With October still six months away, you may not be thinking about Halloween decorations just yet. However, this Arduino-based ocular assembly could make for a spooky yet simple prop!
There are few things more unnerving than an eyeball or three looking at you from some concealed position—such as under clothing as in the project’s video. If you’d like to scare friends, family, or random visitors, Maker Will Cogley has the perfect solution with his 3D-printed animatronic eye and eyelid mechanism.
A joystick moves the eyeball around, while a small push-to-make switch blinks the eye and another potentiometer adjusts how wide open the eyelids are by default. The device itself, which can be controlled with any Arduino board capable of supporting four servos, took him a day to design and build, and should take much less time using his instructions, code, and STL files.
You may have seen robots that wobble around, such as BOB, OTTO and ZOWI. Though their locomotion style of shifting the unit’s weight on huge feet is clever, they all share a rather similar look. French computer scientist Paul-Louis Ageneau decided to do something about this and created his own biped in the form of a dancing teapot a la Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
To accomplish this, he attached four servos to the robot’s hips and ankles, which were connected to an Arduino Pro Mini and powered by a 9V alkaline battery. All the electronics are housed inside the 3D-printed teapot. It’s a neat build in itself, and in a separate post he goes over how to play music on an Arduino, which should make this little guy even more entertaining!
As with many products, if you want the best, you’ll pay top dollar for it. After seeing that the supposed best soldering station on the market sells for $500, YouTuber GreatScott! decided to instead purchase the iron and tip for a total of around $100, then reverse-engineer how the station should work.
From there, he used an Arduino Pro Mini along with a little OLED screen to display the temperature, and a toroidal transformer as well as several other components to power and complete his build. Finally, he 3D-printed a nice red enclosure and attached everything together, making his own custom soldering station.
Using an Arduino along with some 3D-printed and salvaged parts, hacker “notionSunday” made an excellent photo turntable for under $10.
In a masterful display of converting one man’s junk into another man’s treasure, notionSunday used a VCR head as a very smooth-looking bearing surface for a small turntable. A DVD-ROM drive motor, a potentiometer from an old TV, and screws and wires from other electronics rounded out the internals of this build, as well as an Arduino Pro Mini with an H-bridge driver for control. All of this was placed inside of 3D-printed housing, then a disk was added to the top for other contraptions to rest on.
Pete “Raster” Prodoehl shows how to test microswitches with an Arduino Uno.
As referenced in his write-up, Prodoehl needed a way to test microswitches that he’d be using for an exhibit. After all, when something is on display, the last thing you want is to have to replace components. Inspired by how Consumer Reports tests things, he decided to build his own setup with a counter and 3D-printed “pusher.”
What he found was that when you’re testing the life span of a component made to work over and over, your testing components have to also be robust enough to handle the very gradual abuse. It’s an interesting exercise, and something that engineers in manufacturing have to deal with constantly. Getting something to work once or even a times is neat, but getting it to function thousands of times for a test or otherwise takes a different way of thinking!
Heavy duty coffee makers are good for, well, making coffee. On the other hand, if you were to look at the frame without the preconception of what it can do, you might notice that there is space on top where equipment could be attached, and space on the bottom with a built-in heating pad on which to place an object… in other words, a perfect 3D printer frame!
Tropical Labs realized this, and turned the ordinary household appliance into a delta printer with three steppers for motion and another to feed the printing media. An Arduino Mega serves as the brains of the operation along with a popular RAMPS 1.4 shield.