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Enhancing Passive Pixel Water Gauge with 3D Printing

Updated: Feb 21

Locanam 3D Printing is dedicated to showcasing a diverse range of projects, all of which hold a special place in our hearts. While every project has its unique charm, there's a special admiration for those that accomplish their goals with utmost simplicity, eliminating any unnecessary complexity. Take, for instance, this ingenious electronics-free water gauge—an exemplary demonstration o f achieving precisely what's needed, without any unnecessary embellishments

If this project seems somewhat familiar, it's because we previously showcased [Johan]'s earlier iteration of the "Pixel Pole" a few years ago. Just like before, the primary objective of this project is to create a highly visible level indicator for a sizable water tank integrated into an irrigation system. The fundamental concept revolves around enabling an automated pump to turn on when the tank requires refilling and switch off when it's full. To achieve this, [Johan] devised a system using a magnetic float inside the tank, complemented by reed switches strategically positioned at appropriate levels outside the tank. Along the path of the float, a sequence of magnetic flip dots was installed to provide a visual representation of the water level. This ingenious setup proved to be effective and practical in monitoring and controlling the water level.

The old metal flip dots were becoming corroded, prompting the need for improvements. The new flip dots are 3D printed, featuring high-visibility green on one side and black on the other. The only metal components are the neodymium magnet, securely embedded into a slot within the disc, and a sewing pin serving as the axle. Furthermore, the housing for each flip dot is also fabricated through 3D printing, with each module easily snapping onto the next, allowing for the creation of displays with varying heights. The video below showcases the printing process, assembly, and the functioning of the display.

[Johan] has introduced significant improvements, particularly in the assembly process. While spot-welding was a commendable method in the initial version, the approach of 3D printing and snapping parts together offers superior scalability. Additionally, this updated version appears to be more suitable for outdoor use, with enhanced durability in various environmental conditions.

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