In these electronic times, it wouldn’t feel like the holidays without flashing color lights all around: “LEDs, (LEDs)… LEDs, (LEDs)…it’s Christmas time, in the city. See them blink, blink, blinky blink…” (With apologies, Bing Crosby).
But what’s that, you say? Your 3D printed seasonal decor isn’t yet electrified? Rudolph’s nose is the same monochrome PLA as his antlers and tail? Your Chistmas tree doesn’t twinkle enough? Kwanzaa candles don’t flicker? Hanukkah dreidel doesn’t flash? Maybe your Festivus (for the rest of us) pole is unadorned?
And perhaps worst of all, this year’s requisite spaceship ornament doesn’t shoot an actual laser?
Fear not: For behold, the elves here at Functionalize bring you good tidings of great 3D joy, which shall be to all makers: For unto you is posted this day an LED flashing, laser-shooting circuit board and spaceship STL, printable with F-Electric conductive filament.
Most joyously, the elves designed this circuit board for printing on a single head printer. And cleverly, the resistor component is printed in F-Electric, to the exact resistance required for the timer chip.
The spaceship design itself, however, has been a challenge to print without support material, but we know some of you Santa’s helpers will find creative ways to improve on it, inspired by this holiday’s cinematic theme. (Do. Or do not. There is no try.).
In addition to these STL files, here’s what you’ll need to assemble a working circuit board:
- Your normal PLA filament, for circuit board base
- F-Electric PLA filament, for circuit traces and connectors
- One capacitor (from 22 – 56 uF ), which determines laser blink speed (smaller == faster)
- An 8-pin 555 timer chip, like this one
- Laser component
- 2 multicolor LEDs (you can get these slow change or another 5mm fast change)
- Silver conductive pen, to solidly attach LEDs, timer chip, and capacitor (we recommend MG Chemicals 8420 Silver Conductive Pen).
You might also try the Nickel conductive pen, to save some money, but we have not used it ourselves. We’ve included links to Vetco, which should still be able to get you supplies by Christmas, but the same items are available through Amazon or eBay as well.
Unfortunately, we’re not able make this a detailed tutorial post, since we’re deep in some exciting new R&D we’ll be sharing in the New Year. We have included some photos below of our assembly, which should help you. Until then, we hope you’ll find these designs fun to work with. Feel free to copy, print, evolve, and improve on them, and let us know whether you succeed or get stuck – we’d love to hear from you!
If you create a fun ornament design during the season, we’d love you to share it with the community, so we can all add some 3D printed holiday joy to our homes and offices.
Happy Holidays from the team at Functionalize!
P.S. Going to CES 2016 in Las Vegas? Follow Functionalize on Facebook and Twitter for where to come see this F-Electric design and more being printed and demonstrated on the show floor!
Here are the STLs.
This work by Functionalize Inc. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.