Small batch precision balloon inflator for balloon artists. Adding some polish to an existing DIY design pioneered by balloon artists.


The Inflatinator gives you balloon art superpowers. Increasing precision and production capacity, it unlocks the ability to create massive balloon art installations. It is a capability amplifier, a power tool.


Balloon sizing is specified by varying the amount of time a solenoid gating the air to the balloon is open.

Air is supplied to the inflatinator by an air compressor.

Inside is an atmega32u4 based board, with two FETs to control the 24V pneumatic solenoids.

The interface is a keypad and LCD, along with a low level USB control interface for laptop tethering. The interface allows the user to specify the time each channel should be engaged.

Power is an external 24V AC to DC supply.

A 1/4" phone jack is provided for a pedal switch, to trigger the inflation sequence while both hands are occupied.

The enclosure is a modified Hammond aluminum enclosure with wooden end caps.

Keywords: embedded, firmware, Atmel atmega32u4, custom PCB, pneumatics, SolidWorks, enclosure design


Part of the Inflatinators success is defined by whether it is sustainable as a product. A revenue - costs = profit equation is at the heart of it, with costs being dominated by development, production and support. Revenue is driven by purchase price and units sold.

Units sold is driven by balloon artists relying on the Inflatinator to produce their balloon art at a level theyre happy with. Seeing balloon artists use the machine successfully is both satisfying and key to its success.

The Inflatinator is in a good position to be supported nearly cooperatively, since those behind its development are also balloon artists and are more interested in producing balloon art than running a precision balloon inflator business.

To date 12 units have been produced.

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