I am not sure if I blogged about this or not before but one of my many hobbies is Home Brewing my own beer. I have been doing it for a few years now and the more I do it the more tools/accessories I need to make it bigger and better. I tend to make what I can, that way I can save money on accessories and put more into the beer/other projects. One of those things is a stir plate. I have needed one for a while now and it seemed like everywhere I looked, they were not under $40. I didn’t need one THAT bad so I put it off for a while.
Recently, I came across an awesome design at http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1887399 Not only did the maker design this awesome setup but they also include links to all the additional parts in the description. This makes building it so much easier than most builds I find online. I actually got lucky and had a lot of the parts sitting around ready to be used but the few I needed were easy to find.
I started off by running over to the Makerspace I am a member of (www.familab.org) so I could use the 3D printers there. I have yet to get one of my own but then again, why would I when the lab has a bunch I can use? Unfortunately, I was not thinking when I started the print of the first piece and I ran out of white PLA filament after that one was done. All I had left was some red ABS but a multi color design won’t bother me.
Once those two parts were printed I was able to find a 120mm fan in a computer case I was about to scrap. I also found a couple magnets that were being used on the drawer of an old desk. I was extremely lucky to find these as I cannot imagine just anyone has magnets this strong laying around their home. The magnets were not as big as the ones in the design so I had to do some slight modifications to the part that holds them in place.
I decided to skip the speed controller part for right now. It is definitely something I will upgrade to a little later but for now I just cut the end of an old mouse and attached it to the fan wires. This will only supply the fan with 5 volts (the fan is 12 volts). However, at top speed the stir bar will likely fly off the magnets anyway. So far the 5v seems to be not too much and not too little.