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How to build your own Weather Forecasting Theatre with ESP32

Meet WeatherBot, my WiFi connected weather forecasting machine. WeatherBot retrieves a local forecast from OpenWeatherMaps and then shows you tomorrows weather with a motorised mini diorama. It automatically updates every few hours (you can set your own update interval) and shows a hyper-local forecast based on longitude and latitude.

The additional 2.9” e-ink display provides a more precise insight into both todays and tomorrows weather patterns without the distraction and brightness of a more traditional display.

In the photos above you can see two that I built. The white one had its white parts 3D printed and the wooden parts laser cut on my Snapmaker from some 3mm Birch Plywood. Don’t worry if you don’t have access to a laser cutter, the golden and bronze effect one was entirely 3D printed. 🙂

The WeatherBot is powered by single USB cable making it easy to connect wherever you want to see the weathers outlook. The mechanics are driven by four micro servos and I’ve designed the body to be clockwork like whilst allowing you to see the inner workings.

I’ll explain step by step how to make one of your own.

As with all my projects I have made an accompanying detailed step-by-step video tutorial. If you would like to see the WeatherBot in action then take a look at the first minute or so of the video.

Don’t worry, I will also explain every step for the project in the remainder of this Instructable. I would suggest referring both to this written guide and the video if you ever find yourself a little confused as to what you should be doing whilst assembling your own - though I will be trying my best to be as detailed as possible here for you.

To make one of your own you will need a few items. Here is a list of what I used and where you can find it for yourself online:

Waveshare 2.9” E-ink Display (296x128)
Electrical wire
ESP32 (x1)
Limit Switches (x4)
Micro continuous / 360 degree rotation servos (x4)
USB cable (for uploading code and powering project)
M2.5x14 Bolts (x12), M2.5x8 Bolts (x7) and Nuts (x10)
90 Degree / Corner Header Pins
Filament for 3D printing
3mm thick wood for laser cut scene discs (x4 A4 size)

Nuts, bolts and screws needed:

M2.5x14 Bolts (x12)
M2.5x8 Bolts (x7)
M2.5 Nuts (x10)”

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