In this instructable I will be showing you how to create a Bulbasaur Spinning Succulent!
Step 1: Intro
If you have ever been on Thingiverse or Reddit then you have probably seen a low-poly bulbasaur planter. If not, I would recommend checking out Hitsman’s design here.
I have been printing these and giving them out as gifts over the last year or so. The low-poly bulbasaur design is awesome, and is honestly one of my favorite items that I have printed since I got my 3D printer. I couldn't help but think I could make this succulent planter even cooler so I went ahead and designed these Bulbasaur Succulent Spinners! I made both stepper and servo versions and I explain all of the pros/cons of the different versions and how to create them in the video above.
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Step 2: Servo Vs. Stepper Version
I made two separate options for control of your spinning succulent. I designed both a servo and stepper motor version so you can pick and choose whichever option you would like. The servo version is slightly louder but it has full speed control using a potentiometer installed in the back of the enclosure. I think the stepper version has much smoother motion and uses a ATTiny85 so additions for different movement will be much easier later down the line. The downside is that since it is a stepper motor it does get quite hot if you leave it running for a while. I will let you decide which version you want to create, since I think both versions look awesome.
Step 3: Servo Version Components Needed
I will start with explaining how to create the Servo version. You will need the following:
1. 3D Printed Enclosure with Lid
2. 3D Printed Bulbasour Servo Version
3. 555 Timer
4. 5V Power Supply
5. 10K Potentiometer
6. 5.1K Resistor
7. 220K Resistor
8. 1N4001 Diode
9. 22 nF Capacitor
10. .1 uF Capacitor
11. Continuous Rotation Servo (Or Mod SG90 Servo)
Step 4: Servo Electronics
Now that you have gathered all of the required components, it is time to start assembling everything together. I would recommend wiring up everything on a breadboard first and then once everything is functioning properly go ahead and solder everything up on a perf board.
The heart of our circuit is a 555 Timer IC. This is one of my favorite IC's because of its versatility as it can be used as a timer, pulse generator, oscillator, as well as many more functions. Another reason why they are so great, is that you can typically find them for under $1.
We will be using our 555 timer in astable mode in low-duty cycle operation which means that it does not have a stable state, the output jumps back and forth with a duty cycle that is below 50 percent. Luckily for you, I already calculated out the correct resistor and capacitor combinations that our servo needs to operate so you don't have to do any math.
The 10K potentiometer will be used to control the speed of our spinning succulent. I also added a On/Off switch to control power to our circuit. Since everything will be wired up and hidden inside of our 3D printed enclosure, it will be nice to have speed control with our potentiometer and to have the ability to turn on/off the circuit without opening it all up.
Step 5: Servo Version Design
Since our electronics consist of a servo, on/off switch, potentiometer, and 5V power supply we will need to print our 3D printed Bulbasaur, enclosure box, and lid. I designed the box to allow easy mounting of the potentiometer and a standard on/off switch. The lid of the bulbasaur has a slot for the servo to be first placed into the bulbsaur and then through the lid slot. This will make sure the bulbasaur does not need any additional mounting as it should stay in place.
The designs can be found on Thingiverse here:
Step 6: Installing Servo Components
In this step, we will be putting all of our components together. Please follow the instruction below:
1. Remove supports from 3D prints
2. Insert the servo into the slot of the bulbasaur. Be sure to make sure the wire connector is inserted as well.
3. Insert potentiometer into the slot on the right.
4. Insert On/Off switch on the left.
5. Insert 5V power supply wires through the center hole.
6. Wire up everything to either your breadboard or perf board.
7. Place the lid on top of the enclosure box. It should snap right into place.
Step 7: Test It Out!
After you have attached your succulent to the spinning servo, go ahead and test it out. You can adjust the speed by using the potentiometer on the back.
Check out the video for it in action!
Step 8: Stepper Components Needed
If you choose to do the stepper version instead of the servo version, the following components will be needed:
1. Bulbasour Stepper Version
2. Enclosure Box and Lid
3. 28BJY-48 Stepper Motor
4. ULN2003 Motor Driver
5. 5V Power Supply
6. On/Off Switch
The 3D design can be found here:
Step 9: Stepper Electronics
The electronics for the stepper version are easier since we are using a pre-bought ULN2003 motor driver board. These usually come in kits and are very cheap so they work great for small projects like this one.
We will be using an ATTiny85 to control the speed of our stepper motor. The Attiny85 has 8k of program space, 6 I/O lines, and 4-channel 10 bit ADC. It runs up to 20 MHz with external crystal. This chip is only about $2 and is perfect for simple projects where an Arduino is overkill like this one.
Step 10: Stepper Programming of ATTiny85
The programming of the ATTiny85 is very simple. Just upload the code below and your ATTiny85 will be programmed to spin slowly. I used Sparkfun's Tiny AVR programmer to make it easier for myself.
Step 11: Installing Stepper Components
After you have gathered all of your components and put together the electrical components, it is time to put it all together.
Insert the stepper motor into the slot in the bulbasaur and insert the wire into the lid. Wire up the on/off switch according to the schematic and connect everything else up to a 5V power supply.
Step 12: Test It Out!
Now that your stepper version bulbasaur succulent spinner is complete, it is time to test it out! Plug it in, turn on the switch, and enjoy.
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Thank you for reading!
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