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Want to build a automatic opening drawer? Answered

could i use a dvd tray as the actuator if it is under a light enough load? what is the max it could probably open?
thanx for any help you can offer


Very little power in the DVD tray BUT the principle is good.

A rack and pinion is the traditional way (as in DVD) but you could make arrangements with some string and a motor for example.

Good free running draws on tracks is the key so they are easy to move.

Remember that with a heavy object (eg a FULL draw) the inertia will be considerably increased from when it was empty and light.

T emulate that Smoooth action you so often see in CD players etc look for some smart grease and use a spring to pull the draw open when the catch is released, you will have to push it back though.

Smart grease info here:


oh okay that makes sense i had a old tray laying around got curious the drawer will only hold 3 lbs give or take a few ounces i need about 6 inches of acutual travel.


5 years ago

Would love to have something like this Ikea thing, but much cheaper:


so with research i have decided against the original curiosty..... naturaully i decided to go with push to open soft close drawer slides im gonna do a step by step for the drawer should be a fun lil project


7 years ago

A DVD tray opener would be much too light to open any drawer that weighs more than a few ounces.
I would suggest you think of a worm gear type garage door opener. Copy the design using an all-thread rod and a large nut. Fasten the nut to the drawer and the all-thread rod to an electric motor. You can scale the sizes to open pretty much any drawer you need. Reverse the direction of rotation of the motor with a switch and it will also close the drawer when you're ready.

thanx allot for your suggestion any threads to follow on how this is done?

None that I am aware of. That doesn't necessarily mean there aren't any, I just haven't seen one.
As for the method, its fairly straight forward, affix the nut to the bottom of the drawer and mount the all thread rod so that a motor can, either directly or indirectly, turn the rod. That will either push or pull the nut depending in the direction of spin of the motor.