Introduction: Flashing Led 3D Printed Xmas Tree

I recently purchased an Anet A8 3D printer.

This comes in kit form so I spent a fun couple of days building and trouble-shooting it. One of the advantages of building it yourself is that you have a far better idea of how it works so can fix things better than if it came pre-made.

If you are like me and enjoy making things (why else would you be on Instructables?) then I highly recommend this for a hobby 3D printer. It is also extremely cheap (around 150 USD or less on some sites) compared with other hobby printers,

After I printed a few mods for the printer I was feeling unusually seasonal so decided to make a Xmas decoration.

Step 1: 3D Print the Tree Model

I used green TPU filament which is flexible, translucent and created a nice tree-ish texture when printed (also it was the only filament I had until my PLA arrives next week...).

I had a few problems printing with this filament on my Anet A8 as it kept spooling up in my extruder. After a lot of searching and trial and error I adjusted my printing speed to 25 mm/s and upped my nozzle temp to 210 degrees. Everything seemed to run perfectly after this.

I found the model here:

But I printed it a lot smaller, just over 9cm in height.

Took about 2 hrs.

Step 2: Add Some Leds

I was planning on programming my Arduino to make a nice flashing light effect but when I was digging in my boxes to find some leds, what I thought was a white led turned out to be a flashing RGB one!

Not only does this save a lot of time, it also meant that the tree could be stand-alone.

I soldered 3 together in a triangle pattern, being careful to ensure that all the anodes were soldered together and all the cathodes were soldered together separately. Apologies for the sloppy soldering...

Step 3: Power Supply

For the power supply I used a 3V button cell in a holder that has an LDR on the underside.

No need for the LDR but it means that my tree only lights up when it is dark.

Step 4: Done

My flashing led Christmas light!