|F.Y.I. - Traditional bubble wands have "ribs"
around the rings that you blow through to make
bubbles. These create tiny channels which hold
more bubble solution in order to create more
bubbles when you blow. It works something like a
candle wick and utilizes the solution's properties of
cohesion and adhesion.
However, since the "bubble wheel" is spinning
constantly, it steadily replenishes itself. Thus, each
ring only needs enough solution for a fraction of a
second - rather than for several seconds as with
bubble wands. So not only are the "ribs"
unnecessary for a wind powered bubble machine,
they will actually reduce performance due to
increased friction (unless you have a rather strong
fan). A smooth surface creates less resistance, spins
faster, and actually makes more bubbles.
There are a couple of basic approaches to making the bubble rings. You can either attach
rings to the outer edge, or punch out holes instead. For now, we will focus mainly on
attaching outer rings. Although there are a few interesting things to note for either case.
The rings do not have to actually be round, nor even close to round. Again, stronger fans
give you more options. Also, openings of 3/4" - 1" seem to work best for average sized
bubbles.Even the openings between windmill blades can be enough to make bubbles.
Although this does not work as well with many fans and is far from optimal for overall
performance. However, the main idea is that all sorts of shapes will work. Try heart shapes
for weddings or theme related shapes for parties.
While round shaped are likely best, there are many shapes for paper punches in craft stores,
etc. which also work great and look really cool too. Paper punches do work with lighter
plastics, but be gentle or they won't last long. Although heavier punches often work better,
the ones designed for paper are far more available, considerably less expensive, AND
available in a large assortment of fun shapes. Just remember that they are not designed for
heavier plastics, but can work fine if your careful and ok with the idea that the punch may
wear out quickly. To see some variations click here.
|Wind Powered Bubble
Machines can help you
add fun to birthday
graduation & school
parties...or any occasion.
Draw more attention to
yard sales, fund raisers,
openings & events.
...or just for fun.
Add bubbles to your
decorations for any party
theme - at a fraction of
the price for electric
If you're looking for
birthday party game
ideas, everyone could
make their own simple
Try making several &
give as party favors...
Mark a location to help
guests find your home.
Add a few drops of
citronella oil to help
deter mosquitoes, etc.
Step by Step
Bubble rings can be made from a variety of materials. Tiny rubber bands are very easy to
use, plus the work very well with super glue. The gel version is nearly perfect and clean
to use, but any similar or other waterproof glue works too.
Wire or twist ties can also make excellent rings. If you don't have glue, then you can
attach wire rings via small holes in the outer edge of your bubble wheel. Of course they
can also be attached with glue.
Although various shape will do just fine, round is probably the most efficient. Also, the
more uniform and balanced that you make the parts, the better your bubble machine is
likely to work. Twist the wire around a tube or small bottle for uniformly-shaped, round
It may help to mark a dot on the outer edge of the wheel prior to placing rings. It may be
helpful to line up each ring with the end of each windmill blade.
If you're using wire, then you might want to heat a nail and melt a small hole at each of
the dots which you just marked. Be careful since nail is hot - hold it with pliers or at least a
Insert the tail end of wire rings through each melted hole and then flatten out the tabs to
hold rings in place.
If you opt for glue and rubber bands, then just place a drop of glue at each of the dots
marked around the outer rim. With super glue, etc. you can place several drops/rings at
once. But with slower setting glues it will probably be necessary to set the rings one at a
time. Tape can be used temporarily to hold the rings while glue is drying. However, the
tape should be removed once glue is dry since it can reduce performance.
The number of rings that you can use depends on their size and that of the wheel. At
least 8 rings is recommended and is easy to align in a balanced and uniform fashion.
With slightly larger wheels it's easy to use 16 rings. this usually provides a somewhat
increased output - as long as you are using a house fan of at least average size. With
smaller or weaker fans, fewer rings can lower the resistance due to reduced friction. In
some cases, using fewer rings may actually improve performance. Although you'll
generally get the best overall output by using a fan that's at least average-sized.
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