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Building Air Cannon For Film

My son is making a short film and he needs to make a air cannon to shoot fake blood out. Now I have an air compressor, and I'm going to buy a 2 foot section of inch wide PVC pipe. My plan is to fill the pipe with blood and then use the compressor to shoot it out. But I was wondering if someone could direct me in the parts that I need to connect my compressor to the PVC and compressor and the parts I'd need to shoot the blood out. I've watched a couple of videos online but they weren't specific enough in the parts list. Links to buy them on would be great. Thanks in advance.
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Posted 2013-01-27T10:06:41+0000  by jamesismy jamesismy

Hello Jamesismy,


Welcome to the community.


What a fun project. This project can be made very simple or a bit more elaborate.


I will give you the simple how to's and then give you a link to a little more elaborate shooter that I made to shoot marshmallows out of. It has an air reservoir and the actuator is powered by a couple of 9V batteries. You could modify it to just have a straight pipe or have it set up so that you can fire it from just outside the cameras view. 


Materials needed:


1 - 1" x 2' PVC

2 - 1" x 3/4" male reducers

1 - 3/4" PVC ball valve

1 - 3/4" threaded plug

1 - 1" slip cap

1 - Shreader valve

PVC Cement



1 - Barb x 3/4" adapter

1 - PVC tubing(same ID as the barb) 


**See the attachment below to see pictures of the products.**


  1. Use PVC cement to attach the cap and one of the male adapter to half of the pipe.
  2. Cement the other male adapter to the other piece of pipe.
  3. Drill a hole in the center of the threaded plug and attach the shreader valve.
  4. Screw the piece of pipe that has the cap on it into one side of the ball valve.
  5. Make sure and let the cement dry completely before you try and pressurize it.

To pressurize the reservoir just screw the plug with the shreader valve into the end of the ball valve. Open the ball valve and use a compressor or a pump. Once you add the air shut the ball valve and remove the plug.


**Make sure not to over fill the reservoir. It will blow up and can be VERY dangerous.** Try a lower pressure with water and slowly increase it till you get the correct pressure.


Here is the link to the marshmallow cannon.



Posted 2013-01-30T22:49:05+0000  by Christine_HD_OC
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