Introduction: Make Your Own Flashing Lights Freeform Sculpture With a 555 Timer

About: Building cool-looking things

As always, you have 2 options you can either watch the video above or follow this instructable to create your very own flashing lights freeform circuit sculpture.

The 555 timer IC is an 8-pin integrated chip that is used in a variety of timer, delay, pulse generation and oscillator applications. It is known as one of the most popular integrated circuit ever made.

Now this sculpture is a bit of a challenging one, as we will be using a smaller package (SOIC-8) 555 timer. However, the template provided will help you.

It may look a little hard but with some time, patience, and the right tools it is definitely possible.


Now the supplies are very important to ensure that you get the correct results when producing the freeform circuits. The specific supplies used in the projects are provided below, with relevant links:

1206 SMD LEDs:

1206 SMD Resistor Kit:

SMD Capacitor:

555 Timer:

0.8mm Brass Wire:


9V Battery:

9V Battery Connector:

Soldering Iron:

Solder wire:


Wire cutters:



Double-sided Tape:

Paper Template: Provided as an attachment

Remember, you do not need to have the exact supplies as me and can always use similar tools to create the circuits.

Step 1: Circuit Diagram

First with the basics, if you would like to virtually test the circuit and play around with the components. You can follow the link to the Tinkercad Circuit here:

The design is based on a schematic from here:

If you want to adjust the speed of the flashing lights you will need to change the value of the capacitor.

Step 2: Using the Template

There are multiple copies of the circuit on the same page, I prefer this as it allows you to use 1 template to measure the brass wires and the other template can be used in conjunction with doublesided tape to make and hold the circuit sculpture.

The template also contains the circuit from the front and back view. If you decide to use the front circuit template the soldering is a little easier, however the soldering will look a lot nicer if you use the back circuit template as the soldering joints are all hidden.

There are multiple templates which also helps when you mess up the circuit :D.

Step 3: Placement of Components

So, this is where the templates and the double-sided tape come in very handy.

Secure the small SMD components to the template and ensure that the polarity of the LEDs and the capacitor are correct.

Step 4: Soldering and a Lot of Patience

Take your time at this stage and use some flux to help with the soldering.

I would also recommend holding down the components with a set of tweezers, so they don't move when you are soldering.

The first time I tried to build this, my soldering was not great and it didn't work so I made a second version which finally worked and also looked a lot nicer.

Step 5: Battery Connection

I am powering the entire circuit with a 9V battery. But just wanted to share how I took the photo and how the little sculpture was powered with the 2 brass wires from the side.

Step 6: Finish

That's all!

I do have to agree this is a little challenging, but it is a lot of fun. If you do make your own do share them here. You can also try to follow this guide and make something similar without using all SMD Components.