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md fire Start a fire with air
Here is a great little project to try out, it’s called a fire-piston. It certainly isn’t as easy as a piece of flint, matches or a lighter, but none of them are nearly as impressive. This will be high on my list of things to MAKE.

The principle of increasing temperature by method of compressing air is explained by the adiabatic process in which the internal energy of a gas must increase when a mass of air is rapidly compressed or the volume of a mass of air is rapidly decreased. The resulting increase in internal energy results in a temperature rise sufficient to light an ember, just like the pressure produced by an ice skater’s blade is sufficient to increase the internal energy of the ice which turns ice under the blade into water.

Make your own fire-piston – Link


  • Use a can of Coke and a chocolate bar to make fire – Link

Marc de Vinck

I’m currently working full time as the Dexter F. Baker Professor of Practice in Creativity in the Masters of Engineering in Technical Entrepreneurship Program at Lehigh University. I’m also an avid product designer, kit maker, author, father, tinkerer, and member of the MAKE Technical Advisory board.

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