Mobius Lantern




Introduction: Mobius Lantern

These steps will show you how to make your own Mobius Lantern with color changes.

Step 1: Collect Your Materials!

You will need the following materials:

-- Mylar
-- string or transparent fishing line
-- tricolor LED
-- or other microcontroller
-- battery pack, at least 5V
-- approx. 10-100 ohm resistor calculate the value of your resistor here based on the materials you have available

In addition, you may need:
-- scissor
-- transparent tape
-- cutting board
-- cutting knife

Step 2: Assemble Your Circuit!

-- Solder wires to the leads on the LED. There should be one pad for each (red, green, and blue). There will also be a pad for the common cathode (ground). Solder the 100 Ohm resistor to the wire attached to the ground.

-- The ground wire will attach to the ground pin on the Arduino. The other three wires must be attached to pins labeled PWM on the Arduino. In our case those will be pins 9, 10, and 11.

-- Attach the battery to the top of the Arduino.

-- Tie string to the three holes on the Arduino board and tie them in the center above the board so that it hangs parallel to the ground.

Step 3: Program Your Arduino!

Program your Arduino with the code from this tutorial Arduino tutorial. We increased the fading speed.

Step 4: Cut the Mylar!

You can be creative with the size and shape of the strips. The attached cutting files are suggestions.

If you have access to a laser cutter:

-- upload the dxf files included here to the drawing program you use
-- cut them out on the laser cutter

If you do not have access to a laser cutter:

-- print out the pdf files included here as templates
-- place the mylar on a cutting board
-- stick the templates onto the mylar
-- use scissors or a cutting knife to cut out the shapes

Step 5: Assemble Your Lantern - 1!

-- Take the first strip of mylar (the widest one) and twist it once and then fold the tab under and over to secure it

-- Take the second strip of mylar (medium or thin) and wrap it around the loop you've just made, sliding it through the slit in the wide trip, secure as above

-- (optional) Take the third strip of mylar (wide or narrow) and repeat as above

Step 6: Assemble Your Lantern - 2!

-- Insert the board into the lantern near the top of the thicker strip

-- Make a small hole at the top of your lantern

-- Push the string through the hole and secure with a knot above and below the hole

Step 7: Enjoy the Glow!!!!

A sampling of the color changes can be seen in the photo below. Try rearranging the strips, adding more strips of different widths, and different thicknesses of Mylar for different effects.

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    9 years ago

    I wouldn't attach those directly to the pins. For one, you can only pass ~50mA from an arduino pin before frying the chip, and you lose about 3/4 of the brightness of the led. Just adding some 3904s would give it full power with very little additional expense or complexity


    13 years ago on Step 2

    can somebody tell me how is the circuit diagram?


    14 years ago on Introduction

    man you od not kno how long i been looking for a simple program like yours ty vm


    14 years ago on Introduction

    lovely! those Luxeon LEDs are insanely bright! I keep meaning to use them for something like this. Will they actually kind of illuminate a room when you run them off the Arduino?


    14 years ago on Introduction

    very nice! two questions: 1. can you use wall outlet power? 2. how much is the whole project? thanks.


    Reply 14 years ago on Introduction

    thanks for the comment and questions. 1. Yes, you can use a power supply to power the arduino, you just have to hide the cable, may-be you can find a white one. 2. hhmm....not sure, I put it together out of parts I had around. the LED is about 8USD, the board 20USD (but you could use a cheaper one) or so, power supply 5USD, battery may-be 10USD, 5USD for a big sheet of mylar....


    Reply 14 years ago on Introduction

    oh, also if your cheap like me wait for after holiday stuff i waited for after valetines day and got a cheap heart that changed RGB colors it only cost me i think $3 or less and no arduino needed