Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Convert Your Front Door Lock to an NFC System Using a Qduino Mini

ST Medical Devices

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Quin Etnyre, who goes by Qtechknow, is a 14-year-old maker and electronics enthusiast who claims as major interests Arduino, 3D printing, and embedded electronics among other things. He has now designed a device that allows you to unlock your front door with a card like a bus pass, hotel key, or library card that has an NFC tag (near field communication, a short-range wireless system).

The youthful maker’s smart and easy-to-make keyless entry system features 3D printed parts and an Arduino-compatible, compact Qduino Mini, which senses when there is an NFC tag present and unlocks your door using a servo, a small device that incorporates an integrated circuit, a potentiometer, a two-wire DC motor, a gear train, and an output shaft.

This enterprising young man has also founded his own California-based company, Qtechknow, which offers kits and products to use with electronics like soldering packages, breakout boards, development boards.

The Qduino Mini is the basis for a Qtechknow Kickstarter campaign that just wrapped up — having raised a very successful $45,209, well above the original $12,500 goal. The device is a tiny, Arduino-compatible development board with a built-in LiPo battery charger and fuel gauge that reminds you when you need to recharge while programming.d1

Qtechnknow’s Qduino Mini is ideal for this project as it is small enough to fit into the tiny space of the door-opening device. However, the caveat is that the Qduino Mini won’t be available until this coming summer. In the meantime, you can use the SparkFun Pro Micro, the LiPo Battery Charger, and LiPo Battery Fuel Gauge. The Instructables page provides links to resources for acquiring materials for this project.

 

The project, which requires some familiarity with Arduino as well as access to a 3D printer, would be an ideal weekend project for a beginner or, assures the confident 14-year-old electronics whiz, an afternoon project for an advanced user. You will be 3D printing four parts: the round mounting plate, the servo head, the servo mounting blocks, and the NFC and Qduino Mini housing. The maker suggests using a Bukito 3D printer, which can do the print job in two or three hours, but adds that most 3D printers should be able to print all four pieces in less than four hours.

The project isn’t cheap and we’d suggest doing the front and back door locks of your house (assuming you have a back door), but it does seem to bring a level of convenience and security. Check out Qtechknow’s Thingiverse page, which also features this project.

 

What do you think about this enterprising door lock project? Is this an Instructables project that might appeal to you? Let us know if you decide to attempt it over at the 3D Printed NFC Door Lock System forum thread at 3DPB.com.

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