Building a 3D-printed, Arduino-powered dog feeder


Maker creates an over-engineered, automated treat feeder for his pup using Arduino and his Ultimaker 2. 


We’ve seen some pretty sweet pet projects as of late, and this recent one from JonPaul Laskis surely doesn’t disappoint. The Maker has designed an over-engineered DIY solution to feed his pup a treat after every meal.

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Upon finishing his dinner, Laskis would always give his dog a Dentastix treat to help maintain his oral hygiene. However, the treat wasn’t always delivered at the same time, which as any pet owner knows, isn’t something our furry friends enjoy. This inspired him to build an automated machine that would dispense a treat for his impatient pup without requiring his assistance.

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How it works is pretty straightforward: The dog places its paw on a lever, which activates the machine. From there, the device will decide if a treat will be granted or not. (The machine is programmed to only dispense one every eight hours.) When not in operation, it will remain off to conserve battery. The feeder is able to keep track of the appropriate times and the amount of treats remaining in the tube before rotation by storing these values in the EEPROM of an embedded Arduino Uno (ATmega328). These values reset after each treat.

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Laskis designed his project in SolidWorks and 3D printed each of its plastic components in lime green PLA with his AVR powered Ultimaker 2. In addition to these parts, the automatic feeder is comprised of a dozen six-inch-ling clear acrylic tubes and a laser-cut sheet metal base.

Want to make one of your own? Head over to the Maker’s Thingiverse page to get started. Meanwhile, you can see it in action below!

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