A 3D Printed Animated Angel Christmas Tree Topper.

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Introduction: A 3D Printed Animated Angel Christmas Tree Topper.

About: Our grandkids keep me busy!

I designed "A 3D Printed Animated Angel Christmas Tree Topper." for our 2020 Christmas Tree.

The model may be assembled without motorization for a static tree topper or centerpiece, and may also be illuminated using an LED from a 3VDC "flickering tea lamp".

As usual I probably forgot a file or two or who knows what else, so if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to comment as I do make plenty of mistakes.

Designed using Autodesk Fusion 360, sliced using Ultimaker Cura 4.7.0, and 3D printed in PLA on Ultimaker S5s.

Supplies

  • 28AWG Stranded Wire.
  • Soldering iron.
  • Solder.
  • Heat shrink tubing.
  • Thick cyanoacrylate glue.

Step 1: Parts.

I acquired the following parts:

  • One N20 6VDC 50RPM gear motor.
  • One 3VDC power supply.
  • One 3VDC flickering tea lamp LED and diffuser.

I 3D printed the following parts:

  • One "Arm, Left.stl", .1mm layer height, 20% infill.
  • One "Arm, Right.stl", .1mm layer height, 20% infill.
  • Two "Axle, Arm.stl", .15mm layer height, 20% infill.
  • One "Base.stl", .15mm layer height, 20% infill.
  • One "Body.stl", .15mm layer height, 20% infill.
  • Two "Bolt, Mount, Motor.stl", .15mm layer height, 20% infill.
  • One "Cam.stl", .1mm layer height, 20% infill.
  • One "Guide, Yoke.stl", .15mm layer height, 20% infill.
  • One "Mount, Tree.stl", .15mm layer height, 20% infill.
  • One "Mount, WIng, Left.stl", .1mm layer height, 20% infill.
  • One "Mount, WIng, Right.stl", .1mm layer height, 20% infill.
  • One "Retainer, Mount, Wing, Left.stl", .1mm layer height, 20% infill.
  • One "Retainer, Mount, Wing, Right.stl", .1mm layer height, 20% infill.
  • One "Wing, Left.stl", .15mm layer height, 20% infill.
  • One "Wing, Right.stl", .15mm layer height, 20% infill.
  • One "Yoke.stl", .1mm layer height, 20% infill.

This mechanism is a high precision print and assembly using at times very small precision 3D printed parts in confined spaces with highly precise alignment. I printed parts using the Ultimaker Cura 4.7.0 "Engineering Profile" on my Ultimaker S5s, which provides a highly accurate tolerance requiring minimal if any trimming, filing, drilling or sanding. However, prior to assembly, I still test fitted and trimmed, filed, drilled, sanded, etc. all parts as necessary for smooth movement of moving surfaces, and tight fit for non moving surfaces. Depending on your slicer, printer, printer settings and the colors you chose, more or less trimming, filing, drilling and/or sanding may be required to successfully recreate this model. I carefully filed all edges that contacted the build plate to make absolutely certain that all build plate "ooze" is removed and that all edges are smooth using small jewelers files and plenty of patience to perform this step.

This mechanism also uses threaded assembly, so I used a tap and die set (6mm by 1) if required for thread cleaning.

Step 2: Base Assembly.

To assemble the base, I performed the following steps:

  • Soldered 60mm lengths of red and black wire to the motor.
  • Pressed the motor into the motor mount on "Base.stl".
  • Pressed "Cam.stl" onto the motor shaft.
  • Placed "Guide, Yoke.stl" onto the base assembly, then secured in place with two "Bolt, Mount, Motor.stl".
  • Positioned "Yoke.stl" into the base assembly.
  • Secured "Arm, Right.stl" onto the base assembly using one "Axle, Arm.stl".
  • Secured "Arm, Left.stl" onto the base assembly using the remaining "Axle, Arm.stl".

Step 3: Angel Assembly.

To assemble the angel, I performed the following steps:

  • Positioned "Retainer, Mount, Wing, Right.stl" in right slot on the back of "Body.stl", then slid it fully upwards.
  • Positioned "Retainer, Mount, Wing, Left.stl" in left slot on the back of the body assembly, then slid it fully upwards.
  • Positioned the base assembly near the bottom of body assembly, inserted the motor wires out the hole in the rear of the body assembly, then pressed the base assembly into the body assembly and secured in place with small dots of cyanoacrylate glue.
  • Pressed "Mount, Wing, Right.stl" into the slot in "Wing, Right.stl".
  • Pressed "Mount, Wing, Left.stl" into the slot in "Wing, Left.stl".
  • Positioned the right wing assembly in the right wing slot making sure the pin on the wing mount slid into the slot in the right arm, slid the wing assembly down onto the right pin on the body assembly, then slid the right wing retainer down over the pin on the right wing mount.
  • Positioned the left wing assembly in the left wing slot making sure the pin on the wing mount slid into the slot in the left arm, slid the wing assembly down onto the left pin on the body assembly, then slid the left wing retainer down over the pin on the left wing mount.
  • Applied power to the mechanism and performed final adjustments to the retainers. Once I was satisfied with the wing operation, I secured the retainers in position using small dots of cyanoacrylate glue.
  • Soldered the power supply wires to the motor wires and insulated with heat shrink tubing.
  • Glued "Mount, Tree.stl" to the bottom of the assembly.

And that is how I 3D printed and assembled "A 3D Printed Animated Angel Christmas Tree Topper".

I hope you enjoyed it!

Step 4: Angel Illumination.

To illuminate the angel, I removed the LED and diffuser from tea lamp as followed:

  • Removed the battery cover and battery from the tea lamp.
  • Used a small screwdriver to remove the cover from tea lamp.
  • Used a small screwdriver to remove the lens from the tea lamp cover.
  • Removed the LED and switch from the tea lamp base.
  • Removed the switch from the LED.

With the LED removed, I performed the following steps:

  • Glued the LED to the base using a small dot of cyanoacrylate glue, with the cathode lead (the longer lead) on the same side as the motor "-" terminal.
  • Soldered a black wire from the LED cathode lead to the motor "-" terminal.
  • Soldered a red wire from the LED anode lead to the motor "+" terminal.
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    5 Comments

    0
    Easy Paper Hacks
    Easy Paper Hacks

    Tip 11 months ago

    I tried making this for christmas since i dont have a tree toper, and it was pretty complex. i'm still voting this because i needed the tree topper, but it was alot of work so maybey try making it a bit easyer?? I showed my brother this. he's an engineer and he LOVED it!!

    0
    gzumwalt
    gzumwalt

    Reply 10 months ago

    Hi Easy Paper Hacks,

    This model is somewhat complicated because of the drive system. Im am truly sorry for the difficulties you experienced with it.

    Greg

    0
    Easy Paper Hacks
    Easy Paper Hacks

    Reply 10 months ago

    its nott your fault, im just not good at building u shud see my lego stuff xD (Maddie)

    0
    nic.bryan.73
    nic.bryan.73

    10 months ago

    Could you replace the tea-candle light with an LED tree light string, in order to connect it to the power for the rest of the tree lights, to switch it on and off with the tree? Or is that too much wire volume to fit inside?

    0
    gzumwalt
    gzumwalt

    Reply 10 months ago

    Hi nic.bryan.73,

    Yes, an LED tree light from the string would easily fit inside.

    Greg