Additive Manufacturing Strategies

One Cat Can Rest Easy Again, Thanks to This 3D Printed Automatic Cat Feeder

ST Medical Devices

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catfeederani3D printing really lends itself to those individuals with creative minds. I’m talking about people who have the ability to come up with an idea, put it on paper, and then make it happen. 3D printing has lent a huge hand to individuals who have this type of mindset, providing them with the tools needed to turn their ideas into tangible products.

For one man named Khing San Tan, of Heiloo, Holland, this was certainly the case. San Tan, a 43-year-old man who works as a programmer at an insurance company, recently purchased a da Vinci 1.0 3D printer in April of last year. He purchased the 3D printer to use in his free time, as he is one of those individuals who like to “make things.” After having successfully designed and 3D printed various items, such as gears for his RC car, an iPad wall dock, and other unique items, he decided to use his talent to solve a problem that his wife was having.

That problem was that their family cat would consistently wake them both up very early each morning, begging tirelessly to be fed. They had become thoroughly fed up with the annoyance, so San Tan decided to use his 3D printer to fabricate a solution.

“The idea was to make a cat feeder so we could sleep longer,” San Tan tells 3DPrint.com. “For this project I used a lot of things that I already had [sitting around the house].”

catfeeder1After having looked around Thingiverse for ideas, San Tan decided to construct an automatic cat feeder using a PVC drain pipe as well as a 3D printed auger which he found on Thingiverse. However, he needed to adapt the auger so that it would work with his custom feeder that he would create.

Using SketchUp, he modified the open source design file and had to create four separate iterations before he got it just right. For the electronics, San Tan used two timers, one programmed for the number of times in the day he wished to feed his cat, and the other for the duration between feedings. For the motor, he used one that he removed from inside of an electric screwdriver. He wasn’t using the screwdriver, so he thought the motor should go to good use.

He then made the food holder out of wood, and purchase a small tin container for the food to fall into when the timers were activated.

“For this project I used as many things as possible that I already had on hand,” he tells us.

This allowed the final product to be created with only a few dollars in materials, something that surely his wife, and his cat were quite happy about. What do you think about this unique creation, which utilizes 3D printing to help a hungry cat receive his breakfast on time in the morning? Discuss in the 3D Printed Cat Feeder forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the video of the cat feeder in action below.

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