 10.5″ if needed. The length is somewhere in between 10.5″ and 11″.
Step 9: Measure and Cut the PVC
Measure two 11″ segments of PVC. Cut each segment. See above note about reducing down to 10.5″ as needed.
Step 10: Connect the T Joint
Connect each of the two segments in the middle with a T joint. The T joint should be aligned with the center of the fan.
Step 11: Connect the Elbow Joints
Connect the ends of each segment with the elbow joints from each side.
Step 12: Repeat Steps 9-11
Repeat steps 9-11 to form the other side. At this point you’ll have the entire rectangular PVC frame around the fan. This is the base for the tube.
Step 13: Measure and Cut the PVC
Next you’ll be attaching the segments that secure the tube. Measure four 19.5″ segments of PVC. Cut each segment.
Step 14: Attach the Segments
Start with the joint next to the fan stand and attach the 19.5″ segment to the upward facing connector of the T joint.
Step 15: Repeat Step 14 Three Times
Repeat this process for each T joint. At this point you’ll have four segments attached to the base T joints. These should align with the fan stand.
Step 16: Gather Four T Joints
Next, gather 4 more T joints. These will connect and extend the vertical segments.
Step 17: Attach the T Joints
Attach a T joint to each of the vertical segments that you just added so that there is a connector facing inward.
Step 18: Repeat Step 17 Three Times
Repeat this process for each of the vertical segments. At this point you’ll have four segments attached to the base T joints and a second T joint on the end of each segment.
Step 19: Measure and Cut the PVC
Measure four 8.5″ – 9″ segments of PVC. Cut each segment. The next part is the cross section that sits across the fan’s diameter. This is where the plastic tube sits. The measurement will be somewhere between 8.5″ and 9.5″ inches. Start with the longer lengths and reduce down to 8.5″ as needed. The actual length depends on how the PVC fits into the joints.
Step 20: Attach the Segment
Start with one of the vertical segments that touches the fan stand and attach a segment to the T joint, facing inward.
Step 21: Repeat Step 21 Three Times
Work each segment into place until all four are connected to the T joints and face inward.
Step 22: Attach the X Joiner
Locate the X joiner. Attach each end of the segments to the X joiner. Do your best to align it with the fan’s center. Use the logo as a visual guide. You may need to adjust and bend some PVC into position. This is fine – once they snap into place into the X joiner they’ll be secured.
Step 23: Measure and Cut the PVC
Measure four 41″ segments of PVC. Cut each segment. These are the top segments of the tube platform.
Step 24: Attach the Segment
Attach each 41″ segment to the upward facing joiner of each T joint.
Step 25: Repeat Step 24 Three Times
Repeat this process for each side and secure each segment. The vertical PVC will likely angle inward. This is ideal as it provides additional support for the tube.
Step 26: Form the Tube
Take the quilting hoop and roll the acetate sheet around it. Once you have the acetate rolled into a circle tape the middle to secure it.
Step 27: Secure the Hoop
Make sure that the hoop without the wing nut is secured inside the tube.
Step 28: Sandwich the Acetate
Once in place, loosen the wing nut on the other hoop and sandwich the acetate between each hoop.
Step 29: Tighten and Secure
Once aligned, tighten the wing nut to secure the acetate sheet in place.
Step 30: Repeat Step 29
Repeat this process to secure the quilting hoop for the other side of the tube.
Step 31: Enjoy Your Wind Tube
Now that your Wind Tube is fully assembled, turn on the fan and start experimenting!