How to Make a Smoke Ring Gun

A smoke ring gun or cannon is a simple science project that demonstrates the toroidal vortex formation in an easy and fun way. It is actually a tube filled with smoke and a hole at one end. When you gently squeeze the tube, smoke rings come out of it, though at a velocity much lower than in actual vortex generators.

Things Required:

– Tin can or a potato chips tube
– Cardboard
– Scissors
– Duct tape
– Smoke source like candle
– Water/ fire extinguisher


  • 1

    Take a tin can or potato chips tube and remove both its ends using a can opener. Remove all the contents inside (eat the chips if you are using a potato chips tube) and wash it out thoroughly. Be careful when washing the can - the ends may be sharp enough to cut your hand.

  • 2

    Using a sketch pencil trace the opening of each end of the tube on a piece of thick cardboard, but it should not be very thick or ridged.

  • 3

    Use a sharp scissor to cut out the circles you just traced on the cardboard.

  • 4

    Fix these circular cardboard pieces on both the ends of the tube using a duct tape. Make sure you tape the cardboard properly, making the tube as air tight as possible.

  • 5

    Draw a circle on the cardboard on one side of the can and cut the piece using a blade.

  • 6

    Light a lamp or candle and allow it to start burning properly. Insert the burning candle/ lamp into the hole you made in the cardboard and cover it with a piece of paper to allow the smoke to accumulate within the tube.

  • 7

    Tap the opposite end of the tube and smoke rings will start coming out.

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