Introduction: Beer Puncher

This instructable was created in fulfillment of the project requirement of the Makecourse at the University of South Florida (

The Beer puncher is a device used to puncture a hole in the side of a beer can. This puncture releases the pressure and stops the can from spraying the beer out the side when attempting to shotgun a beer.

Step 1: 3D Printed Models

A substantial number of parts for this project are 3D printed. This includes the Lid, the shaft, the base, the can holder, the mechanism plate, the links, the spike holder, and the cam wheel.

The solidworks parts are included in this step and can be used for 3D printing.

Step 2: Lid Assembly

Once, the four parts for the lid have been printed, they need to be glued together to create the lid. The parts for the lid include the two side walls, the base block, and the curved top.

To make sure they are properly glued, use JB wells epoxy. I would coat the inner walls of the parts and use clamps to secure them in place.

With the epoxy dry and the lid held strongly together, use 120 grit sand paper to smooth out the joints of the parts. Once the parts are level, use 180 grit sand paper to smooth the joints out for a nice finish.

Step 3: Painting the Parts

Once the lid has been glued, all the parts will need to be painted. this includes the box, shaft, lid, can holder and mechanism plate.

This is where creativity can come in as you can paint the device however you'd like.

To prepare the surface for painting, use the 180 grit sand paper and make sure the surface is roughed up. The paint will stick much better so a rough surface than a smooth surface. This will also give you the opportunity to remove any imperfections in the plastic parts.

With the surface sanded and ready to paint, take the spray paint can and do light coats, this is to ensure no drips or run off occurs. After about 3-5 coats of paint, you will need to let the paint sit and cure for over 24 hours.

Once, the paint has cured, a clear coat will be sprayed over the paint to ensure no damage can happen as scratches and scuffs could ruin the paint design.

Step 4: Shaft and Lid Installation

Once, the shaft and lid have been painted and cured they will need to be connected together.

The shaft has pins used to guild the lid properly together. If the pins don't fit perfectly into the lid, some sanding will be needed to ensure that the pins fit properly. Simply sand down the pins until there is a nice fit and the lid seats securely.

To ensure that the lid and shaft don't separate, JB wells will be used to lock them together. Apply the epoxy to the pins and connect the lid and shaft together. Let the epoxy dry before handling.

Step 5: Mechanism Assembly

The working mechanism is assembled using the platform, DC motor, motor holder, gear cam, link 1, link 2, link 3, spike holder, and vex angle brackets.

To start the assembly using JB Wells epoxy, glue the motor to the holder so that it is secure and does not rotate around. Next take the gear cam and attach it to the motor.

Once, the cam is on the motor, using a 0.13" pin (I used #6 bolts as pins, as they fit well and are easy to install), pin link 1 to the cam gear.

With link 1 pinned to the cam, pin link 2 to link 1 using the same 0.13" pin. Continue this step for link 3 and the spike holder. (see the labeled exploded image for the parts)

Once, all the links are pinned together, take the vex angle brackets and cut them to a length needed.

With all the parts assembled and cut to size, using the JB Wells, glue down the motor holder and brackets to the platform as seen in the images. *Make sure the links are straight and inline with the rotation of the motor. If the links and motor are not properly aligned, the mechanism will get locked up and no longer rotate.

Step 6: Arduino Sketch

See the attached Arduino Sketch.

The Beer Puncher runs off of an Arduino and bread board assembly. The motor, LED and Touch Sensor all run off the Arduino.

The Sketch is designed to have the touch sensor actuate the motor and LED when it is touch. When the Touch sensor is released, the LED and motor turn off.

Step 7: Arduino and Bread Board Assembly

See the images of the wire break down for how to wire in the motor, LED and touch sensor.

To lower the use of wires needed, the breadboard is used as a positive and negative conduit to the sensor and motors. This is because there is only one power supply from the Arduino and you cannot fit 3 positive leads to it without a bread board.

Once the Arduino and Bread board are wired up, test them with the code from the sketch in the previous step. If it is wired properly the motor and LED should turn on when the touch sensor is pressed.

Step 8: Installing the Arduino and Bread Board

With the Arduino wired up and working, take the box that was supplied by the University of South Florida - Make Course and open it up.

With the flat end of the box on the bottom and the hollow end on top, using a hot glue gun, glue the Arduino and bread board down so that they do not shift during transportation or use.

Glue the LED and touch sensor to the two cutouts on the top of the box. This is how you will be informed of it running as well as be able to turn it on with the sensor.

Once everything is glued down, seal the box back up so that the shaft can be installed to the box.

Step 9: Installing the Mechanism Platform to the Lid

With the mechanism completed and the lid attached to the shaft, it is time to install the mechanism platform to the lid.

I used hinges and a latch so that I will have easy access to the mechanism for repairs if needed.

Align the platform with the lid and slide it into place, with the platform in place, apply JB Wells to the hinges and latch and attach them between the platform and lid. Let the epoxy dry before using as the platform may let go.

With the platform now installed, run the wires from the DC motor through the hole in the lid and shaft so that they can go down to the box at the bottom. This is so it can connect to the Arduino.

Step 10: Installing the Shaft to the Box

With the box completed and the lid and shaft completed, it is time for the final step of connecting them together.

Using the JB Wells, glue the shaft to the top of the box, make sure the hole in the box aligns with the hole in the shaft. Drill 4 pilot holes through the inside of the box into the shaft and screw the shaft down securely. This is so that the glue wont let go over time and use.

Due to the weight of the lid and the device being top heavy, I placed a 2 pound weight in the box to even out the weight so the device didn't topple over.

Step 11: Installing the Can Holder

The final step to completing the Beer Puncher is to install the can Holder into the mechanism platform. This is a simple step.

With the Beer Puncher resting on its back, align the can holder so that the hole in the platform sits in the middle of the two mounting points of the can holder. To test how far the can holder needs to sit, simple place a can into the can holder and see where you want the spike to penetrate the can, I suggest placing the holder so that the hole in the platform sits an inch away from the end of the can.

Once, you're happy with the placement, use JB Wells epoxy to secure the can holder to the platform.

Step 12: Grinding the Spike

The Beer Puncher needs a spike to puncture into the beer can. Because of this, one must either be made or bought.

I chose to make my blade to cut the can by purchasing a 5/8" steel rod and grinding down a piece into a razor that I installed into the spike holder. You can chose to do your own design or buy your own spike. A simple Exacto knife blade would work for this as it will cut a clean line through the can.

Step 13: Project Presentation

Attached is the video of the presentation put together for the Make Course