Pneumatics use pressurized air to control props. It can be as simple as a burst of air that blows dust out of a book, or as complex as an animatronic figure controlled with multiple pneumatic cylinders. To build a pneumatic prop, you need to know how to obtain and contain pressurized air, how to transport it through pipes and tubes, how to control its flow with valves, and what mechanisms, devices, or tricks you can control with it.


First, some words about safety. Pneumatic systems can hold a lot of stored energy which becomes dangerous when released in an uncontrolled manner. Skipping or incorrectly doing even a single step can lead to injury. What follows is general advice; always be sure to follow the manufacturer’s ...

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