Introduction: The Very Lazy Susan

The “Very Lazy Susan” is a simple project that accomplishes a very simple goal. That goal was to find a visually interesting way to display food that also amplifies the laziness provided by the original Lazy Susan. The first way laziness was amplified is through the motorization of the device the user no longer needs to use their own muscles or put in effort to rotate the device. Additionally, the device has three tiers thus greatly increasing surface area and lowering trips to the kitchen between courses to get more food to add to the device. Lastly, The Very Lazy Susan is an elegant and festive way to display your meals. The Very Lazy Susan was conceived after getting off of the phone with my dad. We ad been catching up after I had had a busy week with work and homework. I told him about how I joined a cool Saturday class that was centered on building a design project. After we got off of the phone I was reminded of all the time I had spent with my dad in the kitchen and how we had a spice rack that was rigged on a lazy susan, and i though "hey this is a good place to start". The rest, of course, is history.

Step 1: Step 1: Get Excited!

Step one is indeed get excited. Gather all of your will power and make it into a nice little ball. You will need this later.

Step 2: Step 2: Learn Some Things!

To complete this project I started by creating several possible designs so I could chose the best one both in terms of simplicity and function. The biggest thing to think about at this point was the drive mechanism. I could have done 3 concentric drive shafts or 3 shafts lined up in a row. I chose not to use concentric drive shafts because that would take a lot of precision and faith in my ability to fabricate things within reasonable error limits. This is a faith I did not have.The next thing I did was learn how a regular lazy susan worked. This was relatively easy as I just had to google it and realize that in its simplest form it is just a piece of wood on a bearing. After that I looked into motors that I could use to move my susan's multiple layers. I decided on simple yellow gear motors because I had used them before and were relatively dependable and easy to work with. The last part of Learn some things was to find gears that would work with my project. I started by researching different parts of gears and the different kinds of gears. I learned that for my initial design I would need 4 gears, 2 spur gears and 2 internal gears.

Step 3: Break Some Things & Buy Some Things!

At this point I had it all planned and needed to proceed to building the actual thing. So, I bought some thin plyboard, some wooden dowels, and some circular attachments for a power drill in the size needed to make holes for the platforms. Soon after this I decided to break open a printer just for funsies and I discovered some cool Dc motors with gears already attached to the top and a long rubber string thing that acted as the internal gear for these motors. I was in love. And breaking open the printer was incredibly cathartic I highly recommend it even though none of these objects made it in to the final design for The Very Lazy Susan.

Step 4: Admit You Were Wrong

If you are going to cry at any point while doing this project this is the optimal time. This is when I cried, but that is beside the point because crying is simply part of my creative process. Now is the time where you admit that although sound in theory your plans as they existed in the past few steps are now proving useless. Remember that ball of will power we made in step 1, you will use that now.

Step 5: Learn Some More Things

This is when you learn how to use calipers, OpenSCAD, and 3D printing. This will change your life. At this pint I selected 2 large bearings from 5A, they were about 80 mm in diameter, really old, and manufactured for the military. I then measured each dimension of these bearings with the calipers and created the bearing holder and, and gears seen in the pictures attached to this step. I also designed the square support for the second level with the same process. I also made sure to add about .5-1 mm safety in all of the holes things would go in because the ABS plastic does shrink to slightly smaller than t he specified dimensions as it cools. Because of this I was able to make a nice friction fit for the square support and the bearing holders.

Step 6: Step 6: Throw It All Together and Hope for the Best

Here is where I will detail the actual process of assembling the final product.

1. Take a piece of thin plyboard and cut it into a 10inx10in square (approximate)

2. Drill a hole in the bottom and select a 25mmx25mm square piece of aluminum 8020

3. Grab a screw/bolt that will fit through the hole into the 8020.

4. Fill the hole in the 8020 with hot glue and put the screw through the board into the hole. Secure the base of the 80 20 by hotgluing around where the base meets the 8020

5. Take some scrap wood and make "feet" for your project by using wood glue to secure them to the base then clamp them down and allow the glue to dry

6. Grab 3 continuous rotation servos and set them aside

7. Fashion 3 circles of various sizes our of plyboard. 2 of them will need a hole in the middle large enough for the 80 20 to fit through. 2 inches in diameter should work.( I did this quite roughly with a handsaw and sandpaper)

8. This is when you want to 3D print the bearing holders and gears.

9. You must put the bearings in the holders while the holders are warm or else it won't fit and you will have to re-warm it with a heat gun which is a hassle and a half.

10. Glue your small gears to the top of 2 of your servos.

11. Add some blocks below the bearing and glue the bearing and blocs down. The bearing with the large gear on top should be at a height equal to the height of the small gear on the servo. When this is done check to be sure the gears match up and make the large gear move. If it all lines up glue down your largest circle onto the large gear.

12. Print your square support now, same as the bearing holders you need to put it on while it is warm. Make sure you put it at a height you find suitable for the second tier. It should be approximately 6 inches above the bottom tier.

13. Repeat step 11 except you will not add blocks beneath the bearing, instead you should glue a block to the 80 20 that you can put the servo on top of that allow for the gears to line up

14. Slap the smallest circle on top of the last servo and smack t on top of the 80 20

Step 7: Step 7: Time to Play With Electricity

Not really play, but you get the idea.

The circuit and coding for the final product is relatively simple.

The circuit is just an arduino, a 6V power supply and some wires.

I am also adding photos of the DC motor circuit and code I constructed for my first plan for this project. The servos are far simpler and thus a better choice.