The Paste-in-ator




This Instructable was created in fulfillment of the project requirement of the Make Course at the University of South Florida (

The device I have created is a arduino powered toothpaste dispenser. If you choose to complete this Instructable you too can have dental hygine at the push of a button.

Step 1: Materials Needed for This Project

For this project you will need to purchase a few components as well as have the ability to 3D print. A list of the required materials with links to purchase is below

1. DC-47P DC Series Heavy Duty Electronics Enclosures

2. Arduino

3. Stepper Motor

4. Starter kit for Breadboard, Buttons, 9v battery adapter and jumper wires

5. 9v Battery (can be purchased at any convenience store)

6. Breadboard Jumper Wire Kit

7.Aluminium 3/8 in rod

8. Threaded Steel Rod

Step 2: CAD for 3D Printed Components

Here are the CAD files to fun your Arduino. With these you will be able run the Servo and make The Paste-in-ator work!

Step 3: Upload Code to the Arduino

Attached is the code you will need, upload this to your Arduino and you'll be one step closer to having your own Paste-in-ator. You will need to download both files as the functions file works in conjunction with the code_V1 file

Step 4: Setting Up the Arduino

At this point you will want to connect your Arduino to all of the other components of the device. Attached is a sketch of how everything will work. A few pointers however are that you will want to use jumpers to connect the motor driver rather than connecting it directly to the Arduino. If you connect it directly to the Arduino it will not fit in the box. As well as this you're going to want to spread out your buttons on your breadboard so that there is a good amount of distance between them while they are in the box. As well as this you will want to use the flat jumper wires while connecting the buttons to the ground rail on the breadboard in order to conserve space.

Step 5: Prepping the Electronics Enclosure

For this step you will need to cut 3 holes in your black electronics enclosure. The first whole will be where the tip of the tube of toothpaste will come out of the box and will be placed on the front of the box. The easiest way to gauge where this whole will be is to mark according to the whole on the front plate that you have 3D printed. The next two holes are going to be for the buttons and will be located on the left side of the box near the front. The easiest way to gauge where to place these wholes is once again to mark in reference to the buttons on the breadboard. A tip is to make sure that your breadboard is placed as far forward in the electronics enclosure as possible.

Step 6: Inserting the Plates

The plates will be placed on opposite sides of the box. place them so that the open end of each of the rail holders is facing the bottom of the box and butt them directly in the corners before gluing. During this step you will also want to mount the stepper motor to the back plate. It will be glued to the back plate in between the two holders with the wires facing up. You will be able to tell when it is in place when the middle rail holder and the tip of the stepper motor are in line. Last you will want to mount the stepper connector to the end of the stepper motor so that the stepper and the threaded rod will connect to each other.

Step 7: Building the Inner Assembly

You will have to put together the entire inner assembly before you can put it into the electronics enclosure. To do this you will need to cut each of the rods. The aluminium rails will be roughly 7 inches and the threaded rod will be roughly 5.5 inches. However, the best way to ensure all of your cuts are exact are to base them off of the actual rails themselves. Connect the squeeze wheel into the squeeze and run the rails and threaded rod into squeeze. Lastly you will also want to put the rod tip on the end of the threaded rod so that it can connect to the stepper.

Step 8: Mounting the Inner Assembly

The inner assembly will be mounted into the box with the squeeze wheel faced up. The two aluminium rails can be glued to the rod holders on each of the plates, however do not glue the threaded rod to its holder as it needs to spin and will not be able to. Glue the Rod connector and the Stepper connector together.

Step 9: Mounting the Electronic Components

To mount these you will need to first disconnect all of the wires. leave the wires going to the breadboard connected to the breadboard and all others connected to the Arduino. All pieces will be mounted as shown in the picture and the wires will be run below the entire assembly. Make sure that all components are securely glued to the different walls before attempting to reconnect the wires because if they are not securely connected then the components can become dislodged.

Step 10: Placing Your Toothpaste

When placing your toothpaste into the electronics enclosure ensure that the squeeze is as close to the stepper as possible. Put the four screws into the top of the box and flip the entire enclosure over so that the lid is now the bottom. Now sit back and enjoy dental hygiene at the push of a button.

Step 11: Here Is the Video I Had to Make for It for Class



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    6 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Awesome, I hate it when you can't get all the toothpaste out of the tube. :)

    1 reply
    Jacob Barrineauzposner

    Reply 2 years ago

    A video has been added. I actually made this for one of my classes at USF and the video portion of the assignment has been attached as the final step just to make things a little easier to understand


    2 years ago

    Sorry, but I'm having a hard time visualizing the toothpaste cap. Is it the cap from the toothpaste itself or did you add your own capping mechanism?

    1 reply
    Jacob BarrineauRoguePirin

    Reply 2 years ago

    The toothpaste cap was just glued to the top for looks. To be quite honest it was sitting around and I still had some glue!