Introduction: Making a Motorized Washing Machine for Children With Arduino

About: 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 learn new things. I decided to share my creations with you through photos and videos. I do…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    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

    And finally, a lid comes to close the back.

    Step 11: 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

    Wooden Toys Challenge 2016

    Runner Up in the
    Wooden Toys Challenge 2016

    Arduino Contest 2016

    Participated in the
    Arduino Contest 2016