HowTo: Build an Air-Powered Star Trek Sliding Door

Build an Air-Powered Star Trek Sliding Door

Live in the future (à la Star Trek, circa 1966) with uiproductions' pneumatic air-powered sliding door:

"I always wanted a piece of Star Trek and the Disney Monorail in my house, and one thing they have in common is that they both have automatic sliding doors. It would be the perfect, most geek-ified entryway for my bedroom.

To be acceptable as a permanent renovation to our house, I knew the door had to have a normal appearance, as well as be practical and maintenance free. To reduce the number of moving parts (and maybe for a little coolness factor) I decided to make the door air-powered. The air would be supplied by a small compressor and storage tank located in the attic. In order to open and close from the inside and out, the door needed a little bit of brainpower. I decided to use a small PIC microcontroller, my platform of choice still to this day. Arduino didn't exist back then."

Click through for full instructions.

You Will Need:

  • Craftsman 1 Gallon Air Compressor / Tank
  • 32" wide, solid wood door from Home Depot (to be cut in half)
  • Pocket Door Track from McMaster.com
  • Two 16" stroke, 3/4" bore pneumatic pistons from McMaster.com
  • A 5-way, 12V solenoid-operated valve from McMaster.com
  • Various pneumatic hose, fittings, a regulator, push-on hose connectors, two valves for air supply and purge

1 Comment

I want one! Although it seems rather loud, and the air compressor prolly isn't too quiet either.

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