The Magic Dragon
Updated: Jun 3
This is a project I have been wanting to do for a long time. Full disclaimer: This device is a prototype, and is not to be used to combust anything you should inhale. It is not an efficient way to enjoy smoking your plant of choice, and I don't support the use of this device for anything that is illegal in your area.
The main idea was to create a motorized device that would draw in the smoke from the lit herb, and blow it out to fill the room with a pleasant aura.
The first thing I did was identify a pump motor that would be capable of achieving a decent flow-rate at a low power draw. This is the motor I settled on. It is a 3.7V mini air pump. As a first test, I used some tubing, a power supply, and an e-cigarette to determine how much smoke it could produce. It turned out to be perfect!
I knew that I didn't want hot smoke coming into contact with anything plastic or other material that may produce unpleasant byproducts when heated, so I had to determine how to rapidly cool the smoke.
My thoughts immediately turned to thermoelectric coolers. Thermoelectric coolers use the Peltier effect to draw heat from one side, to another, of two dissimilar materials. They consume electricity and you end up with a hot side of the pad, and a cold side. With the right conditions, these can get very cold, very fast!
In order to cool the smoke with the thermoelectric cooler and fan, I needed to have a cooling chamber. It had to be small, and made of something that wouldn't have any risk of creating harmful gasses if heated. For this I chose an aluminum cigar tube. It would cool down fast, and allow the smoke to mix and cool before exiting through another tube to the motor.
For the actual combustion chamber, I chose a simple modular metal pipe. This allowed me to screw into the aluminum tube to create a tight fit. These can be found at any smoke shop.
Next I used an Arduino Nano to connect and control all the components. I wanted to allow time for the aluminum tube to be cooled before the motor started. In order to achieve this, I used the simple arduino code below in combination with a MOSFET.
I threw in a 3 AA battery holder to power the whole thing, and the circuit looked something like this...
And in practice it all looked something like this...
I housed everything in a 3D printed box. The box included vent holes for airflow from the fan and openings for the pipe, and the ON/OFF switch.
Finally I 3D printed the box, the lid, and the dragon that goes on top. The print files for all of those can be found here. If you decide to print this project, you will have to use a dremel to create holes for the ON/OFF switch, and for the tubing to go through the lid and to the dragon. I am planning to update the CAD in the next iteration of this project.
The final product ended up looking like this. I have imagined using other ornaments on top like trains, skull heads, or even Aladdin's Lamp. Please let me know if you have any questions about this project.