AM Energy

Arduino, App & 3D Printer Combined to Create Automatic Blind Opener for Brighter Mornings

HP March 26th Webinar

Share this Article

If you struggle with starting your day and your alarm clock bears the brunt of your early-morning angst, then Instructables contributor Johan Moberg may have a solution for you with his App and Timer Controlled Automatic Blinds. He’s designed a 3D printed device that will help you wake up gradually with the morning sunlight rather than a blaring alarm clock. It’s reminiscent of another Instructables project we saw back in December to open the blinds, though this one is powered with Bluetooth.

Moberg’s device works with an app on your smartphone that you can set to open the blinds in your bedroom gradually, before the alarm goes off. In order to complete this project, you’ll need to have some basic knowledge of electronics–experience with Arduino would help, but those aspiring makers eager to learn shouldn’t shy away. You’ll also need to have some basic CAD skills or, again, a willingness to learn. Fortunately, Moberg has provided excellent, detailed instructions. Check out the blind control in action:

Before jumping in, be sure that you have the following: An Android phone with Bluetooth, a soldering iron, and a multimeter (an instrument for measuring voltage, current, and resistance with electronics). You will, of course, also need a 3D printer and about a day to print the parts, build the device, and install the app. Don’t despair if you don’t have a 3D printer. You can upload Moberg’s .stl files to a web-based service like Shapeways or find a 3D printer in your neighborhood via 3D Hubs using the button right on the Instructable.

Another thing you’ll need if you don’t already have them is window blinds. Moberg bought some very affordable ones from Ikea. Rather than using the mounting brackets provided with the blinds, however, you will be switching things up a bit. One bracket will hold the blinds in place and the other will hold the step motor, which rotates the curtain axle.blinds main

So how does this device work? Essentially, the step motor is connected to the component box with a cable. The component box, which houses the step motor drivers, the Bluetooth receiver, and an Arduino, can be installed either on the floor or secured to the wall.

appWhen you start the app on your Android phone, you will calibrate the blinds (this is a one-time thing). This will signal the device to start rolling down the blinds. When they are fully extended–that is, covering the window completely–you press “stop calibration” and the app obeys. This means you will never have to stop the app manually again, which is probably all for the best as this will be happening every morning when you’re still mostly asleep.

The system Moberg has designed is nearly foolproof, too. There’s an alarm and, when you set it, the app will set the current time on the Arduino so it can keep track of the time without actually being connected to your phone–another plus for those of us who are less-than-lucid either at night when it’s time to set the alarm or in the morning when it’s time to wake up!

Short of having a front desk to give you a friendly wake-up call each morning–and maybe a servant to open the blinds–Moberg’s 3D printed, app-assisted device should be a welcome tech-age convenience. Also conveniently, he has provided a thorough shopping list with links to sources for materials and components you’ll need to complete this project. The only thing missing is your morning coffee!

Are you a morning person-or would this device help you pretend to be one? Let us know if you might want to take control over your wake ups (or at least your blinds) in the 3D Printed Timer Controlled Blinds forum thread over at 3DPB.com.

case

 

Share this Article


Recent News

AddUp Announces Deputy CEO & Innovations in Medical & Injection Molding AM

3D Printing News Unpeeled: Solenoids, Hydrogel Buildings and Missiles



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

3D Printing News Briefs, February 17, 2024: Shot Blasting, Service Bureaus, & More

In today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, we’re starting out with post-processing, as SKZ Würzburg is using a shot blast system from AM Solutions for its research. Moving on to business,...

MIT Researchers Use AI to Optimize Stiffness and Toughness Balance in 3D Printed Parts

In January, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT’s) Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) published a study in the journal Science Advances, which details an algorithm they...

Northrop Grumman Taps GKN Aerospace for 3D Printed Solid Rocket Motors

At the beginning of January, UK aerospace manufacturer GKN Aerospace announced it was investing over $60 million to boost its additive manufacturing (AM) capacity in Trollhättan, Sweden. Now, GKN is...

3D Printing News Unpeeled: 3D Printed Golf Clubs, an India Made SLS Printer, MIT Liquid Metal and a Vietnamese Trauma Implant

After Cobra’s King putters, the firm now has a line of 8 clubs that use MJF binder jet. The Agera and others have different sized insets and cost $349. The...