LED Spiders and firefly

Figure 1; Design Process (Created By: Erick Pena, Gardner Nichols, Mathew Tabor)

Figure 1; Design Process (Created By: Erick Pena, Gardner Nichols, Mathew Tabor)

In class two of my teammates and I created an interpretation of the design process as seen in Figure 1.  The process that I followed was very similar to Figure 1 as you can see that the processes is not very linear as some people describe it. The problem was defined in class, we had to recycle and give a new life to remnant material or anything that was obtaining dust. To help me brainstorm ideas I looked around my apartment and found a few electrical components from a few of the classes taken at CU boulder. I then started to do research of what to do, I came across some interesting ideas as seen in Figure 2 and Figure 3.

 

Figure 2; Dragonfly obtain from doing research on google.

Figure 2; Dragonfly obtain from doing research on google.

 

Figure 3; Spider obtain from google research.

Figure 3; Spider obtain from google research.

My initial idea was to create a firefly that would light up with an LED and put it in a habitat. I then started by collecting all the electronic components that I abating from my apartment and I also from the ITLL prototyping room. I found some very interesting shaped LED’s and other electronic components and started creating spiders and my firefly with LED’s as see in the Figure 4.

Figure 4; Spiders and firefly

Figure 4; Spiders and firefly

The hardest part was creating a habitat where I could place this little guys in. I went into the ITLL prototyping room to brainstorm for Ideas and found a rectangular box that was printed in the ITLL small 3D Printers. The Idea came to me I could 3D print the habitat, at least the frame. I started by sketching out and idea of how I wanted everything to look and get put together shown in Figure 5.

Figure 6; Initial Design Idea for placement of spiders and firefly.

Figure 5; Initial Design Idea for placement of spiders and firefly.

The design processes to creating this went from paper to solid works, the final design is seen in figure 6. From experience printing horizontal limbs (Extrusions) in the lulzbot taz 3D printer can be difficult and hard to clean the supports off.

Figure 6; This is a 3D CAD model of how the habitat will look.

Figure 6; This is a 3D CAD model of how the habitat will look.

The tree was then cut in half so that it would take less to clean and also take less time as seen in Figure 7. Another thing to notice is the hole that extends from the bottom of the base to the top of the branch. This is to reduce the amount of visible wiring that will then connect to the firefly.

Figure 7; This is one half of the tree with a section of where one of the wire will be placed.

Figure 7; This is one half of the tree with a section of where one of the wire will be placed.

In cutting the tree in half created another problem how will the two halves of the three stay together? The solution to this question was to create a base that would combine the two parts together as seen in Figure 8. The shaped cut outs are to place the tree base together without shifting in the Y and X direction. The holes are to stop the Z direction, and make the tree stable. On the back is a 9V battery holder and a place to put a button that will turn the LED’s on.

Figure 8; This is the anchor and spine that brings all of the parts together.

Figure 8; This is the anchor and spine that brings all of the parts together.

In Figure 9 is an all-around set of pictures showing the final design and shows how it is all put together. One of the goals is to reduce the amount of visible wire to connect all of the components.

Figure 9; This image shows all of the view Isometric, top, sides and bottom.

Figure 9; This image shows all of the view Isometric, top, sides and bottom.

Building

1st step is was creating the firefly and the spiders with functioning LED’s and a battery that provides enough energy to power 7 LED’s.

2nd step is to create a habitat with manufacturing and assembly intent. Also 3D print parts that will reduce the time and cleanup.

3rd assemble the 3D parts and secure them with screws of your choose of size.

4th with string weave it back and forth between the holes provided in the design

5th set up the placement of each spider and firefly then soldering one component at a time and checking to make sure the LED’s still light up.

6th finally add decorations of your choosing.

Figure 10: Step #1 creating the firefly and the spiders.

Figure 10: Step #1 creating the firefly and the spiders.

Figure 12; Step #2 create a habitat and 3D print parts.

Figure 12; Step #2 create a habitat and 3D print parts.

Figure 13; Step #3 and four assemble the 3D parts and with string weave it back and forth between the holes provided in the design.

Figure 13; Step #3 and four assemble the 3D parts and with string weave it back and forth between the holes provided in the design.

Figure 14; Step #5a set up the placement of each spider and firefly then soldering one component at a time

Figure 14; Step #5a set up the placement of each spider and firefly then soldering one component at a time

Figure 15; step #5b checking to make sure the LED’s still light up.

Figure 15; step #5b checking to make sure the LED’s still light up.

Figure 16; step #6 add decorations of your choosing.

Figure 16; step #6 add decorations of your choosing.

Figure 17; your done

Figure 17; your done

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32 Comments. Leave new

That’s really cool! That’s a lot of 3D printing to do. I love the firefly! That’s an awesome way to blur the line between technology and nature. I’m really impressed with the meticulous work you did. I probably would have gotten frustrated and given up working with so many small objects.

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Christopher Coffman
February 8, 2016 9:03 pm

Awesome use of 3D printing, and really impressive solidworks designs. Impressed by the effort put into this design.

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That’s really well done. I see you were part of our concept map. Glad it didn’t go down like that.

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I really love how this came out, it reminds me of a lego scene, like on the box when you buy it. You know, they always have whatever you buy (say a car) set in an entire city scene that makes the car way cooler than it is sitting on your floor? Well this is like that scene! I love the playfulness of the entire piece, even the bugs are not scary because of their big light up eyes. This developed into so much more than your original project (the bugs alone sitting on the battery), but it turned into a complete project (a bunch of random things so small need something to tie them together, which you nailed!). I also like the gems in the middle, that adds to the lego thing for me; I’m thinking of lego Indiana Jones. I’m also impressed you got the button to work within the 3D printed piece, it looks great!

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I liked that your presentation had a lot of transitions, although at times i thought it could be slightly distracting as well. There are a lot of detail involved in your project, with great colors and a personal style. Do you have any intended use for this project when you’re done?

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Ashley Zimmerer
February 8, 2016 1:29 pm

Interesting sculpture. It reminds me a bit of Playmobil toys. The 3D printed ‘habitat’ was a clever way to hide the wiring a power source.

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David Holliman
February 8, 2016 9:32 am

Very creative use of 3d printed parts and electronics. The aesthetic works together great!

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Brendan Warren
February 7, 2016 11:38 pm

I like how you incorporated hiding the wires into the design process. Really cleans it up. Did you consider using the wires to power the system as the web?

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I love the concept and I think it turned out really well. The combo of recycles materials and custom 3D prints works really well together.

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Shawn Sprinkle
February 6, 2016 6:56 pm

It turned out great dude! When you were first telling me about your project I envisioned just the spiders and fireflies. The tree and web add a really nice touch

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Nicholas Flood
February 6, 2016 3:45 pm

I love the cool use of old electronic components. I wonder if there’s some cool way to use EL wire. Good job!

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Jason Mcgrath
February 5, 2016 8:52 pm

Fun little Halloween decoration. I would have liked to see more upcycling in this project. But as a warm-up project, I’m sure the cad and printing was time well spent.

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Jacob Mccormick
February 5, 2016 1:07 pm

The whole thing looks really good, I’ve liked the LED part of the bugs its a nice touch.

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I love the creatures on their own too, away from the habitat. The tree turned out well, the whole thing looks like troll dolls should live there too.

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This is really unique and looks great! I think adding some additional light (maybe backlight it) could develop a spookier aspect to it.

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This reminds me of a Lego kit, I like that you 3D printed it.

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Interesting project. Good use of 3D printing. The wiring ended up looking good. Maybe have fishing cable for the wiring. It will look more alike the spider web

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I think the habitat turned out great, and the “spiders” look very good as well. I think that in the future, it could be really cool to play up the electronics a bit more in the habitat.

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Anfal Abdulrahman
February 5, 2016 12:52 pm

One of my favorite projects so far, I impressed how much detail you had given the project. The little up-cycled bugs by themselves are very impressive. I only wish if you used a different color for either the base (tree) or bugs because it is kind of hard to see them.

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Really cool project, I like the use of all the electronic pieces. Nice work making a 3D printed component.

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This is sweet! the recycled electronics look great as bugs and your efforts into fabricating everything is very evident. I think it would be really cool to see a whole community/environment build with this aesthetic.

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Samantha Maierhofer
February 5, 2016 12:51 pm

Great reuse of electronic components! They definitely look life like. Also cool design with the 3D printing and good reuse of material from another class. I also really like that the LED bugs light up! It adds a great dynamics component.

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Peter Brunsgaard
February 5, 2016 12:51 pm

It turned out really well. What do you plan on doing with the final product?

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Joseph Yoshimura
February 5, 2016 12:51 pm

Nice use of the 3-d printer! I wouldn’t have thought about using it for this type of project. I also really like how you arranged the insects on the model!

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I didn’t realize you CAD’ed up your whole tree yourself, I thought that was just a grabcad download. Way to go, that’s a lot of work but it came out great. I’m surprised the print came out so well, awesome you stuck with it, the result was worth it.

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Chip Bollendonk
February 5, 2016 12:50 pm

I’m impressed with your SolidWorks design for the tree – looks really whimsical and natural-looking. Very clever to print two halves with internal wire routing.

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Sreyas Krishnan
February 5, 2016 12:50 pm

This would be a really cool halloween decoration. Awesome use of 3D-printing. If you put the instructions and .STL files on thingiverse, I bet it could be popular!

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awesome future toy idea to get kids involved with engineering. I would suggest looking into selling this idea it could be pretty popular kind of like leggos!

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That is terrifying and amazing. I will never look at electronics the same way again. I think coloring everything and how well you color coded everything was amazing. You put in a lot of effort into this project, good job. Your CAD is well done.

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I really dig the recycled electrical components. You should find some 28 pin IC’s to make into centipedes.

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Gardner Nichols
February 5, 2016 12:49 pm

Really nice job with the habitat for the insects! The final design is really clean.

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Rachel Grosskrueger
February 5, 2016 12:49 pm

I love how you created an environment for the led bugs! That was a really cool way to tie them all together into a central theme and design! Very beautiful and amazing design!

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