Apple Coin Bank Plants the Seed of Saving

Consider the piggy bank. Behind that innocent, docile expression is a capitalistic metaphor waiting to ruin your fond memories of saving for that BMX bike or whatever else it was that drove home the value of a dollar. As fun as it is to drop a coin in a slot, the act of saving your pennies and learning financial responsibility could be a bit more engaging.

It seems like [gzumwalt] feels the same way. He’s designed a coin bank for his grand-kids that takes a more active role in the deposit process—it straight up eats the things. Put a coin on the platform and the upper half of the apple’s face is pushed open by an arm that pulls the coin inside on its return path.

Continuing with the money-saving theme, [gzumwalt] didn’t use a micro or even a 555. No, the core of this project is a pair of micro lever switches, a small gear motor, and 4.5V DC. When a coin hits the platform, the first switch engages the motor. The motor drives a 3-D printed mechanism modeled after Hoeckens’ linkage, which converts rotational motion to (nearly) straight-line motion. The second switch stops the cycle. Confused? You can sink your teeth into it after the break.

Don’t worry, the kids don’t have to slice up the apple when it’s time to go to the candy store, ’cause there’s a screw-in hatch on the bottom. This is because [gzumwalt] is a wizard of 3-D printing and design. Not convinced? Check out his balloon-powered engine or his runs-on-air plane.

14 thoughts on “Apple Coin Bank Plants the Seed of Saving

  1. I remember in the 70s and 80s these things were a big hype – all forms and shapes, all kinds of treatments to the coins. Most were spring loaded but there were some battery-powered devices as well.
    Most coin-saving kids I knew were using the coins from inside the collectors to feed the machine, there really wasn’t that much of “money accumulation” happening anywhere :-)

  2. I think I had a similar thing as a child (30-40yr ago), possibly there was a “worm” taking the coin. But I am not sure any more if it was battery operated or mechanical.

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