NASA Themed Can Chilling Apparatus for Your Glove Box

Introduction: NASA Themed Can Chilling Apparatus for Your Glove Box

Ever wanted an ice cold drink, but only had hot cans laying around? Me neither, but if that were ever the case you would be prepared with this 'Glove Box Gadget'.

This build WAS going to be over the top, but due to time constraints, I kept it simple. I had originally intended for the structure of this idea to be 3D printed to get all the desired contours of my glove box and offer the reproducibility to all. Instead, I decided to go the other route, partially to avoid the time consuming 3D design and printing stage, but mainly because not everyone has a 3D printer YET. So, I tried to build this with minimum tools and material available, but ended up having to add the requirement of an electric drill and zip ties to the build.

So, enjoy and don't forget to VOTE

Step 1: Some of the Things We'll Need

Things needed for this project:

  • Portable electric cooler. Had one just laying around, but in general your looking for a 12 volt powered refrigeration apparatus.
  • Aluminum duct tape
  • Aluminum flashing
  • Good scissors
  • Aluminum flat (maybe 1.5"x1/16",48")
  • A drill with metal bit (Unfortunately)
  • 2 x Zip Ties

Step 2: Let's Acquire the Cooling System

Behind this dirty weathered casing lies a peltier element. This component is the life blood to the project and harbors characteristics that will be used to chill a can of soda.

In a nut shell a peltier element when the proper voltage is applied transfers heat from one side to the other effectively cooling the side the heat is being pulled from. We will attach the cooling side to our can chilling element explained later and dissipate the heat gathered through the heat sink on the opposite side. We can further increase the heat dissipation by providing moving air.

We'll be see in step four how the manufactures accomplished this.

More info on Peltier elements ... FYI

  • Solid-state thermoelectric heat pump
  • Transfers heat from one side to the other
  • Temperature change direction is dependent upon polarity

Step 3: Open 'er Up

Remove all fastening hardware to reveal the loot for plundering. Save the screws that attach to the bottom of the chilling chamber. These will used later as they are already threaded for the mounting block atop the peltier element

Step 4: Take Note!

The four screws in the cooling chamber of the original enclosure held on the heat sink and should of already been removed. With the heat sink flipped so that we can see the mounting side the peliter element is hidden under the little block of aluminum.

Also, notice the Xish shape which sinks into the bottom of the original enclosure? These are pathways which those two little fans channeled air. The moving air flows alongside the heat sink fins pulling the radiating heat away from the aluminum preventing the heat sink from becoming heat soaked see what I did there ;)

Step 5: The Heat Transfer System

Arduinos could be employed here, but due to time, or a lack of it we will use the on board logic.

Step 6: Time to Build the Can Holder ... This Will Begin the Illustrative Portion of the Build

Step 7: This Is Where We Need the Drill and Zip Ties ... Continue the Show!

I know a rivet would of been the solution here, but I can't find mine and was going for least tool and material possible. The initial strategy was just to tape it, but who knew rolling up metal would create a radial spring ;)

Step 8: The Building of a Rim

Optional, I started to worry about users maybe becoming less coordinated while consuming their beverage lol. So to prevent them from dinging the rim and causing undo drag I made this little rim to buffer the day to day abuse.

Step 9: Mounting the Can Cooling Element

Drill needed here too! use a bit diameter greater than the saved screw shafts, but smaller than the screw head, but you knew that.

Step 10: Building the Heat Sink Floor and Walls...

Not much to describe here. Just folding the flashing to begin the shroud. This will be base for the fans to be mounted.

The aluminum tape was used to fasten the fans to the aluminum flashing to help continue the developing structure.

Step 11: Time to Hide the Ugly Wires

Again, optional.

Step 12: Finish Heat Sink Manifold

Here I cut out a shape that looked to me to cover the top and the opening between the fans. After trimming the roughed out piece to fit neatly, just use the aluminum duct tape to secure the flashing and make the structure sound.

Step 13: Presto! Now You Can Flash Chill Any Beverage of Your Choice ... in a 12oz. Can of Course

I must admit, I will not be settling with the finished product. I would like to integrate the module into the glove box so it looks like a native amenity. Mostly, I would like to make the can cooling element from a lost PLA cast of aluminum. I believe the efficiency of the heat transfer is being severely degraded by the construction of the element (essentially folded metal) and would benefit greatly from a solid amalgamation of aluminum.

Step 14: Oh, ... If I Had Time ...

I've added some files to get others started given they have the EXACT same block on top of the peltier element lol. Anyway, I am open to making some custom adapters for others for the time of the competition. I've included an .stl file and the step file of the 'Can Chilling Element'. I was thinking I might have to split the object to make it an easy print. If anyone agrees comment and i'll upload the files.

There is a thermo switch in the system that is only for detection over heating while on the "heat" option and probably for complete system failure. Here is a link to the switch for more information.

If I had time I would print this in PLA and cast it in aluminum to induce the highest possible heat transfer. If anyone is interested in seeing this happen ... I will dedicate a follow up to finalizing the build if I take first. I will add the following:

  • Arduino
  • PID temp controll
  • WIFI and APP
  • Custom glovebox installation
  • and 3D print to aluminum transfermation with lost PLA methods

Thanks again for voting!!!

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