“Have you ever wanted to see you name written in bubbles?
Do you have an off-cut of roofing plastic that you don’t know what to do with?
Do you prefer your text presented in a therapeutically slow and rattly way?
If you answered yes to any of these, well this is the project for you!
This instructable shows how to make a scrolling bubble message display powered by Arduino. It takes text sent over serial to the Arduino and displays it by writing the letters in bubbles.
This is made predominantly of plastic, comprising an off-cut of polycarbonate twin wall plastic roofing sheet for the screen with a polyethylene manifold and laser cut acrylic nozzle plate with plastic nozzles, and Tygon and nylon tubing, so please vote for me in the plastics contest.
To make this project you will need:
- Twin wall roofing polycarbonate sheet
- Silicone sealant
- An end plate (recommend laser cutting from acrylic, but 3D printing or hand making would work)
- An Arduino
- An airbrush compressor - preferably the type with a reservoir tank that automatically cuts in and out to avoid dead heading the compressor
- Normally closed solenoid valves - 1 per channel (I used 12)
- Means of switching the solenoids (MOSFETs would do but I used 3 Adafruit MotorShields* - they stack to work on one Arduino)
- Means of distributing compressed air to the valves (tubing and Y pieces work, but a manifold neatens things up considerably)
- Screw terminal power busbars for adjustably restricting each channel (probably optional)
- Soldering iron and solder
- A computer to send text by serial over USB”