Introduction: Abduction of a Cow

Hi guys, the instructable that you are about to read is for beginners. I made this instructable for a school project. The teacher demanded three things that are necessary to put in your instructable for a good grade. We needed to put a LED, hinge and we must at least use a 3D-printer and a laser cutter.

Now back to my idea!

Did you ever saw a old school movie with your parents when you were young? Yeah?! So did I!

Have you ever seen a UFO that abducted a cow or some other animal. This is where my idea comes from. I know its not that creative but i couldn't think of any better in the short time that I had. Its very simple. You 3D-print a UFO and laser cut the ground where it is ''hovering''. Then you put a transparant vase between the ground and UFO. In the vase you put a 3D-printed cow with a rope attached to the UFO. In the UFO is a green LED placed, this green LED gives the effect that you see in the movies.

Step 1: Stuff You Need for This Instructable


  • Plywood 6 mm
  • Hinge
  • Nails
  • Wood glue
  • Drill


  • Plywood 3 mm
  • Nails
  • Iron wire
  • Wood glue
  • Hamer


  • Arduino
  • Wires
  • 9V battery
  • Board
  • LED
  • USB (for the code)
  • Cable for arduino to battery
  • 220 ohm resistant

Step 2: Design

When I got started I first sketched some UFO's. Then I started to outline the whole idea. But when I was designing I saw some problems.

  1. The vase between the ground en UFO needs to be transparant or open. To see the "cow abduction effect".
  2. The bigger the UFO the better, but in order to print a larger UFO it takes a lot of time.

Solving those problems were simple.

  1. The 3D-print material needs to be white in order to see the light and cow properly. Or in the structure of the vase are some holes in order to see the light.
  2. I scaled the UFO at max with the program CURA(the program where you can put your stl. file and print your object). The time that the 3D-printer takes to make the UFO lasted two hours and seven minutes.(it was not so bad).

The UFO design was complete. The next thing that I designed was the vase. I had two options to make the vase. But then I again started to get some problems with the second design. The problem was to put some holes in the vase in order to see the light and cow, but that makes the vase fragile. The risk was too high to do the second design so I focused on the first design.

The UFO and vase design was complete. The last thing that needed to be designed, was the ground where the vase stands. The design needed to have some important things in order to get the LED working.

  1. First there must be a hinge(the demand from this project).
  2. Then I started to think how can I put a hinge into this design?
  3. There must also be a hole in the ground to get the wires to the bottom of the UFO.

I fixed those problems in the photos above the steps(see first photo).

Take a close look!

Step 3: Execution of the UFO

I planned to design a UFO with the web-based 3D modeling program "tinkercad". After I tried so many times to make the perfect UFO for my idea, I gave up :(. I searched on sites like "thingiverse" for a ready made design. But if you have the time to make a better UFO you probably should try it, the program is not so hard to master.

In this instructable I used a ready made design from the site "thingiverse". You can download the stl file here.

I downloaded the file and opened the stl file in the program "cura". Cura is a program where you can open a stl file and upload the file to the printer. In cura you can see how long it takes to print your creation.

When I opened the file in cura I scaled the 3D model to "max scale". The time that the 3D-printer needed was 2 hours and 7 minutes.

Step 4: Execution of the Cow

What is the cow abduction effect without the cow? Useless.

I searched on thingiverse for a ready made cow. After a while I found the cow.
Here is the link to the file.

The time that was needed to print the cow was 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Step 5: Execution of the Vase

I made the vase in inkscape. I used wood (triplex 6mm). In order to see the cow I made a hole in the middle of the vase. On top of the vase there is a little construction, this construction consists of three parts. Two parts form the letter "L" and one parts supports the letter. This is because the UFO is too heavy.

I placed a nail in the UFO and attached it with an iron wire to the construction.
The circles are glued together with wood glue.

Step 6: Execution of the Box

The box that I designed was very simple. The box consists six parts. The six parts(some are duplicated) are all made from wood (triplex 3mm) and were created in "inkscape". Inkscape is a program where you can create something that the laser cutter can read.

I designed the box so that you can put a hinge to open the box. Why would I put a opening in the box? I did this because the battery is then not visible for the eye. I think if its visible , its ugly for the end presentation.

If you look at the first photo you see the box finished. I used glue to put the box together. I regret that I used glue, it took a lot of time to put it together. If you want to make things easier, design in inkscape a box that you can put together without the use of glue (for instance put square constructions on the edges).

I placed the hinge with a drill and there is a hole in the middle for the LED.

Step 7: Arduino

I used arduino to give the LED a fade on/off.
I had no experience with arduino, but I wanted to learn it.
Unfortunately I had not so much time.

I followed the steps for the fade on the arduino site.
Here is the link.