Introduction: A Simple Propeller LED

This is a step-by-step instructable for a simple Propeller LED with only 5 major supplies, three of which come from the same kit. This apparatus consists of 10 LED strip rotating at a high frequency. As a result of the lack of resistors used in this project, we do not have a variable voltage system and cannot change the angular velocity, but it is preset to spin at a readable speed.
Using the USB connection to the system, we are easily able to program the desired message onto the propeller, as you will see in the above picture. View all the supplies used below.


  • microcircuit board along with LED strip
  • DC Motor with a USB connection

Step 1: Step 1: Coding the Micro-circuit Board

We used a GitHub library, that previously had the code for a similar propeller LED and connected it to this apparatus using the USB system. Since our building process involved a DC motor with the USB port, we were able to develop code for both the preset angular speed and the LED lighting system.

Step 2: Step 2: Hardware Connections (USB DC Motor & MicroCircuit Board)

Our second step in the prototyping our system was to apply the Neodymium Magnets and the Tape to bring together the DC Motor and the microCircuit board seamlessly to a point where due the to the centripetal acceleration it wouldn't collapse and it would still be able to conduct electricity at an efficient rate; where we could still make use of this.

The way that we did this was by duct-taping the bottom side of the microCircuit board to a magnet and then taping another magnet through the DC motor's revolver and placing the circuit board through the same revolver. Through experimenting with research, we found it best to first apply electrical tape, followed by a layer of Duct Tape around all areas that may need it in order to ensure both stability and usability. When both become connected, there will be a slower angular speed due to the increased rotational inertia with the microcircuit and LED, but we still see legible writing.

Step 3: Step 3: the 3D Component

Using SketchUp, MeshLab, and our trusty 3D Printer we were able to create a 3D case for our Propeller LED. We have a cup case along with a logo side, which we would then hot-glue onto our final cup. This component is our propeller holder and it achieves our main goal of aesthetic design. Using SketchUp you can create your own logo and cup piece, but it is best to stay with the following dimensions.

  • 4.5 * 4.5 cm width (circular)
  • 7.5 cm height

Step 4: Step 4: the .stl File for Our Cup & Further Contact

I have attached a .stl file of our cup for any who wish to obtain the same cup-style. If anyone needs any other help with this, please reach me at