Introduction: DIY Mini Planetarium

Ask anyone! I love lights! I love space! Why not put them together?

I decided to take some cheap materials and build a mini planetarium.

Materials needed:

  • Some sort of material to build it with - I used black foam core board but version 1 was made of cardboard.
  • 6-12 LED lights
  • Wires (one short wire (4") for every LED lead)
  • Hot glue
  • Solder
  • Tape (electrical tape is best for wires but I didn't have any at my house so I used masking tape)
  • More tape (if you use electrical tape for the wires, I would suggest using another type of tape to assemble it)
  • A battery cradle that holds 3 volts of batteries or a barrel plug power jack (I used the power jack and a 3 volt adapter)

Tools needed:

  • Hot glue gun
  • Soldering iron
  • Wire strippers
  • Scissors/knife
  • Laser Cutter (if you have access, scissors or a knife will work)
  • Thumb tack

Step 1: Cut Out the Pieces

You will need 12 regular pentagons. 6 will have constellations on them.

I used a laser because I had access to it and it speeds up the process.

If you do not have access to a laser, use your scissors or a knife to cut them out.

Use a thumb tack to poke out the constellations.

Step 2: Tape the Pieces Together

After the pieces are all cut out, you will want to tape them into the dodecahedron shape that we want to have in the end.

I used thin masking tape along the edges of the inside, but hot glue works too, just remember, more light will escape hot glue.

Keep the 6 with constellations on the top and the bottom one stays off for now.

Step 3: Add Stands for the LED Lights

These were simple cardboard cutouts that I made from scrap cardboard.

They are 1x2" and glued standing to the bottom piece with one 1" side down.

The edge needs to face the corner and then you will be able to glue the LED(s) to it.

Step 4: Cut a Hole for Wires

I forgot all about this when I originally made it so I cut it with scissors later.

You just need a small hole in one of the bottom pentagons. This is for the wires to stick out off.

The tape around it is optional. I just added it because the cut looked bad.

Step 5: Solder the LED Lights

You will need to decide how many LEDs you want. There are 6 sides that need light and just a couple are not going to do. I used super bright large bulb LEDs. I suggest at least 6 LEDs but I doubled it and it works great!

These will be wired in parallel so you only need a 3 volt adapter (provided that you used 3 volt LEDs like me).

You will need wires on all the leads then solder positives to each other and same with negatives then solder on the battery cradle or the power jack. The wires leading up to the cradle or jack will poke out through the hole with whichever you choose.

Step 6: Glue the LED Lights to the Bottom

Take out the bottom piece you glued rectangles to earlier and glue the LEDs to the rectangles. Be sure to point them in the direction of the side they will be lighting.

After that, you will need to tape the wires so it's not a big mess.

Test it out!

Step 7: Glue in the Bottom

Line up the wires with the hole and add some glue. Let it dry and try it out!

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Homemade Gifts Contest 2015

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