Introduction: 3D Printed Modular LED Wall
This is how to very easy make a LED wall using 3D printed modules, 12 mm WS2812 led lights and 38mm ping-pong balls.
However, making the mechanical construction was very complicated. Instead I designed a 3D modular system. Each module is 30x30 cm and consists of 8x8 LED. Walls and joints were also designed.
The led lights and the ping pong balls are available at Aliexpress:
Step 1: Decide Size
Select how big wall you want to build. In this tutorial I will make a 2x3 module wall, measuring 90x60cm
Step 2: 3D Print Modules
The STL files are available for download. I used a regular CR10s 3D printer modified with a magnetic Steel PEI build surface. The with of the module is 296mm so there is a little margin to the 300mm steel plate surface. Careful positioning of the build surface is important. Slicing was made in Cura, and regular low-cost PLA was used
· Layer Hight 0.28
· Infill 20%
· Supports are not needed
· Print temperature 215, Bed temperature 50
· Each modules took almost 24 hours to print
Step 3: 3D Print Joints
Each side are joined by 4 joints - Calculate the number of joints and 3D print them. For 3x2 modules 28 joints are needed
Step 4: 3D Print Corners and Sides
Corners and side walls are needed to be printed. The corners will require support during printing. The corners shall be printed standing up, the sides can be printed laying down
Step 5: Assembly
Assemble the modules by using the joints. Quite a lot of force is needed to insert the joints, so a hammer was used. Assemble the side walls and corners in the same manner. Hot glue and tape can be used to make the assembly stronger. Use a sanding pads on the front of the wall to make the glue for the ping-pong balls to stick better. Clean with alcohol.
Insert the Led Light, start in the upper left corner (viewed from the front of the wall) and connect all the ground and 5V wires together (red and white wires below). Connect them to 5V power. Connect an Arduino, I used a Wemos Mini ESP8266. Upload the scetches. So far I have only usesed Ardafruit neopixel strandtest and Ardafruit NeoMatrix MatrixGFXDemo – just update the code with the size of your wall and the right pin to the ESP.
Step 6: Ping-Pong Balls
Make holes in the ping-pong balls using a soldering iron. Ensure good ventilation.
Glue the ping-pong balls to the wall using hot glue. The diameter of the ping pong ball is slightly bigger than the available space. This was to be able to fit 8x8 led lights in 296x296mm – a little deformation of the balls might be needed. I assembled them raw by raw, but it might be easier to assembly every second first – like a chess board first attached all black and thereafter all white. The balls are fragile so handle the wall with care.
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