Pouring Machine College Community

Requested Project

A pouring machine that the students could pour as long as their hand is on the switch and when they release, the cup goes slowly upright again.

Design Notes

Pouring Machine, College Community, Contact: Kristin S. Lucas, Prairie Elementary School
Project 371.  Russell Schuchmann is the project designer.

The request was for a switch activated pouring machine that, when a switch was held, would gradually tilt a measuring cup until the desired amount on the contents had been poured.  Releasing the switch would stop the cup motion and pushing a second switch would return the cup to its home position.

An earlier switch activated measuring cup was designed and delivered in March of 2007 under project 283, Switch Activated Measuring Cup.  In this design the a momentary push of the switch would cause cup rotation to begin and then continue to rotate, dumping the contents of the cup and then returning to the home position with the cup upright. Please refer to the completed project 283 for mechanical details of the pouring machine.

Since the basic mechanics of the switch activated measuring cup was about the same as that required for the pouring machine, the decision was made to modify the existing machine to accomplish both the pouring function and the cup dump function of the earlier machine.

In the earlier machine a jack was provided to connect to a large-area switch that would start the cup rotation.  Once rotation had started, a cam activated micro-switch would continue to energize the motor until the cam interrupted the circuit when the cup reached home position.  This mechanization was modified by installing a second mode switch where the jack had been located to select either the pour or dump function.

For the current project, a new large-area rocker switch was built that connected to the gear motor, battery, pour/dump mode switch and the cam operated micro-switch via a six conductor cable with stranded conductors.  The heart of this rocker switch is a NKK M2047SS1W01 switch which is a 4PDT switch that can be wired at the terminals to be a DP3T switch with ON, ON, and MOMENTARY  positions.  These connections are illustrated in the accompanying schematic diagram.

To use the pour function, first set the pour/dump  mode switch to the pour position. In use, pressure on the POUR side of the rocker is used to tilt the cup to the desired position.  Since the POUR side of the switch is momentary, whenever the pressure on the POUR side of the rocker is released the motion of the cup will stop at its present position.  When the RETURN side of the rocker switch is pressed it will latch in that position to return the cup to the home position where the motion will be stopped by the cam operating  the home position micro-switch.  The rocker can also be returned to the neutral position during cup travel by pushing briefly on the POUR side of the rocker switch.  In that case motion will stop at the present cup position.

If the machine is to be used simply to dump the contents of the cup, place the mode switch in the DUMP position. Then, whenever the POUR position of the rocker switch is pushed, even briefly, the cup will make a complete rotation to dump its contents and then stop in the home position.

RCRV designer is Russell Schuchmann, and was requested by Prairie Ridge Elementary, Kristin Lucas, Level III Disabilities Class. The project was begun Feb 3, 2011 and completed Jun 22, 2011.

Additional Information:

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Cup Pour Machine Illustrations

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