Tetris Parrot


Posted in Technology3D-Printing

Introduction: Tetris Parrot

Describe the topic to which your project is related.

Since we decided to create a parrot that sings, we could say that our project is related to electronics (Arduino -servo), 3D printing (head, box) and sound. To begin with, electronics is a very diverse and complexe topic. Even thought it is complicated to get used to, it can be very useful to know about it in everyday situations (televisions, cellphones, etc). To allow our parrot to move and sing, we used Arduino. It is basically an open-source prototyping platform to simplify the used of hardware and software. Arduino boards are able to activate a motor, read inputs, switch on a light, etc. Also, 3D printing was very important for the process of creation of our parrot. The 3D printer is very simple. A 3D printer is like a paper printer but it can print in 3 dimensions. Devices like this are fairly new to our society. 3D printing is very game changing, since you can design and print your own designed pieces, but we feel like the technology is still new, therefore, printers are not so reliable (they break often).

Describe your project.

Now lets talk about our project. Our project could be best described as a "Tetris parrot". There is 3D printed parrot head, a styrofoam body, a mini servo (Arduino) and a Piezo Elements (small "speaker"). First of all, the main part is the 3D printed parrot head. The parrot head has a tetris block in his mouth and is connected to the mini servo. The servo actually acts as a neck, since it holds the head of the parrot and moves from left to right. The servo has been placed in a styrofoam body (so it doesn't move) but it was supposed to be placed in a 3D printed box. We had to use the styrofoam since printing the box took around 25 hours and the printer failed too many times. Many 2D printed tetris blocks have been placed on the styrofoam. Now the 2 Arduinos (for the servo and the Piezo Elements) are hidden in the body. This is where the sound comes from.

Describe how to use the result of your original project.

Using our project is really simple. First of all, we need to make sure that the codes for the Arduino are all in the devices themselves (we transfer them using a wire that connects the device to the computer). Once the codes are in the devices, all we have to do is to put the parrot head on the servo and to connect the system with a battery and the Piezo Elements and servo will automatically start to work properly. At this point, the head of the parrot should move and "sing". The parrot works on its own once activated. The tetris song will end on its own.

Explain the purpose of your new project and give applications for this new

Our project really doesn't have any other purpose than to have fun. We created the parrot because it is something that our little brothers and sisters can play with. We knew it would be fun to create and to play with once it would be done. The applications are also pretty straight forward. We put the parrot head on and plug the batteries when we want to use it.

Step 1: Tools, Material and Files

Tools needed:


-3D printer

-Hot glue gun

-Arduino software

-3D modelling software (123D Design and Sculptris)


-2D printer


-glue stick

Materials needed:

-Mini servo

-Piezo Elements (small "speaker")

-Hot glue



-The 2 Arduinos themselves

-3D printed parrot head

-4 small wooden blocks


-2D printed Tetris blocs

-3D printed box (supposed to be used)

-3D printed Tetris cracker (supposed to be used)


List of software (and where it can be downloaded):

1) Arduino - https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Software

2) 123 Design - http://www.123dapp.com/design

3) Sculptris - https://pixologic.com/sculptris/emails/operating-s...


1) Tetris blocks image - http://blog.ocad.ca/wordpress/gdes3b78-fw2011-01/...

Files needed:

Step 2: Electronics

1) Installation of the servo Arduino circuit - The first of all things to do is actually to take care of all the electronics. Now in order to make the head of the parrot move, an Arduino circuit needs to be set-up for the servo. To do so, we need to plug every wires to their respective place on the breadboard. You can refer yourself to the image above or read the instruction manuel of the servo Arduino circuit for further information.

2) Coding of the Arduino (servo) - When the circuit is complete for the servo, a code needs to be entered in the Arduino (look bellow for the code). To do so, the code first needs to be copied in the Arduino software. After, we need to upload it on the Arduino itself using a wire (connecting the computer and the Arduino). We can then test it. It's supposed to go from right to left.

3) Installation of the Piezo Elements Arduino circuit - In order to make our parrot "sing" the tetris song, an Arduino circuit needs to be set-up for the piezo elements. This will act as a "speaker". To do so, plug every wires to their respective place on the breadboard. You can refer yourself to the image above or read the instruction manuel of the piezo elements Arduino circuit for further information.

4) Coding of the Piezo Arduino (Piezo Elements) - When the circuit is complete for the piezo elements, a code needs to be entered in the Arduino (look bellow for the code). To do so, just like for the servo, the code first needs to be copied in the Arduino software. After, we need to upload it on the Arduino itself using a wire (connecting the computer and the Arduino). We can then test it. The piezo elements should play a simple melody.

5) Coding the tetris song into the Piezo Elements - When the piezo elements can play the default melody, we can replace this melody with the tetris song. We simply need to modify the code. To do so, just copy the code for the tetris song and replace a certain part of the old code with the new one (look bellow for the tetris code)

Code for the servo: https://www.arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/Sweep?action=so...

Code for the speaker: https://www.arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/PlayMelody?acti...

Tetris code: https://github.com/electricmango/Arduino-Music-Pro...

Step 3: 3D Modelling and Printing

6) Modelling of the parrot head - Now that we are done with all the electronics, we need to take care of the 3D modelling. The first thing to do is to create the head of the parrot. This should be done using the software "Sculptris" (link in the materials and tools section). This software is really useful since it lets you sculpt in a sphere. It takes time to get used to but it's the best software for this part of the 3D modelling.

7) Modelling of the box (body) - Even thought we didn't get to use the model we designed, in theory, a box should be designed. To do so, the best software is "123D Design" (link in the materials and tools section). This software is one of the simplest software out there. And since we are only designing a simple box with an open side and a small hole, 123D Design is the best software.

8) Modelling of a tetris block - This block is used as a cracker for the parrot. We put it in his mouth. Even thought we didn't get to use it (since we encountered many problems with the printer), it should be designed with the software 123D Design, once again, since it's a very simple model to design.

9) Extracting and printing the parts - Once every parts is designed, the only thing left is to extract the files from the 2 different softwares to STL and copy these STL files in the 3D printer. We can then print our 3 models.

Step 4: 2D Printing and Assembling

10) Printing the tetris blocks pictures - Now that we have all the electronics and 3D printed pieces ready, there is only one thing left. We need to print some pictures of tetris blocks (use the link in the references in the section tools and materials). 2 copy of the images should be printed.

11) Gluing the end of the servo and the Parrot - Before we assemble everything, the end of the servo needs to be glued with the parrot head. Hot glue should be used and the end of the servo should be glued under the parrot, obviously.

12)Assembling the Arduinos and the box - The 2 Arduinos should be placed in the 3D printed box. In a case like ours, where the printer doesn't work, put the Arduinos in a styrofoam body. For the styrofoam, use scissors to cut the styrofoam. This is useful to create a hole for the servo's wire.

13) Gluing the tetris blocks images to the box - This step is very simple. We only need to cut and glue the tetris blocks everywhere on the box.

14) Taping the blank page to the styrofoam - This step is not really essentiel. A blank page is cut and taped to the styrofoam. This hides all the wires and the Arduinos. *This step is not needed if the 3D printed box was used.

15) Placing the wooden blocks - Now, almost everything is done. We only need to place the wooden blocks under the styrofoam so that the wires are not damaged by touching the ground (this is not needed if the 3D printed box is used).

16) Putting the cracker in the parrot's mouth - Finally, put the cracker in the mouth of the parrot (wether it's the 3D printed block or the 2D printed one)

The only thing left to do is to connect the batteries with the Arduinos (as a source of energy) and install the head of the parrot on the servo. The parrot should start to move his head and sing the tetris song.


Step 5: Conclusion


In the process of building our 3D printed tetris parrot, we faced some problems. One of them was that at the beginning, we were supposed to print a body for our parrot. We then realized that the printer couldn’t print a body wide enough to accommodate two Arduinos. To fix this problem, we decided to design a box where we could enter two Arduinos. But another problem appeared. While printing the box, the printer broke. It was broken for several days, so instead of a 3D printed box we took a styrofoam box to represent the body of our parrot.

Another problem in the making of this project was that it took several tries to print the head of the parrot because the printer was lacking, once again. You can refer yourself to the pictures above to see our different attempts.

The last problem we had was that since the head of the parrot is so heavy, it didn't want to stay on the moving servo without falling. We had to unglue the end of the servo that was connected to the parrot and glue it back, but this time, closer to the center of mass.


To improve this project, we could try to print an actual parrot body (using a bigger 3D printer). This way, the parrot would look way more realistic. Also it would be a good idea to combine the Piezo Elements and the mini servo on one Arduino board so we could maybe reduce the size of the body a little.



    • Woodworking Contest

      Woodworking Contest
    • Casting Contest

      Casting Contest
    • Microcontroller Contest

      Microcontroller Contest

    We have a be nice policy.
    Please be positive and constructive.