Pet feeders are a popular maker project. One can speculate that this shows the great self-confidence common to the maker set, who are willing to trust their own work to keep their animal companions alive for many days at a a time. [Darren Tarbard] is one such maker, who put together this simple auger build.
The project consists of a hopper for dry pet food, into which a screw auger is inserted. Both parts are 3D printed, making them easy to produce at home for the average maker. The build was designed specifically around the parts [Darren] had to hand, namely a 28BYJ-48 stepper motor, which is charged with turning the auger. Running the show is an Arduino, which can be run with whatever suitable timing code is necessary to feed the particular pet in question. There’s also a remixed version that adds a larger food storage dish on top for longer periods of unattended operation, created by [szuchid].
It’s a basic build, but one that would be readily achievable by most makers with little more than some junkbox components and a roll of filament. Of course, if your pet prefers wet food, you might need a different design. Video after the break.
14 thoughts on “A Simple Auger Pet Feeder”
This is a very clever design. I design and built two types of feeders and I found that for the auger designs the better design is the wire-bended metal auger.
Filled augers doesn’t work well with small pieces (cat food) but hollow ones (like the wire bended as an helix) allow some flexibility and works better.
Congrats for this feeder.
Do have any links to examples of the wire augers you mentioned? I searched google for pet food augers, but found pretty much the same type of screw augers as this project.
There sure are a lot of dry food cat feeders being built and I’m not sure why. I’ve never had a cat that would overeat dry food. I just leave it out in a gravity feeder.
I’ll tell you why there’s a lot of dry food cat feeders being built, because the first time cat kind sees a wet food automatic feeder they’ll realise humans are superfluous and rise up and overthrow us.
they already have. Well that’s impression I get when I visit a house in which a cat lives. The humans in attendance are there solely to tend to the desires of their feline overlord.
I hear you. We have an outdoor cat and the absolute uber-neglect which he sports when he enters the house, walks by ‘his humans’ without no eye-contact at all on his way to the food-bowl and the (respectively HIS) sofa ist just amazing…
We have a cat that was abandoned in the woods. We took him home. He’s always trying to steal food and he eats like a dog. When he gets food, he’ll stand at his bowl and eat it until it’s gone. Even if he’s full, he’ll eat until he gets sick.
I have an outdoor-cat as well. When he is hungry enough, he destroys simply everything that looks even remotely like a device containing food. He chews through tin cans without a problem. He knocks everything down that’s not bolted down with half-inch-screws. In that matter he is worse than every dog I know.
We have two cats, one seems terrified that he will never eat again. He’ll empty the bowl, throw up, then go eat the other cat’s food and throw up again.
So we feed them with separate feeders. The non-anxious cat is smaller and more agile, so her food is behind a saloon-style swinging door that she jumps with ease, but he won’t jump.
The feeders are set to feed them in small amounts, four times a day.
I feel pretty confident in my skills, I build lots of small things to make things easier around the house.
That being said I wouldn’t bet four little lives that I’m ultimately responsible for on technology that isn’t fail safe.
What happens if the power goes out and if you have battery backup, how long will that last, are you sure there are no bugs in the hardware or software?
What will happen to the cat when it fails?
Not judging or calling anyone irresponsible, just my take on it.
For me this feels like a “self driving car”
Yeah it works most of the time so you start feeling confident in that the technology will work, until one day it doesn’t and you rear end a patrol car, crash in to a divider or turn a pedestrian in to a wet smear.
Not a position I would put myself in
I think your comments are a bit OTT. No-one is suggesting that you would leave this as the only food source and hen go away for a month! I am looking to use it for a cat that has two dogs as companions. The cat will have an RFID tag, so it will only dispense to the cat. If it fails, we will feed it by hand, simple, no big deal.
You would feed the cat by hand plus this article is not saying that you should leave for a long time its more like if your cat wants to eat early in the morning and you don’t want it to wake you up(like mine). Plus you don’t have to be so negative on little fun projects that people do.
Thanks for featuring my project. I don’t use it for mealtimes but instead as a treat/game for them with a big button, speaker and timing logic that dispenses treats sporadically. I’ve housed it in a wooden enclosure made from scrap bits of wood and it’s relatively pet proof, you can see some pics on my twitter https://twitter.com/tarbard/status/1218595096737828864
Is there anyone that is making a pet feeder like this to sell? I need a dispenser a little larger than this pet feeder for prototyping a concept. I need a hopper, auger and motor (24 volt) assembled.
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