vortex cannon 123


If you’ve been sitting around all week wondering how you could combine smoke, speakers, and a love of novel physics experiments into an excuse to tinker in your workshop this weekend, building a smoke-shooting vortex cannon should cover everything nicely.

Over at Make, the DIY-centric magazine, they’ve put together a video tutorial on how to build your own vortex cannons. The first cannon is essentially a super size version of the DIY Airzooka  just bigger is better! The second model they create, however, is powered not by an elastic membrane stretched across the back of the tube, but by the kick of a big speaker.

Check out the video after the jump to see the construction of the vortex cannon and the cannons in action…


On a still day you can easily shoot a nice tight smoke ring 30-40 feet before it breaks apart and the actual vortex will extend well beyond the visibility range. Using a small hand held cannon I was able to easily ruffle the leaves on the tops of trees.

Have your own experience with vortex cannons or other showy home science experiments? Let’s hear about it in the comments.