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Keep the air in your workshop clear with this DIY smart dust collection system

Arduino TeamOctober 19th, 2022

Workshops get dirty and dusty, especially if you do woodworking. Not only is sawdust annoying, it is also bad for your respiratory system. Dust collection is very important, but outfitting a large shop can quickly become complicated. If you have a big workshop and need to improve your dust collection, then Brumberjack_Woodworks has a design and tutorial for a centralized smart dust collection system that you should check out.

This whole system starts with a heavy duty dust collector, which is essentially a huge vacuum cleaner. The exact model isn’t that important, so long as it can handle the workload. Luckily, the key part of this system design is valve-based direction. By only opening the valves you need, you can reduce the necessary capacity of the dust collector. 

Brumberjack_Woodworks created his own 3D-printable ball valves for this system. Each of the ball valves is massive, so they can handle a lot of air flow and dust. They have large 35KG servo motors for actuation. The ball valves simply mount inline with the dust collection tubes running to each machine. By opening and closing the valves, shop workers can control the covered areas. Importantly, the PVC pipes need internal grounding to keep static arcs from igniting sawdust in the air.

An Arduino controls the operation of the servo valve actuators. Power for the servos comes from large external power supplies, as Arduino boards cannot output the necessary current to operate these heavy duty servos. Simple push buttons connected to the board tell it to open the specific valves, so a button can be mounted next to each tool for easy access.