In a class of its own in desktop fidgets.
Inspired by the neon signage of roadside diners and the Neopixel Running Water Faucet Lamp.
Make one. At least get a fresh bottle of 100% Canadian syrup before NAFTA is renegotiated.
Step 1: Scrapple From the Big Apple...
A simple art project using an empty Maple Syrup bottle, it can be any kind of product, bottle or jar.
Clean and dry the container. Keep the original label or make one of your own.
You can use any material to make your base. The larger or heavier it is, the more stable it will be. Mine is just a cut piece of 1x4 wood.
I had a strip of 3/4 inch square stock to make the upright frame to fit the nameplate.
A piece of stiff wire forms the internal support of the bottle in the air.
For the lights I grabbed the Arduino UNO that was laying around and cut two pieces from a Neopixel strip to size.
The miniature sign or nameplate was 3D printed.
If you want to create your own custom signage, start with your vector artwork in Inkscape. Save it as a .SVG file.
Import that into TinkerCAD to create a 3D model. It makes it easy to take line art/text and extrude it. Export the model out as a .STL file.
Import the .STL file into the slicer software of your 3D printer to generate the gcode to run on the 3D printer.
I used a magic marker to paint in the dark lines since it was formed from a single solid color filament.
Step 2: I'm a Lumberjack...
wait, no chainsawing here but that's okay.
Glue the small parts for a frame for your nameplate. I used some popsicle sticks as filler for the bottom part of the frame.
Glue that to the main board.
When the glue has dried, you can figure out how to make the wire support for the bottle to hold it up in the air.
Shape the wire so the bottle stays in place.
I needed to double up the wire to support the heavy glass bottle.
I drilled two holes to pass the wire through the base.
On the bottom, I routed out/drilled some space to bend the ends of the wires and fix them in place with screws during the final assembly.
I rounded all the edges with my quickplane and sanded everything smooth.
I gave it a few coats of poly/stain, sanding between coats to get rid of raised grain.
When fully dried, I attached the nameplate with some E6000 adhesive.
Step 3: Blinkenlights...
I just used the example code from Adafruit’s tutorial on multi-tasking the Arduino. Depending on if the switch is pressed, it will change the animation of the lights.
You can adjust the RGB values to match your preference for the grade of maple syrup you have from dark amber to light.
A microswitch was wired up to ground and a data pin on the Arduino. The internal pullup was called so no need for a resistor.
To help diffuse the light from the Neopixels, you can layer on some fiberfill batting.
The small Neopixel strip was placed behind the nameplate and taped in position.
Tape the long Neopixel strip along the wire support. Gently coax all of that in to the bottle. You can then stuff with fiberfill batting to diffuse the light. I wrapped the "pouring" part with some clear packing tape.
Mount the Arduino with tape and position the switch.
Step 4: You Can Have Your Hotcakes and Eat Them Too...
Hmmm, I should have used maple wood to make this but all I had were some pine lumber scraps.
And the poly/stain I used was “cherry” and not maple. Oh wells.
Just belieb and make one. Enjoy!