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Starting an Arduino DIY incubator project - Page 5

post #41 of 47
My DIY egg turner out of pocket cost was only about $15... Sure there are other incidentals that drive the cost higher if you don't have the tools or other misc stuff to build it but for me I only had to purchase the motor and some dowels everything else I had already... And this design be easily scaled up or down to fit the incubator...

The aluminum parts were forged and machined by me from pop cans, using the lost foam casting method... Since it was a simple project I cleaned up the parts using a hack saw, hand file and belt sander vs busing out the milling machine or anything fancy... All the wood besides the dowels was just some scrap plywood and 2x4s I had laying around...







It rolls the eggs 180° one way then back 180°, the travel distance is variable and adjustable on the pivot point where I connect the two arms (within the bounds of the slide distance) so it can be adjusted for different sized eggs if need be...

The foundry to melt the pop cans only cost me about $15 to make and it will be used for other projects so I don't factor in that cost as it's a tool with other purposes... The most expensive part was the $12 bag of Structolite, the steel bowl (crucible) and blower fan were from Goodwill and only a few bucks total... The foundry housing was an empty Freon tank and free... And it runs off wood or charcoal so minimal to no cost there...



Edited by MeepBeep - 4/1/16 at 1:13pm
post #42 of 47
Thread Starter 

That is pretty cool that you cast your own aluminum and made the parts.  That takes some skill. 

post #43 of 47

Meepbeep I presumed you used a sand mold as this is the way we were taught to do it at school. If you did what kind of sand did you use.

post #44 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by gpop1 View Post

Meepbeep I presumed you used a sand mold as this is the way we were taught to do it at school. If you did what kind of sand did you use.

Not the 'green sand' you probably used in school that would be ideal (and I do have that kind of sand but it's all at my brothers house as we do most of our casting over there) I did this project on the quick and dirty spur of the moment so I used what I hand on hand at my house... BTW beyond a single aluminum casting in High School general shop, I have no formal education in casting, all of it's been hands on over the years and lots of watching videos and reading online...

For this I used the lost foam method with some cheap tube traction sand I had laying around, basically the cheapest sand you can buy... Any sand will work for this process, the finer the sand the finer the detail level... i was actually surprised at how well the traction sand worked as it's loaded with small stones...

You make a mold of your piece out of styrofoam, create the spruce/vent pack and bury the foam piece in the sand, make a little gravity funnel on the top of the sand... Then simply pour the molten aluminum on the foam, the foam vaporizes and the aluminum replaces it...

This guy has a simple DIY overview of the process... I would suggest not using a plastic 5 gallon bucket as this guy did, spend the money on something metal even a paint can, coffee can or cheap metal bowl or pot from a resale shop would be better, no reason to risk a spill, blow out or even fire with plastic...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tH-PaNugz9w
Edited by MeepBeep - 4/1/16 at 7:00pm
post #45 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeepBeep View Post


Not the 'green sand' you probably used in school that would be ideal (and I do have that kind of sand but it's all at my brothers house as we do most of our casting over there) I did this project on the quick and dirty spur of the moment so I used what I hand on hand at my house... BTW beyond a single aluminum casting in High School general shop, I have no formal education in casting, all of it's been hands on over the years and lots of watching videos and reading online...

For this I used the lost foam method with some cheap tube traction sand I had laying around, basically the cheapest sand you can buy... Any sand will work for this process, the finer the sand the finer the detail level... i was actually surprised at how well the traction sand worked as it's loaded with small stones...

You make a mold of your piece out of styrofoam, create the spruce/vent pack and bury the foam piece in the sand, make a little gravity funnel on the top of the sand... Then simply pour the molten aluminum on the foam, the foam vaporizes and the aluminum replaces it...

This guy has a simple DIY overview of the process... I would suggest not using a plastic 5 gallon bucket as this guy did, spend the money on something metal even a paint can, coffee can or cheap metal bowl or pot from a resale shop would be better, no reason to risk a spill, blow out or even fire with plastic...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tH-PaNugz9w

 

 

we used both this and split molds in school but I always presumed that you required a special sand to hold the shape as the Styrofoam was melted by the aluminum heading to the bottom of the piece. If damp play sand works then copying your smelt is going to be my next project.  No idea if they still teach stuff like this in high school my parents didn't care if we was using mills, lathes, acid baths or smelts. If you got burnt or cut that was your own fault for mot paying attention to the teacher.  

post #46 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by gpop1 View Post

I always presumed that you required a special sand to hold the shape as the Styrofoam was melted by the aluminum heading to the bottom of the piece. If damp play sand works then copying your smelt is going to be my next project.

If you use damp sand around the foam be sure it's just damp enough to hold it's shape because if it's too damp the evaporating steam can actually cause the sand to collapse as it expands and escapes... Dry sand actually works for this, and it what I used for this project, since I didn't need a high degree of accuracy or detail... Another option is to dampen the sand with motor oil, it will smoke and flame when you pour but it allows you to pack it more tightly without worrying about drying gout or giving off steam...
Quote:
No idea if they still teach stuff like this in high school my parents didn't care if we was using mills, lathes, acid baths or smelts. If you got burnt or cut that was your own fault for mot paying attention to the teacher.

A few years after I graduated they closed down the entire shop area of the school wood,metal and auto all gone due to liability concerns...
Edited by MeepBeep - 4/2/16 at 6:20pm
post #47 of 47

Hey everyone, seems a very intersting project but I note some have been haing issues with egg turners. I created a lightweight stainless steel turner frame very cheaply and used a simple egg turning motor. I incubate around 40 eggs at a time but becuase the wire pivot sits in a hole their little to no resistance/load on the motor, itse effortless. I've now done in excess of 200 eggs so far and (fingers crossed) not a single issue with the motor.

I also use a little ultrasonic fogger to create the higher levels of humidity required during hatch. The fan which circulates the air draws in the vapour beautifully and the whole thing works great but with an arduino sensor it would be fantastic. Being able to control the fan and thus the airflow would also give very tight control on conditions in the main chamber..

 

Egg turning cage here: http://www.naplanini.si/downloads/incubator.pdf

 

Hope the info helps

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