Friday, October 10, 2008

A Pneumatic Cola Dispensing Manifold

It has been a while since my last post, for which I apologize. I've been busy dialogue-editing an interesting Japanese film about the Special Attack Forces (aka the Kamikaze). But during spare moments I've been working on an improved method of dispensing cola from a 16oz bottle.

Here you see the cola dispensing manifold before assembly. One side of the T-joint is the gas input, which feeds the gas down into the bottle through the cap and into a balloon using some tubing. The displaced liquid goes back up through the joint and out the other side of the T, flowing around the gas input tube.

As I had to get the hole in the cap right in the middle to avoid having the nut on the inside catch on the neck of the bottle, I used my Sherline mini-lathe to get it as close as possible. The cap deformed a little bit when clamped into the lathe but the hole was centered to within a millimeter or two...

The components were bolted together, and I used teflon pipe-wrap tape to ensure that they were gas and liquid-tight. I also put some silicone sealer under the big washer to make sure the cap hole would not leak.

Here is the device completely assembled. As with my previous experiments I used a punch-balloon as the bladder.  Both the bypass tube and the tube inside the bladder had some notches clipped into them to ensure that there were multiple outlets, eliminating the chance of an outlet getting blocked.

As you can see, it inflates very nicely...

My current thinking is to have multiple cola bottles (with manifolds on each) as well as multiple gas bottles, with a piping and valving system that provides redundancy.  Everything will be assembled onto some perf-board that is sized to fit in a rolling carryon bag.

Oh, and I've built a 2D Menticulation test chamber as well, which I'll probably test out this weekend.