Tag Archives: arduino

A DIY digital readout for your wood lathe

via Arduino Blog

Small wood lathes don’t typically come with an RPM readout, so after obtaining such a machine several months ago, engineer Zach — also known as ‘byte sized’ — decided to build his own custom display.

The device uses a Nano for control, along with a Hall effect sensor to pick up on four magnets attached to the spinning handwheel.

RPM values are shown on a series of four 7-segment displays, and everything is enclosed in a nicely 3D-printed housing. LEDs shine through a sanded acrylic window that acts as a diffuser. Power for the lathe is still provided by a single cable, with a transformer module used to convert the AC input into 5V DC for the Arduino and other electronics.

This retro-looking rotary cellphone is free of modern-day distractions

via Arduino Blog

What we carry today in our pockets is nominally called a “phone,” but more often than not we’re using it to do various other computing tasks. Justine Haupt, however, wanted an actual phone that “goes as far from having a touchscreen as [she could] imagine.”

What she came up with is a rotary cellphone that’s not just a show-and-tell piece, but is intended to be her primary mobile device. It’s reasonably portable, has a removable antenna for excellent reception, a 10-increment signal meter, and, perhaps most importantly, doesn’t make her go through a bunch of menus to actually use it as a phone. Other features include number storage for those she calls most often and a curved ePaper display that naturally doesn’t use any power when revealing a fixed message.

The project was prototyped using an Arduino Micro. It was then laid out of a PCB with an an Adafruit FONA 3G board and an ATmega2560V, programmed in the Arduino IDE.

Haupt has published a detailed look at the build process here.

Mechanical 7-segment display made with micro servos and an Arduino Mega

via Arduino Blog

Flip displays are an interesting piece of technology, physically moving segments into place that stay put until other information is needed. Michael Klements has been especially fascinated by these devices, and after inspiration from another project, he decided to craft his own.

His version utilizes 14 micro servos to flip segments into a visible position, then rotate them to 90° when no longer needed. This “off” mode displays a slimmer profile, and the sides and back are painted black, making them much less visible.

An Arduino Mega, with 15 possible PWM outputs, is used to control the servos, while a hobby RC-style battery eliminator circuit provides power to the motors. 

Be sure to check out the build process and in-action shots below! 

The ZT-2020 is a portable SunVox synth

via Arduino Blog

SunVox synth software allows you to create electronic music on a wide variety of platforms. Now, with his ZT-2020 project — which resembles a miniature arcade game — YouTuber “fascinating earthbound objects” has a dedicated input scheme.

This cabinet prominently features a wide array of buttons, a directional input from a PlayStation controller, and 16 potentiometer knobs. There’s also a screen on top for video output. 

Inside a Raspberry Pi runs SunVox, while most of the buttons and all of the input knobs are connected to an Arduino Mega. The Mega plays the role of MIDI controller as well, passing digital music info along to produce beautiful electronic music!

This joystick-controlled machine draws light trails using a laser

via Arduino Blog

Lasers are awesome. Glow-in-the-dark surfaces are, too. As seen here, Justin and Brett were able to combine the two into an excellent drawing machine made from scrap materials and discarded wood.

Their device uses a pair of gearmotors under Arduino control to actuate a rack-and-pinion gantry system over a canvas painted with phosphorescent powder. A laser is mounted at the end of this setup, which traces luminescent patterns on the surface as it moves. 

User interface is via a simple joystick arrangement, with a housing 3D-printed in PLA that’s reminiscent of a Nintendo Wii Nunchuk. 

Check out the demo in the video below and read more about the project in the duo’s write-up.

Carve 2.5D shapes out of foam with this Arduino-controlled hot wire cutter

via Arduino Blog

You may have a 3D printer or other “digital” tools like a laser engraver or CNC router, but what if you want to work with Styrofoam? As How To Mechatronics demonstrates in his latest project, many of the same techniques used there can be implemented to make your own Arduino-powered hot wire cutter.

This build is constructed with 20x20mm aluminum extrusion and 3D-printed parts, and uses an Uno board and CNC shield to drive three stepper motors. Two of these motors manipulate the wire in the horizontal and vertical directions, while the third controls a turntable that rotates the foam as needed.

As seen in the video below, it’s a brilliant design. Written instructions can be found in How To Mechatronics’ blog post, which walks you through the entire process from assembling the machine and connecting its components to preparing shapes and generate the G-code.