Hover Craft Inspired Spin Top

by idea_beans, published

Hover Craft Inspired Spin Top by idea_beans Dec 15, 2012

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I had this idea of making a hover craft that could be propelled by balloons, but that idea didn't work because balloons weren't powerful enough to keep the propellers going. The whole thing ended up spinning on the table rather than hovering in the air, which led me to turn it into a spin top that would keep on going and going if you pump air towards either the propellers themselves, or into the opening duct in the centre of the thing. It'll speed up and keep spinning until you want it to stop!


I've uploaded 3 different files here.

Spin top.stl - printing everything in one go. The propellers will have supports underneath, which will need to be removed and then re-attached to make them spin. The 5 caps are to be glued to the spigots to hold the propellers in place. The ball is to be glued to block the hole at the bottom of the object.

Spin top (body).stl - the main body only.

Spin top (propellers and bits only).stl - the propellers and small parts are separated from the main body so there's not as much supports required as in the whole set.

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Okay, I love the concept, and I'm no physics major, but looking at the design, it looks like you have the air pumping into the tips of the props. This seems counterintuitive for two reasons: There's not enough force, and No lift capability. Not to mention the whole thing about faster air current equals less pressure means that the top is being sucked to the surface. ( I see it, but can't explain it better, sorry.)
So, to fix? How about the vents come out near the center of the props into a much smaller turbine type chamber underneath the props, and having the turbine exhaust come out on the bottom. Turbines attached to the props could have a tighter airflow from the vents to help with increasing torque while the downdraft from the exhaust would also help in lift.
Also, I agree with the CO2 cartridge idea. I recommend suspending the cartridge from the bottom and adding legs to the vehicle to keep it off the surface for easier launching.
If I ever get around to actually designing one myself, I'll send it over to you first. ;-)

You're problem is the torque imparted from all the propellers spinning in the same direction. The torque from each of them sum up to make one large torquing moment. Multicopters overcome torque by making every other propeller turn in the opposite direction, which would mean youd need an even number of props (4 or 6). I wonder if that would solve your problem.

Thanks for that! I shall give it another try when I have time to draft up the CAD model. I'm thinking having 6 props and alternating the air duct directions. See how it goes! :D

Oh and like you said, making the propellers in opposite direction too...I wonder what will happen if I use the air pump to make it go like in my video, but instead of spinning it might just lift up?! :P

It did cross my mind to use some sort of continuous air supply to power this thing, but I think the design is slightly flawed in the way those 5 air ducts were placed, which made it spin clockwise when the air flow comes out.

My next attempt would be to have the air ducts come from above the propellers, instead of from the sides, so maybe that will stop the whole thing from spinning. Once that's done, I think using a CO2 tank or helium gas tank to power it will work?!

Thanks :)

what if you used a CO2 or air tank to power the device thru the middle port?