Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Potato Cannon Instructions - NOW RENDERED IN 3D!!!

This is way, way cool.

In 2006 I wrote an article for Make Magazine which describes in detail how to make a potato cannon. I called it the Night Lighter 36 and it was quite fine piece of work. It was constructed from clear PVC plastic (the better to see the what goes on inside the combustion chamber) and uses a high voltage taser to supply the spark required to ignite the fuel that propels the potato. (Note to the the taser-averse crowd, you could subsitute a flint and steel lantern lighter in the end cap for the the taser. But, it wouldn't be nearly as interesting (or expensive))

As far as spud guns go, it was pretty high tech. Speaking of high tech, the Make magazine website made an interactive 3D rendering of the device available. I didn't know about that until I read Make website editor Phil Torrone's comments on a recent newsgroup post called the Foo Camp Digest.

The technology is exceedingly interesting and interactive 3d rendering of tech projects shows great potential. Check out the 3D PDF for yourself on the Make Mag web site. 

(A bit of self promotion here: this and many other wonderful projects are brilliantly rendered and explained in my book Whoosh Boom Splat. There is a link to Amazon.com to the right -->)

I'm not sure how complicated the software is that makes such interesting drawings. I've doodled around with SolidWorks and AutoCad and, well, I just don't have the patience to learn it. Maybe this one is easier.

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