What kind of hardware to use

Hello, I have only used Arduino on a few college courses. I have a 3D printer enclosure that I want to automate by installing a 92mm diameter fan and a vent that will open when the fan comes on. I plan to 3D print my own vent design and was thinking of using a step motor to open and close it. The fan will turn on when the enclosure reaches a certain temperature. Any advise on what kind of hardware I should start with?

Opening a vent would maybe be better done with a servo motor.

A small vent door could be directly moved through its range with simple commands sent to the servo, which would take care of stuff you'd be coding for the stepper.

Servos work good and be cheap.


Check out the spec of the DS18B20 for measuring temperature - I expect it will cover the range you need.

Consider a servo instead of a stepper so you can avoid a homing microswitch.

Look at logic level mosfets to turn the fan on.

Pretty much any Arduino could do the job.

Owning a 3D printer, you know what an amazing thing stepper motors do. Incredible high precision movements. How much precision does opening and closing a vent need? Even a servo motor is wasted doing it, but as mentioned, they are so small and cheap. But is there a way you can avoid using any motor to open the vent? I used to have extraction fans in the kitchen and bathrooms of my house that contained vents that closed to block (somewhat) wind blowing into the house. The vents were held closed by light springs, until the fan started, when they were pushed open by the pressure created by the (centrifugal) fan.

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Way less cool. :expressionless:


Thanks very much! Will look into those.

It would be easier to just have a manually opened vent, but I thought it would be nice to have an automated system so I can walk away from a long print job and not worry about over heating with PLA filaments, not too worried about how hot the enclosure gets with ABS.

The OP has not said if the fan is adding air to then enclosure or removing it. If adding air, the automatic vent is perfect. Look at the vent for a clothes dryer vent at your local hardware store.

The vent being either open or closed could be done with a solenoid.

it is adding air

Good. Gravity and air pressure is your friend.

I was also thinking like that. However cooling fans are often really bad in creating air pressure, pressure that might open a well balanced vent. A radial fan would likely manage but axial fans... I wouldn't bet on that.

My former company had cooling/venting fans on both the convection oven and the circuit board washing machine. They also had air flow sensors that allowed the machine to work only if there was sufficient air flow.
If one fan is not enough, then two may be used.