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Automatic slideout drawer Answered

I am looking to build a drawer that will automatically open and close by the flip of a switch. What would be the easiest way to set it up? The drawer will only need to hold several pounds up to ten at the most. Any suggestions?


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Sorry, I meant to post about this when it came out.  Thanks to Koosie for the bump.

You don't need a microcontroller or anything complicated.  Build the drawer the way you'd build any drawer, or just buy one pre-built.  You want to use self-contained drawer glides (like the ones shown in the image), not the two-part kind with wheels.

Under the drawer, mount a small motor with a wheel, preferably one with a slighty tacky rubber "tire".  The friction of the tire against the drawer will move it.  You wire that motor through a power supply to your switch. 

A three position switch can be used to do proper forward-backward stuff.  If you want to get really fancy, you can even use relays and limit switches so the drawer stops automatically when it is fully opened or fully closed.

This should get you started.  You'll learn more about the design process, and using discrete electrical components, if you do some research and design work on your own from this point, and come back with specific questions.


just wanted to say thanks for this, I am making a sliding box and this idea sounds good!!


5 years ago

I wonder if you could adapt a CD/DVD drive mechanism for your purpose...

there are lotta things to do this. but i wanna know how to do it smoothly, is it stepper motor? DC motor? or servo?

a geared or slotted tract and a geared motor could also serve the purpose of the driver of the drawer (reversable motor of course),  but it may involve a whole different set of design problems than the "friction" drive Kelsey mentions.


8 years ago

I reckon your best bet would be something like an arduino linked to electric motors that push and pull the drawer.

Shouldn't be too difficult to make.

Anyway, hope this helps.....