A 3D-printed mechanical contraption displays live weather forecasts
“What will the weather be like today?” is a question that almost constantly worries those who live in places like Britain, where bright sunshine can follow thick clouds, only to turn to drizzle an hour later. These days all you have to do is glance at your phone to know if you need to pack an umbrella, but where’s the fun in that? Why not have a huge mechanical display to show you a summary of today’s weather?
Follower of automatons and other gears filled with gears and pulleys, [Mike] decided to build such a machine for his last Mikey does video. It uses brightly colored indicators inspired by the BBC’s famous “fluffy cloud” symbols that can show various combinations of sun, cloud, rain and snow. These symbols are moved by dozens of gears, levers, swing arms and other moving parts that have all been 3D printed. We particularly like the system that unfolds the sun’s rays behind the cloud; you can see it working in the video embedded below.
Live weather data is retrieved through an open weather API by an Arduino MKR WiFi 1010. This then drives the mechanical system through a pair of motor driver ICs. The heavy work is done by stepper motors and servos, while micro switches and optical sensors determine the end point of each movement.
If you love weather displays, you’re in luck: we’ve featured many different styles over the years, including electronic paper displays, analog gauges, split-flap displays, and even a miniature weather recreation local.