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Put Your Cat on a Diet With a 3D Printed Food Dispenser

Picture of Hanna Watkin
by Hanna Watkin
Jul 31, 2019
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Cat lover Piotr Westfalewicz spent a year and a half building an automatic cat feeder which also tracks the cat's weight and eating speed. The design is open source so you can create your own. 

How much time do you spend feeding your cat? Piotr Westfalewicz estimates that this time is around three minutes per day. So, to cut down on this, he took the “art of over-engineering to a next level” and spent over 22 hours alone designing an awesome automatic cat feeder. Overall, the whole project took him 1.5 years to finish.

Some of its interesting features include:

  • It dispenses food according to a defined schedule
  • The cat feeder only opens at specified times and will make some noises at get the cat’s attention
  • It measures the cat’s weight and adjusts the food schedule accordingly.
  • The dispenser measures food consumption time and how long does it take the cat to arrive at the cat feeder, from the moment when cat feeder opened
  • Most parts are 3D printed

Westfalewicz writes on Reddit: “I’m not sure if I would spend 1.5 years building this thing again… however the result is pretty neat and the cat is happy, too.” As a Software Development Engineer at Amazon Web Services, Westfalewicz had the skills to design, code and 3D print the feeder to be both extremely useful and to look cool.

Westfalewicz began by using Fusion 360. Although it was his first time using this software, the result turned out great. Check it out below:

Food? Yes, but Only In Relation to the Cat’s Weight

Westfalewicz explains that the automatic cat feeder took over 100 hours of printing time and used over 1kg of PLA plastic to create.

The resulting 3D print ensures Westfalewicz’s cat, Emma, doesn’t put on weight as it monitors her diet and feeds her according to a defined schedule. The cat feeder is also linked to a scales to weigh Emma and only spits out as much as the cat needs. Also, the system keeps  track of her food consumption.

Westfalewicz built-in WiFi connectivity and even developed a website which shows a dashboard displaying a number of useful tidbits about Emma’s eating habits including how long it takes her to arrive at the feeder.

“This was my first time doing 3D design, so probably I made every possible mistake along the way. The end result isn’t completely satisfying for me (I was hoping for a better, more organic overall look) and some people say it looks like piano…” Westfalewicz writes on his blog.

However, he will be making his design open-source so you too can monitor your cat closely. He explains this will include dozens of STL’s and source code. Make sure to visit his website for more.

Source: Reddit

Automatic Cat Feeder
The final features of the Automatic Cat Feeder (Source: Piotr Westfalewicz)

License: The text of "Put Your Cat on a Diet With a 3D Printed Food Dispenser" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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