Here’s one of the movie prop replicas I used to make. I thought I’d post some details for anyone who wants to make them for themselves. Below are links to pdf’s of drawings I have made up that show all the dimensions needed to make a T-Virus canister..
The aluminum end caps were bought out from a local machine shop. All the acrylic tubing was purchased from TAP Plastics. The outer tubing was a simple cut-to-length using a chop saw. The double helix was formed by applying heat to the tubing using a heat gun and wrapping it around a 5/8 inch dowel. The helix was then cut to length using a dremel. One end of the helix is clamped shut by applying heat and squeezing shut with needle nose pliers.
The colors for the liquid is just food coloring and distilled water. For an added effect you can substitute food coloring with UV fluorescent dye!
Since the inside diameter of the helix tubing is too small to pour liquid in from the top, we have to fill it from the bottom up. In order to do this I used a syringe with a long piece of small plastic tubing attached to it. I filled up the syringe with liquid and inserted the small plastic tube all the way to the bottom of the helix. As I started filling the helix with liquid I would pull the small tubing out at the same time. Once filled I would heat up the open end and clamp it shut with the pliers.
Once you have your coils with with liquid filled and clamped off, you’re ready to start assembling everything. I glue the end caps on using 5 minute two part epoxy purchased from any Lowe’s or Home Depot. The epoxy has a yellow tint to it, but when it cures it turns clear. Mix and pour the epoxy into one of the aluminum end caps. Insert the outer tubing and the two helix’s and let the epoxy cure. Once cured do the same with the other end cap and then you’re finished and ready to display your epic awesomeness!