Introduction: 3D Printed Rocket Night Light

Picture of 3D Printed Rocket Night Light

This project is an introduction to 3D printing and using LEDs, resulting in a fun-looking night light that you can dim and switch on and off.

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This Instructable was made as part of the CS graduate course "Tangible Interactive Computing" at the University of Maryland, College Park, taught by Professor Jon Froehlich. Please see http://cmsc838f-s15.wikispaces.com/ for more details.

Step 1: Materials

  • 3D printer access (approximately 163g filament used)
  • 6 x 5mm LEDs
  • 330 ohm resistor
  • Toggle switch
  • Potentiometer
  • 9V snap connector
  • 9V battery
  • Glue

Step 2: 3D Printing

Picture of 3D Printing

First, you will need to 3D print your rocket! The files can be downloaded from Thingiverse here. The body and wings are printed separately, so you can choose different color filaments for these parts. I recommend holding off on assembling the rocket until you have mounted the inner circuitry.

Step 3: Make the Circuit

Picture of Make the Circuit

The circuit itself is relatively simple, but with six LEDs there are a lot of wires to solder. Make sure to use long enough wires between the components to reach the ports on the rocket! The 330 ohm resistor is used to make sure that the LEDs do not burn out when the potentiometer is set to 0, so you could change this value depending on your LED specs and the desired maximum brightness. You could also forgo the potentiometer entirely if you don't want the dimming feature.

Step 4: Place the Circuit

Picture of Place the Circuit

This step will require some patience, since it may be tricky to get the LEDs to stick in the ports properly. If you have trouble, try using a pencil or similar long object to guide them in place. As seen in the picture, I used tape to hold them in place during the process. Once you're satisfied with the placement, glue the switch and potentiometer in place.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

Picture of Finishing Touches

Glue the wings on to the rocket body, plug in a 9V battery, and enjoy your new rocket night light!

Comments

seamster (author)2015-05-22

Very cool! My little kids would love this. Thank you!

emcnany (author)seamster2015-05-25

Thanks!! One suggestion if you're making it for small kids, you might want to file down (or just alter the model) the nose and wing tips slightly, since they can be kind of sharp printed out. Glad you liked it!

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