Blow guns can be very helpful around your workshop, but sometimes you want a subtle shot of air instead of a full blast. There are several ways to take this on, but YouTuber “MBcreates” decided on a novel method using an Arduino Nano for control.
In his setup, a stepper is used to turn a screw as a linear actuator, pushing an intermediate blow gun’s trigger at progressively more aggressive intervals. This effectively regulates the air flow going into the handheld blow gun, allowing for a more subtle burst of air when needed.
Simple is often better. So I grabbed an old blow gun and used this a valve. The Arduino Digital Air Pressure Regulator uses a NEMA 17 stepper motor to press the lever of the blow gun. A micro end switch was placed against the lever. When the Arduino Nano goes through the setup, the stepper hits the end switch, now the program knows the exact position of the stepper.
The video seen here features some very clever build techniques, and it really turned out spectacular, especially considering it was MBcreates’ first Arduino project!
YouTuber “austiwawa,” apparently not satisfied with other methods of causing mayhem in his garage and backyard, has come up with an innovative disc shooter.
His homemade device uses a brushless motor controlled by an Arduino Nano and an ESC to pull a vacuum belt at high speeds. A clear plastic tube on top holds a stack of about 27 3D-printed discs. At the press of a button, they are then fed one by one onto the belt surface by another motor, which accelerates the disc to ejection velocity and out the “muzzle.” There’s also a potentiometer that allows him to adjust the fire rate.
Although it appears to work quite well, destroying items like an apple and eggs, austiwawa notes that this is only a prototype, and plans to make a fully 3D-printed version in the future. At that point, he’ll release the Arduino code and STL files, making it easy for others to duplicate!
When you, perhaps after being late for an important event one too many times, decide to build a wall clock, there are many DIY options from which to choose. But none may be as massive or unique as the aptly named “Titan Clock.”
To justify this particular design, hacker “ProtheanSoft” lists several of its advantages, such as its large size, energy efficiency (runs on a smartphone charger), thinness (only 18mm thick with casing), and of course, affordability.
The Titan Clock—which can be assembled for less than $50—consists of RGB LEDs, inexpensive craft materials like foamcore board, acrylic and aluminum sheets, as well as recycled components including the diffuser from a broken LCD monitor or TV to generate a uniform glow for each segment.
The project uses an Arduino Nano for control, along with with a DS3231 RTC module for accurate timekeeping. In this version, the Arduino is programmed to display the time and change color every hour based on a predetermined table.
If you’ve ever wished you could levitate tiny drops of liquid, small solids, or insects in mid-air, new research has you covered. That’s because Asier Marzo, Adrian Barnes, and Bruce W. Drinkwater have developed a 3D-printed, Arduino Nano-controlled acoustic levitator.
Their device uses two arrays of 36 sonic transducers in a concave pattern, which face each other in order to suspend objects like Styrofoam, water, coffee and paper in between. Several items can even be trapped at the same time, and liquid is inserted into the “levitation zone” via a syringe.
The principle is similar to the vibration you feel when next to a large speaker, but in this case, the homemade levitator employs ultrasonic waves to push particles without causing any damage to humans.
Acoustic levitation has been explored in hundreds of studies for applications in pharmaceuticals, biology or biomaterials. It holds the promise of supporting innovative and ground-breaking processes. However, historically levitators have been restricted to a small number of research labs because they needed to be custom-made, carefully tuned and required high-voltage. Now, not only scientists but also students can build their own levitator at home or school to experiment and try new applications of acoustic levitation.
If you suppose that electromagnetically-propelled projectiles are strictly the purview of well-funded government research labs, think again! Using two sets of coils wrapped around custom 3D-printed base structures and an Arduino Nano for control, YouTuber “Gyro” created his own coilgun capable of propelling steel fast enough to dent a piece of wood.
When fired, a photodiode at the end of each electromagnet coil sends a signal to the Arduino. This, in turn, shuts off the coil, allowing it freely escape the barrel.
As noted in his Instructables write-up, the gun is constructed without large capacitors, which can be expensive and dangerous. Instead, two LiPo battery packs are combined to produce around 22 volts, though this and the number of coils used, could be increased to produce a more powerful device!
You may be familiar with “Pop-A-Shot” at arcades and amusement parks, which allows you to shoot baskets at a hoop for fun and prizes. Maker Cory Guynn, apparently unsatisfied with not having one of these at home, decided to duplicate the game with the “Pop o Shop.”
In this version, an ultrasonic sensor in the hoop tells an Arduino Nano when a shot has been registered, while two 7-segment displays inside of a LEGO scoreboard show the current count, time remaining, and high score. There is also an RGB LED that turns green after every made basket and changes color with a new top score.
Incidentally, one of the displays can also spell out “POPOSHOP,” which dictated the name of the game, since there is no “T” character in the LedControl library used! For more info and code, be sure to check out the “Internet of LEGO” build log!