These days, if you don’t fancy watching morning TV, you can always get an update on the day’s weather from your smartphone, computer, or any one of a series of other connected devices. However, if you’re looking for a more fun way to see what’s in store, this weather diorama from [Lewis] of DIY Machines might be just what you’re looking for.
The build uses an ESP32 as the brains of the project, responsible for querying the Internet for up-to-date weather information. This info is then displayed on a 2.9″ e-ink display, showing the temperature, chance of rain, and wind speed predicted for the local area. So far, so straightforward.
However, where it gets really creative is the use of laser-cut “scene discs” with different graphics on them to represent different weather conditions. They can alternatively be 3D printed,too. These are rotated via servos controlled by the ESP32, allowing the diorama to display a representative scene informed by the current forecast. If there’s snow coming, you’ll see a snow man, but if things are looking fine, you’re more likely to see a woman strolling with a dog.
It’s a fun way to learn about what Mother Nature has in store, and would look great on any breakfast bar to boot. We’ve seen some great builds from [Lewis] before, too, like this amazing seven-segment clock shelf.
One thought on “Build Yourself A Weather-Reporting Diorama”
Hackaday content is routinely good, but this project really resonates with me–a bit of computer, a bit of mechanics, and a lot of creativity… it does something useful in a novel and pleasingly aesthetic way.
When I see this, my mind draws connections to the moon phase displays on old grandfather clocks, the antikythera mechanism, and medieval clock towers with crowing roosters and animated figures to ring bells.
My personal preference, with a working prototype in hand, would be to go one step further. Ditch the plastic and wood entirely, and build a final version in brass, with various parts polished, blackend, or verdigi-ed for contrast.
Uri Tuchman or Clickspring (both on youtube) would both likely have a fantastic spin on this.
…Which leads to another idea: scale it way up and plasma cut the parts in mild steel, to create a large weather-predicting landscape centerpiece for a garden or park. Bicycle chains and sprockets could function as transmission components. A solar panel and lead acid battery would make the device self-sustaining.
The very best projects inspire others. This project does that.
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