Introduction: Crystal Ball Project Overview

This instructable was created in fulfillment of the project requirement of the Makecourse at the University of South Florida (

My Crystal ball project is a combination of the 1950's Mattel toy the Magic Eight-ball and a fortune teller's crystal ball. It's for fun. Not intended for legal counsel.

How can you get one? You can build one of your own silly. This is how...

Step 1: Gather the Electronics Stuff

1. Arduino Uno x1

2. Servo motor x1

3. LCD screen w/ I2C Bus x1

4. IR receiver x1

5. IR remote w/ battery x1

6. 9v Battery x1

7. 9v Battery adaptor for Arduino x1

8. Breadboard x1

9. female-male wires x7

10. male-male wires x15

Step 2: Go Get the Tools, Consumables, and Artsy Fartsy Stuff

1. Hot glue gun w/ glue

2. Mod Podge

3. Cool Spray paints

4. Little nails

5. Paint brush

5. Access to 3D printer

6. 6" diameter styrofoam ball

7. Sand paper, I used 220 & 400 grit

Step 3: 3D Print the Stand

If you've reached this point, you must be pretty serious about doing this project or grading it.

This step is very important. The parts need a good foundation or the project will look like a bunch of wires and crap. Then, your neighbors will call the FBI because they think your a bomb maker and the feds will come to your house and steal your Project. Stranger things have happened. GO PRINT THIS NOW!

p.s. I've attached the files

Step 4: Lets Paint!

First -- we sand. Grab some of that sand paper and smooth out the imperfections on the styrofoam ball and the 3D printed parts.

Second -- Use the paint brush to cover the styrofoam ball with mod podge. CRUCIAL!!! Needed to protect styrofoam from direct contact with spray paint solvents that will eat it away.

Third -- Let the glue dry.

Finally -- Paint your parts what ever color you want and of course, allow to dry.

Step 5: Put the Code in It

1. Plug the Arduino into your computer. Its party time.

2. The sketch you need is The_Crystal_Ball.ino and it is accompanied by the class Fortune1.ino

2.1 These files go together in a folder together inside of the arduino folder

3. Thats not all, you need the following libraries as well

a. Wire.h --> find in Arduino software --> sketch --> include library

b. LiquidCrystal_I2C.h --> find in week 7 segment 2,

c. Servo.h -- find in Arduino software --> sketch --> include library

d. IRremote.h --> find in week 9 segment 1,

NOTE! The .h files need to go in the libraries folder inside of the Arduino folder

4. Open The_Crystal_Ball.ino and upload onto Arduino

Step 6: Look at the Sketch, Understand the Sketch, Make the Sketch Great Again

By this time you should have opened the sketch. You'll notice that each major line is commented on to explain its significance. It's so easy! You can improve the power scheme if you want, or your battery will drain quickly. Cheers!

Step 7: Make the Crystal Ball Ready to Dance

Look up at the photo kid. See what I did there? I scraped out some of the styrofoam. Enough to conceal the servo fitting. I pushed the little nails into it to secure it. Don't have little nails. No Biggie. Hot glue it my dude.

Step 8: Wire It All Up

Whip them parts together. Used the diagram as a reference.


The IR receiver attaches to Arduino Digital Pin 5

The Servo attaches to Arduino Digital Pin 8

The LCD attaches to SDA and SCL Pins

Oops! Connect the analog 5v and ground from the Arduino to the breadboard silly.

Step 9: HOT GLUE!

Put the components in the 3D printed top part and hot glue the hell outta it.

Step 10: Thats It. Congrats My Dude!

Way to go! Have fun!

Press button "1" on the IR remote to turn it on.

Press button "2" to turn it off.

Press button "3" to get a fortune.