DMA How-To: Build a Bubble Maker

By Marcus D

This Digital Media Academy How-To project will give you a new appreciation of electrical engineering and the industrial design process, and challenge you to realize your creative potential.

Please Note: This project uses the littleBits™ platform. DMA uses littleBits™ in its Adventures in Engineering & Rocket Science tech camp.

Step 1: Gather your project materials

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a) littleBits™: 1 fan, 1 power, 1 cable and battery, and 1 pink trigger of your choice (sound trigger, slide dimmer, pressure sensor or button; in this example, we’re using a button)

b) Balsa wood plank or cardboard strip (approximately 6″–8″)

c) 2 small pieces of balsa wood or cardboard to elevate the fan from the base.

d) Disposable cup with the bottom cut off. (Foam cups seem to produce the biggest bubbles.)

e) Electrical tape

f) Bubble liquid

g) Container for bubbles (a plastic plate or bowl)

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Step 2: Build the circuit

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a) Connect a 9V battery to the battery cable. Plug the battery cable into the power module. (Make sure the black switch on the power module is set to “ON.”)

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b) Connect the power module to a trigger of your choice. (How do you want the power for your bubble maker to be passed forward? By a button, a pressure sensor, a slider or by sound detection? Think of an electrical trigger in your own house, like a light switch.)

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Step 3: Test the fan

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a) Connect the button to the fan connector.

b) See if the fan produces a breeze.

c) If not, retrace your steps and check your work.

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Step 4: Build the bubble maker

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a) Build the bubble wand. Tape the two small balsa wood blocks to the larger piece about 2″ apart (almost as long as the fan piece).

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b) Secure the fan on top of the small pieces.

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c) Attach the other littleBits™ with tape to the back of the wand and fasten the battery. (We taped ours to the front of the wand.)

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d) Tape the cup with the hole in it on top of the fan.

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Step 5: Test the bubble maker

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a) Dip the bubble cup into the bubble liquid.

b) Turn on the fan and get ready for giant bubbles.

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Congratulations! You’ve made a bubble maker.

Marcus Duvoisin is assistant director of curriculum at DMA, as well as a DMA instructor.

Making Big Things from littleBits™
Ever wondered how a light switch, a thermostat dial or a power button work? littleBits™ is the easiest way to prototype electronics and learn circuits. littleBits’ ever-growing library of electronic modules snap together with magnets.

Adventures in Engineering and Rocket Science is just one of more than 70 camps and courses offered through Digital Media Academy technology summer camps. Register now!