5 DIY Projects with Linear Actuators

DIY Designs to Automate Your Home

Zuriel Gonzalez
Zuriel
PA Engineer

Linear actuators have totally revolutionized the way things move around us. This invention of modern technology has allowed automated mechanization to replace manual work in performing routine, motional operations. By transforming pneumatic, hydraulic, or electric energy into linear displacement, actuators are perfect for automating any object. Their universality of these components has found ideas virtually in all aspects of life – from agriculture and aerospace to medicine and education. The advantage of using these devices lies in the fact that a user need not be a specialist in any industry to appreciate them. Their ease of installation and usage allows us to automate anything homemade, thus, effortlessly integrating them into our homes for our total convenience.

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In this article, we’ve highlighted a few DIY projects using our linear actuators that have caught our eye over the past few years. We have a range of actuators available, waiting for you to implement in your next at home project!

In-Home Projects Using Linear Actuators

Here are a few projects that automate tasks within your home, from pop-up spice racks and drop-down TVs to a flight simulator – we’ve got you covered!

 

Pop-Up Spice Racks and Adjustable Kitchen Cabinetry

Being the hub of the house, the kitchen provides the perfect space to introduce homemade automation – the simplest example being an automated spice dispenser. Made to be installed under a kitchen counter or kitchen island, this nifty invention rises from the surface optimizing your storage space.

Once you have implemented this project, there are numerous advanced options for you to try your hand at! For example, you can equip your wall cabinets with linear actuators to lower or raise them as required. Such mechanization may be especially useful for the elderly, or those with physical disabilities.

Drop-Down TVs

For a DIY-minded person, hiding your TV in the ceiling can be a simple feat. The choice of construction scheme is largely determined by the availability of ceiling space. If there is an attic, for example, the screen could rise and drop vertically from within the ceiling. If the room for this project does not have such compatibility, you could also construct a flip-down TV. This is done by positioning the TV parallel to the ceiling when it is not in use. In both cases, this is a perfect space-saving project, especially worth implementing in yachts, RVs, and other space-strapped premises.

Drop-Down TV

 

Pop-Up Bedroom TVs

Similar to the previous drop-down option, pop-up TVs are also popular additions to living rooms and bedrooms! The TV can be installed to rise from the footboard of the bed or have linear actuators raise it from inside a cabinet. The latter choice may be preferable to allow for the furniture to be moved easily if required.

Pop-up bedroom TV

 

Hidden Monitor Lifts

A motorized lift can also be leveraged to hide a computer monitor under your desk. This is beneficial if the device is not used regularly throughout the day or if the desk space is needed for multiple purposes. It simply provides more tabletop space to use at your discretion.

 

Build a Home Flight Simulator

If you can dream it, with the right tools, you can do it! Gone are the days where simulators were limited to training facilities and large companies. Hobbyists and DIY creators are using motion control components to create unique, interactive, and cost-effective simulators. Equipped with multiple PA-03 and PA-04 linear actuators, the flight simulator is built and designed by Anthony Escalante. Each actuator smoothly tilts, rotates, and turns the motion platform to simulate true flight. This is accompanied by four power supplies (three PS-40-12’s, one PS-13-12), and a control system that incorporates motor drivers and microcontrollers packed away neatly into the control hub of the simulator.

 

We have a wide range of electric linear actuators for any project – click to browse!

 

Shoes in a ‘Nicebox’


Cedric Townsend of ‘Nicebox’, built a customized storage box for the Minnesota Vikings’ WR Charles Johnson. This was done using our actuators and control systems. The actuators are used to open the lid of the box and to further extend the lower drawer during use.

Shoe box actuator project

 

Backyard and Lawn Automation

A key requirement for utilizing these devices outdoors is implementing the use of highly protected actuators. For certain projects, sensors may also be required, but once acquired the options are endless. Examples of implementation are lighting, such as spotlights, floodlights, or landscape lights, or watering for example with sprinklers and drippers.

 

Japanese Style Hidden Table Lift

Minimalism has become quite the fad when it comes to interior design. This space-saver is ideal for a modern home or apartment, especially if space is scarce!

Planetarium Projector

‘The Planetarium Projector’ was built by Free Fall Technologies in their attempt to reach for the stars. The project is a custom planetarium projector lift that utilizes our FLT-03-2-1 Lifting Column set, allowing for a vertical movement.

Portable Solar Tracker

Last but not least, is our very own Portable Single-Axis Solar Tracker. With solar power growing as one of the most accessible and affordable types of renewable energy, we thought it would be interesting to demonstrate how energy can be trapped using controlled movement.

 

Conclusion

Linear actuators can be part of many modern DIY projects enabling extra comfort, a considerable saving of space, and other amenities that make our everyday life exceptionally convenient and user-friendly. If you’ve worked or are working on a project using our linear actuators, we would love to know more about it! You can also apply for our project sponsorship program, which gives inventive DIY projects using our actuators a retroactive discount on their order.

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