3D Printing and Arduino bring a Dune thumper to life

David Lynch’s 1984 adaptation of Dune has its problems, but it has been the inspiration for this recreation of the thumper as seen in the movie.

This creation comes to us from Marcin Poblocki, an avid fan of the series who recently read through the original book again and felt inspired to make something interactive using his favourite board, the Arduino Nano.

We’ve featured Poblocki and his Arduino projects before going from Star Trek to Dragon Ball and back to Star Trek.

Modelling the thumper in Fusion 360 took around 10 hours to complete with the main mechanism taking the longest time to complete.

This mechanism uses a motor to lift a small weight and drop it back down again, simulating the noise and vibrations that summon Sandworms in Dune.

“For this device to work I needed [a] continuous rotation servo which you can find in many online stores, but they are a lot more expensive than 180 degree servos,”  Poblocki tells us, “I decided to convert 180 degrees (SG90) to continuous rotation which was fairly straight forward and there is a lot of instructions available on YouTube.”

With that sorted out printing could begin with this one metre tall piece taking up 120 hours to complete at 0.3mm and 15% infill.

Another four hours were needed to join the pieces together, sand and paint it in a gold colour. A final hour of work was required to adjust the servo and the cog-wheel to make the mechanism work smoothly.

You can see the final product below in one of the rare instances where vertical video actually makes sense.

The files to print the thumper together with the Arduino code and the wiring diagrams can be found for free over on Thingiverse

As you can see here and in the header image above, the electronics are installed into the top of the print for easy access. A 9V battery runs everything and should keep the movement going for around four hours.

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