# waterfall printer

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#### blueroomelectronics

##### Well-Known Member
Waterfall printer or limited budget pick one.

#### ronv

##### Well-Known Member
Tooooo cool. Do you want a big one like theirs or a little one?

##### Banned
The hardest part of that entire project will be the valves themselves, everything else is really not that complicated or expensive. I'm just guestimating but there's probably a good 500-600 electrically actuated water valves. If they're 5 dollars each... well you do the math. Find cheap valves and you might get the cost down to 1 or 2 thousand dollars for something of that scale. Go for smaller valves or make them yourself and skies the limit, depends on how good a fabricator you are.

#### crutschow

##### Well-Known Member
You can probably make all alpha-numeric characters with 5 valves per character and 1 valve between characters for other graphics. Thus you could start with a few valves initially and scale it up later.

You might try Ebay for cheap solenoid valves.

#### crutschow

##### Well-Known Member
im going to do a small one first with the budget ive got or it could be upto 500\$AU i guess. im going to use micro valves and use a microcontroller to control the valves which recieves a bitmap image from the PC. but im confused about the process putting it together. The more technical parts
To control it from a PC you would need a control module (plug-in or USB controlled) with one addressable output for each solenoid. You may need an amp to drive the solenoids from the controller output, depending upon the controller's current capability.

Then it's just matter of programming the solenoids to open in the sequence desired for a particular graphic or words.

#### KMoffett

##### Well-Known Member
With 5x7 high alpha-numeric characters, it looks like you would need the same control program that would be used for a scrolling message display.

Another one: YouTube - Awesome Water Fountain in Japan

Ken

#### lilimike

##### Member
I am thinking using miniature valves connected to hoses would be rather complicated and costly. I would design this as a container at the top with one valve supplying water to maintain water level and then designing small metal plates moved by miniature solenoids, the metal plates sandwiched between 2 rubber frames full of holes, the plates would open and close the holes.

Mike

#### 4pyros

##### Well-Known Member
OK this is cool but looks rather expensive! Look at AQUASCRIPT. The resolution depends on the number of valves by how fast thay are. many fast valves will be costly. Andy

#### 3v0

##### Coop Build Coordinator
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I am thinking using miniature valves connected to hoses would be rather complicated and costly. I would design this as a container at the top with one valve supplying water to maintain water level and then designing small metal plates moved by miniature solenoids, the metal plates sandwiched between 2 rubber frames full of holes, the plates would open and close the holes.

Mike
I would make a bar with always open holes. Then use solenoids to divert the water as required to make the pattern. Water pressures will be constant and there is no danger of hammering. No seals to go bad.

#### lilimike

##### Member
Am I wrong to think there should be no pressure or very little pressure going through this system other than gravity?
Since the water patterns are based on gravity pulling the water towards the ground, I am thinking adding pressure would distort the patterns.

Mike

#### 4pyros

##### Well-Known Member
Mike; You may need some pressure to increase the response time of the valves. The hole key to this working is how fast you can switch the valves on and off. Trying to get one drop consistently out of a valve is hard. Repeating it at the rate the drop falls is even harder. Andy

#### 3v0

##### Coop Build Coordinator
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Unless you are using water at its terminal velocity gravity is going to cause the pattern to expand along the X axis as it falls.

It takes significant time to accelerate water from 0 to a working velocity if all you have is gravity.

With valves you need enough pressure to propel the water at a reasonable speed. No idea what that is.

The beauty of diverting streams of water is that the water velocity remains constant. It is not effected by how may solenoids are active or how long any one is active.

#### 4pyros

##### Well-Known Member
It is not effected by how may solenoids are active or how long any one is active.
It may be if the flow and pressures are not enough. The system would have to mantain a pressure even with all valves open. Andy

#### 3v0

##### Coop Build Coordinator
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It may be if the flow and pressures are not enough. The system would have to mantain a pressure even with all valves open. Andy
What valves ?

3v0 said:
I would make a bar with always open holes. Then use solenoids to divert the water as required to make the pattern. Water pressures will be constant and there is no danger of hammering. No seals to go bad.
The holes/jets are always open. Once the water is airborn the unwanted streams are defelected into a collection system and not seen by views.

#### 4pyros

##### Well-Known Member
Sorry 3v0; The examples I saw had the water normally off. With the water on all the time it would be like a negative image. How would you divert water fast enough to get good resolution? Andy

#### 3v0

##### Coop Build Coordinator
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To get a positive image one would invert the inputs to the solenoid drivers.

The speeds are not that great. I expect a solenoid with some a lever/diverter that extends into the water stream to turn it. Maybe a half tube shape to reduce spray. You could produce the same effect by attaching the solenoids to flexible tubes that move a bit to either let the exiting water fall to the display or into the diverted path.

I do not have this "all worked out". But it sounds fun. ETO member alwindawee and I talked about a similar project in the past. If anyone is willing to fund the project....I would be glad to give it a try.

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