Arduino has been used to create some fascinating creations from a full wall of LEDs and RC cars, to swimming pool controllers and smart glasses and everything in between.
Now, a maker has created an animatronic, 3D-printed launchpad and gantry for a LEGO Saturn V model rocket.
The project, from maker Mark Howe, took about 1,000 hours of CAD work and hundreds of hours of 3D printing to create a setup that rivals a miniaturized NASA launching pad.
The rocket stands several feet tall with a crane, sway bar, crew walkway, gantry arms and service arms that move out of the way using servos. The entire “launch” process is controlled by an Arduino Uno, an I/O expansion board, a sixteen-channel servo controller and an MP3 shield that counts down audio toward launch using music from the movie “Apollo 13.”
When the spacecraft is ready for lift off, a trio of stepper motor-driven linear actuators simulates the launch with a fiery plume of NeoPixels underneath.
The entire process is shown in the accompanying video.
Learn how Howe created the project on his Hackaday page.