Kids and kids at heart are intrigued by what pneumatic machines can do for everything from art installations to children’s games and toys. The truth is that people learn fundamentals by building a pneumatic installation project.
It is in a way training the next generation of engineers or physicists. Pneumatics is an arm of physics and engineering that uses pressurised air or gas to make things move. For instance in a pneumatic installation project, the air or gas operates a machine.
It might be child’s play to build a system that lifts a pipe cleaner basket on a popsicle stick apparatus powered by air from syringes. The same kind of concept and components are found in HVAC systems, on train brakes, dental equipment, and even on pipe organs.
In a factory or manufacturing setting air is compressed on-demand to allow for seamless work. A pneumatic installation project is one that is going to sit in place for either a limited period of time or for the long-term and foreseeable future. A factory or a workshop is an installation setting for this reason.
A lot of people who have no experience with tools or machinery confuse pneumatics and hydraulics. They are similar in that a medium is moving the machines to action. For pneumatics it is air or gas, and for hydraulics it is a medium such as oil, and it can move big loads.
Pneumatics are turned to for their simplistic mechanisms of cylinders and pumps that only require the flip of a switch. Gas, it turns out, is plentiful as a supply and superb at absorbing shock that a system might take. Both of these mean that a pneumatic system can operate for a very long time and require little maintenance.
A more advanced project for older kids is making a pneumatic robotic arm. From there it seems kids are old enough to start designing their own creations that apply the fundamentals of physical and earth science and chemistry.
At some point parents who have talented young engineers in the making may even begin to make requests. “Would you make the family a milk jug hydraulic arm lifter and pourer for the refrigerator?” The expectation is that a kid who is geneuinely interested and has been able to build robotic parts using pneumatics might just surprise you.
By the time they are adults, and if they go through engineering classes, they will be able to make metal foil cutting machines and the like by the time they graduate. It is fascinating for the rest of the population to witness people who are able to understand science and physics and apply those fundamentals to make machines that are useful, life altering, and even fun.
Introduce your kids to everything and see what they love and can do well. Some have the innate ability to harness the power of the world around them to make some wild creations that will entertain and maybe provide for their future.