Following the success and popularity we had with MFMv1, which was more of a prototype project after it self-destructed we knew we had to make another one for the next event, but properly this time, with the blocks that we had left.
After disassembling it and salvaging some parts we started brainstorming how could we make the second version much more robust, more secure, easier to use, compact and fun at the same time. Having those things in mind first we established that all of the blocks must be separate, as smaller modules of one big smoke machine. That way we can easily use just one if need be, or combine both for bigger effect.
We only got two heating blocks left that we can use BUT when I was delving through left-over parts I found what I had completely forgotten about – we had heating elements bent and prepared to be encased in aluminum. At the very beginning we wanted to make four blocks but we burned up our mold where we’d pour molten aluminum. So we left it at that. This means that if we wanted we could make a third smaller smoke machine.
Last year I wrote about how we built a monster fog machine in Kaunas Makerspace for a NoTrollsAllowed hackercamp and during that event we noticed that sometimes it’d be nice to have it automatically dispense smoke so that we wouldn’t have to always be around to do it. Now that this year’s hackercamp is coming we thought of making this add-on until the event.
We wanted to make it as simple as possible and to be able to control it remotely with any device. For those reasons we chose ESP32. It would need to have a web interface and a captive portal for easy access.
The features that we wanted are pretty basic – to manually release smoke by pressing a button and to make it do that automatically by setting delay and duration times.
For it to actually work, ESP32 needs to communicate with the machine somehow. That is the controller needs to see when the heating blocks are ready and needs to see the liquid status.
Just about a week ago we finished making a fog machine that can produce a WHOLE lotta fog. It was made for the NoTrollsAllowed hackercamp and everyone loved it. It’s always exciting to go into a tent where you can’t see anything in arms length :D
The idea popped up when we were trying to think of something new to bring in for NTA and we were inspired by a YT video.
And we did much of what he showed the same way from parts we found laying around in the workshop. Only thing we bought were a capillary copper pipe and pumps.