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3D Printed Mechanical Contraption Shows Live Weather Forecast


A 3D-printed mechanical system that moves weather symbols around

“What’s the weather going to be like today?” is a question that’s near-permanently on the mind of those living in places like Britain, where brilliant sunshine can follow thick clouds, only to turn into drizzle an hour later. Nowadays you simply need to glance at your phone to know whether you need to pack an umbrella, but where’s the fun in that? Why not have a huge mechanical display to show you a summary of today’s weather?

As a fan of automatons and other contraptions filled with gears and pulleys, [Mike] decided to build just such a machine for his latest Mikey Makes video. It uses brightly coloured indicators inspired by the BBC’s famous “fluffy cloud” symbols that can show various combinations of sunshine, clouds, rain and snow. These symbols are moved around by dozens of gears, levers, swinging arms and other moving parts which were all 3D printed. We especially like the system that folds out rays of sunshine from behind the cloud; you can see it working in the video embedded below.

Live weather data is fetched through an open weather API by an Arduino MKR WiFi 1010. This then drives the mechanical system through a pair of motor driver ICs. The heavy work is performed by stepper motors and servos, while micro-switches and optical detectors determine the end point of each movement.

If you’re into weather displays, you’re in luck: we’ve featured many different styles over the years, including e-paper screens, analog gauges, split-flap displays and even a miniature recreation of the local weather.

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