Introduction: Making a Motorized Washing Machine for Children With Arduino

Picture of Making a Motorized Washing Machine for Children With Arduino

Hello everyone !

For Christmas I made 2 small wooden washing machines to offer 2 children, one for our daughter Colyne and one for her friend Noah. The "Magic Wash" are made of wood (MDF) and really work (without water of course).

It is powered by a 12V battery and is controlled by an Arduino Nano.

The video:

Characteristics :

  • Scale: 1/2
  • Dimensions: width 30 cms, height 40 cms
  • Weight: 6 kg
  • Digital display of remaining time and other info
  • Drum rotation in 10-second increments (max. 60 seconds)
  • Progressive acceleration and reversal of direction of rotation every 10 seconds
  • Immediate stop of the motor when opening the door (display PO)
  • Displaying the child's first name at startup
  • Automatic standby after 5 minutes
  • End of Wash Beeps
  • Rechargeable battery powered 12V
  • Controlled by microcontroller (Arduino Nano)


TOTAL: 43,01 €

Already in stock

  • 2 x 7-segment displays
  • 2 x 74HC595
  • 2 x 16 pin DIP support
  • 14 resistors 470 ohms
  • printed circuit board
  • Sensor + magnet ILS
  • buzzer

Other (recovery or consumables):

  • Metal can (drum)
  • 4 bottles of water bottles
  • Screws
  • Glue
  • Painting
  • Wood chopsticks

Tools :

  • Circular saw
  • Table saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Compact crosscut saw
  • Router
  • Glue gun
  • Hand tools (hammer, files, saw, screwdriver, cutter, pliers, chisels ...)

Production time: approx. 30H

Step 1: The Drum

Picture of The Drum

The drum is made from a recovered can of product.

It is cut with a cutting disc and covered with vinyl sticker imitation chrome.

The edges are protected with electric cable sheath.

And to be sure to fix the bearing in the center, I printed a drilling template.

Step 2: The Door With Porthole

Picture of The Door With Porthole

The door is cut with a router in 3 steps:

  1. First circle to embed the porthole
  2. Second circle for external cutting
  3. Third circle for internal cutting

The contours are then rounded with a suitable cutter

For glass, I used a serving bowl purchased from Ikea :
VARDAGEN, $2.99, Article Number: 602.892.3

Step 3: ​The Carcass

Picture of ​The Carcass

The carcass of the machine is made of 6 mm MDF.

The front face is cut and the elements are assembled together with glued and screwed rods.

The machine then receives 2 coats of white paint.

Step 4: Opening Sensor

Picture of Opening Sensor

To detect the opening of the door I glued an alarm sensor (reed switch) behind the facade, and a magnet on the door.

Step 5: Assembly

Picture of Assembly

The feet are made with 4 water bottle caps.

The hublot is glued with windshield glue.

A simple hinge allows the door to open.

And I recovered the red window of the display in an old alarm clock.

Step 6: Motor

Picture of Motor

For the rotation I used a geared motor of 12V and 300 rpm with a roller of rubber recovered in a old printer.

I created a height adjustable bracket to adjust the pressure on the drum.

Step 7: Electronic

Picture of Electronic

For the display part I followed this article of madebyjoe:

To control the engine I used an all-purpose H-bridge: a L298n.

Then there are very few components because everything is ensured by an Arduino Nano (the code is available for download).

Note: I removed the power LED from the Arduino and the L298 to conserve battery power.

Step 8: Circuit Board

Picture of Circuit Board

For the printed circuit board it is classic:

  1. Creating a transparent typon
  2. UV insulation
  3. Pass into a developer ban
  4. Engraving in iron perchloride
  5. Drilling
  6. Welding of composters.

    For power I used a rechargeable battery of 12V and 1800 mAh with switch.

    Step 9: Drum Mounting

    Picture of Drum Mounting

    The drum is attached by a turntable bearing.

    By putting cloth in the drum, I realized that it was sliding instead of being trained. So I added 3 wooden triangles covered with chrome to train the clothes. Looks like Toblerone! lol

    Step 10: Inside Overview

    Picture of Inside Overview

    And finally, a lid comes to close the back.

    Step 11: Done!

    Picture of Done!

    This is how to please 2 children for Christmas!

    Strangely it is more fun to "wash" toys rather than clothes (Playmobil, car, ball...) lol


    MagicManu (author)2017-01-19

    I'm so happy to have won a prize in "Wooden toys" challenge with my washing machine !

    Thanks everybody and thanks to Instructables :)

    Adam Gabbert (author)2017-01-18


    This is awesome.

    wannabemadsci (author)2017-01-16

    Amazing! What a toy! I thought of making a toy electric cook top, but never did. Your work inspires me!

    Congratulations on being a finalist in the Wooden Toys Challenge!

    MagicManu (author)wannabemadsci2017-01-16

    Thank you ! Yes I do not think I have ever seen a motorized wooden washing machine for children. I inovated lol
    Congratulations to you too for the snake!

    Canvas of Dreams (author)2017-01-03

    Very neat work and nicely executed project!! You just got my vote :)

    Thank you for your vote ;)

    petestrash (author)2017-01-03

    What a wonderful father, and a very professional result. très bien

    MagicManu (author)petestrash2017-01-03

    Thank you petestrash :)

    jmdushi (author)2017-01-03

    Well documented Instructable and great gift for your daughter and her friend. I think the girls were very happy with this gift. You must be super daddy of the year! I like the details like the stickers on the back side, tumbling to the left and right and the display.

    MagicManu (author)jmdushi2017-01-03

    Thank you very much ! Yes the children were very happy! And it's also a unique gift :)

    Aria Aura (author)2017-01-03

    All nice explanation about:

    - why 2 arduino?

    - why 2 motor when i saw only one in the finish?

    - the arduino's connection diagram, where is?

    - the explanation of the code...where is?

    - How works the 2 nano togheter ?
    AM i the only one to see that are missing a lot of things??

    MagicManu (author)Aria Aura2017-01-03

    2 Arduino and 2 motors because 2 machines as specified in the introduction (But of course only one motor and one Nano per machine).

    For the diagram I forgot to add it. It is now available at Step 7 (PDF and PNG)

    For the code of Arduino, I think it is sufficient commented to be understandable (it is necessary to download the .INO file)

    diy_bloke (author)2017-01-02

    you sir are a true artis

    MagicManu (author)diy_bloke2017-01-02

    What a compliment! The artist of laundry? :)

    diy_bloke (author)MagicManu2017-01-03

    the artist of diy and champion amongst daddies

    Datawolf (author)2017-01-03

    Looking forward having grandchildren !

    Modern Rustic Workshop (author)2017-01-02

    Really neat design!

    Thank you, I try more and more to improve the appearance of my creations.

    caitlinsdad (author)2017-01-02

    Woohoo, that looks like fun. Great job! Now to build one to fit the kids so they can ride in one.

    MagicManu (author)caitlinsdad2017-01-02

    Thanks :)

    Dui ni shuo de dui (author)2017-01-02

    Very nice construction, bravo!

    Now it's time to build the dishwasher. XD

    Thank you ! It also does the dishes, but only plastic! lol

    About This Instructable




    Bio: Passionate of DIY of any kind, I am not of the trade (I am developer in computing) but I am self-taught and I like to ... More »
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