Smoke Machine

If you are a 3D printer fan like me, then you probably have parts that are in the bottom of a drawer, but the one that interests us in this project is the heating tube. It’s a rather pleasant achievement to make and also to operate. It’s absolutely amazing how much smoke comes out of this little box and the room fills up with smoke very quickly. It takes about thirty seconds before the smoke comes out of the box, but when it starts you don’t let it run for long.

*** Warning ***

At the time of writing this blog, I haven’t run the smoke machine for more than three minutes. There is a heating element inside this box and it must be well placed with a silicone tube as well as another layer of the silicone tube on top, there is still a risk in using this device, so if you decide to make it, do not leave it unattended and it is at your own risk.


Arduino Nano
SSD1306 display
AWG 28 silicone wires
Light switch
Female DC Power Jack
10mm silicone tube
heating cartridge


*** Before starting this project, I advise you to program the Arduino Nano right away. ***

Download the program to operate the “Smoke Machine”.

It’s basic programming, you can change it to make it something much better.

There are two types of Arduino Nano ATmega328P and ATmega328P (Old Bootloader), if you have connection error with the Arduino Nano, then try the other bootloader. You must also have the correct COM port.

Do not forget to take the two libraries GFX and SSD1306.

To be printed

Download the file to print directly.

You can also go to Thingiverse to download and see the system requirements.


All parts are printed in 100% plastic and they are all in PLA.

The base prints without support, but there are two supports opposite the two screws for the screen, they must be removed.

The lid with the hole for the small glycerin jar is printed without support.

Cover for very short machine use.

Support for the heating cartridge.


Ideally, the first thing to do would be to set the DC regulator to the correct voltage (5 volts).

The other good thing to do would be to solder as many wires as possible and then install the electronic components in the box.

If you are printing with a “Brim” then remove it and you are good to go.

Install the fan with four screws of about 15mm. The size of the fan is 30mm x 30mm and it is 12 volts.

Remove the support otherwise the screen will not fit in its place.

Once the support has been removed, install the screen (in the photo the screen is upside down, the connector must be up).

Now, you have to wrap some cotton wool around the heating cartridge and the thermistor, then take some small metal wire and make a few turns to hold the cotton wool. The thermistor must be just at the start of the heating cartridge (click on the second photo to see a little better), we can’t see it on the photo, but you have to put a small metal wire about 15mm from the thermistor so that heater cartridge and thermistor remain in place.

Enter 20mm silicone tube, the tube diameter is 10mm OD.

Glue the Arduino Nano in its slot, but I advise you to solder all the wires before gluing the Arduino Nano.

You will need six 3mm screws with a maximum thread of 5mm, if you don’t have any, you will have to do like me and cut them (you always have the option of gluing the electronic components).

Once again, at the risk of repeating myself, before fixing the electronic components in place I strongly advise you to solder all the wires and also make your connectors. Here we only see the location of the electronic components.

When you have finished making your connections, install the two switches and the DC connector.

Cut a small piece of silicone of about 6mm, cut it in half, then cut a piece of 15mm.

Enter the wires of the heater cartridge and thermistor as well as the fan wire and connect / solder them in place, then install the small 15mm silicone piece, then install the support bar and screw it on. You can put a little cotton wool in the bottom of the small container, but it is not necessary.

You can also use a piece of fire-retardant ceramic fiber blanket that is resistant to very high temperatures (thanks to Laurent for the info) instead of a cotton ball.

The smoke machine works on 12 volts, I have a 12 volt 30 amp 3D printer power supply permanently screwed to the wall and this is what I used to test this project, but it works great with a 12 volts 5amp power supply.

You need to put glycerin or vaping oil on the wadding, make sure that the wadding is completely wet from bar to bar.

Close the lid and you are ready for a smoke show of about 2 minutes.

If you want to make more than a minute or two of smoke then you are going to need a cotton ball and a small bottle.

Amazon Canada:

Amazon France:

Cut a small piece of cotton wool.

First, you need to put glycerin in the bottle, then insert the small piece of cotton wool into the small bottle, make sure the cotton wool goes in easily otherwise the glycerin will flow through the cotton wool too slowly. Let the cotton wool hang over the top of the bottle about 15 mm. I’ll let you experiment, because I haven’t tested as I should have.

Put the lid with the hole to receive the bottle, then put the bottle on top of the lid.

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