Introduction: Moomin Valley With Paper & Simple Electronic Circuit

About: I am an educator who is studying in Finland. I love to develop hands on projects combining programming with DIY activities. Especially, I am into interactive paper craft ; )

I am studying maker education. When I had an interview one of girls in an elementary school in Finland, she said that she does not like STEM subjects because they are using only blocks and robots which are more close to boys' interests. She said that she could enjoy science, engineering and programming more, if it is related with crafts and arts. She reminded of my early age when I was a student. I had no interest school subjects such as physics and math because I had difficulties to understand the contents. Most of all, classes were not fun at all. I want to show the girl that science, engineering, tech and math are not only for boys but also for girls. I hope girls like her not to hesitate to fall into love with STEM. This is how I started to work on paper craft projects combining electronic circuits and programming. Papers are cheap and it is everywhere. Also, it's fun to play with.

This Moomin Valley has been created with craft paper and simple electronic circuit using Micro:bit and a magnetic door sensor. Designs for house are all uploaded. I hope you guys enjoy it!

Step 1: Prepare Materials

1. Paper designs (check attached files)

2, 3D priting desings (check attached files)

2. Micro:bit + Edge connector

3. Magnetic door sensor (1)

4. Copper Tape (5mm)

5. Magnet for a key (2)

7. Sticker LED (3)

8. Distance sensors (2)

9. Jumper wires (at least one side should be female to connect with microbit)

10. glue, gluegun, cutter, tinkering tools, etc)

Step 2: Cut Out Paper Design

Cut every designs out. I use an electronic cutter. If you have a vinyl cutter in a maker space near your place, you can cut out all parts within short time.

Step 3: Create a Wall

Glue window frames on the front side of walls. Then connect both walls together and score lines to make it round.

Flip over the wall and attach a grey bar at the bottom of the wall. Since I missed to design the grey bar, you can cut the bar with 1cm height.

Step 4: A Terrace Roof : Attach a Sensor and LED

This step is somehow tricky. First make a hole to put a sensor on and cut out the cross lines on design. Fix the sensor with a glue gun. Make another hole on the cross lines by get a pen throughout the place.

Copper tapes (6cm each) should be attached and then LED sticker should comes after it. Tinker the copper tapes with jumper wires which are stripped one side of each. You can check out how to strip a wire from the video below. Then fold the rest half of tape and cover up with a regular transparent tape.

* Also, before you fix the sensor on the design, strip one side of the wires on the sensor and connect with jumper wires.

Step 5: A Entrance Roof

This step is almost same as the previous one. Make a hole on a crossing line then put copper tapes besides the hole. Attach LED and tinker with jumper wires. Then fold the rest of copper tapes and cover up with a regular tape.

Step 6: Chimney, Attic and a Roof

Glue each part for the roof. Do not forget to insert a 3d printed tower into a hole and fix it with glue. (I forgot this step...)

Step 7: Door Sensor & LED

Make a battery holder to power LED in Moomin house. I downloaded a battery holder for CR2032 from Thingivers.

Then Attach copper tapes based on the instruction on the design file. Make sure that the length of copper tapes are twice longer then the height of the wall. The rest of tapes are used to connect with a ceiling in the next step.

Fix the magnet sensor beside the door. Do not forget the magnetic part should face the door so that it activates when a key is near here.

Tinker the wires on the sensor to copper tapes on the left side. Also wires from the battery holder should be tinkered as well. Double check the minus and plus direction of the battery when you do tinkering!

Step 8: Ceiling With LED

Cut a round card board and connect with the wall by using the rest of copper tapes. Attach LED and be careful the direction of LED. The left side it minus and the right side is plus.

Cover up with a craft paper to make it clean.

Test with a magnet whether the LED works well or not.

Step 9: Fix a Distance Sensor

Fix the distance sensor on the door. When you place the sensor, make sure not to block the sensing parts with paper. Sensing parts should be attached right on the holes.

Step 10: Assemble All Parts Together

* Before assemble parts, I used cable ties to organize wires and to recognize easily. When you bind the cables, it is good to combine wires related to each other. For example, I divided wires of LED and the sensor for the entrance and for the terrace and tied up separately.

Assemble all parts (roofs, stairs and a floor) together. When attach the floor and fix it, take out the wires to the outside. These wires will be connected to Micro:bit soon. Finalize the house by gluing the 3d printed chimney.

Step 11: Connect With Microbit

Connect wires to an edge connector of Microbit. This is how I connected with Microbit.

1. Wires from the entrance:

- Signal of sensor - 0

- Power of sensor - 3V

- Ground of sensor - 0V

- Signal of LED - 8

- Ground of LED - 0V

2. Wires from the terrace:

- Signal of sensor - 5

- Power of sensor - 3V

- Ground of sensor - 0V

- Signal of LED - 12

- Ground of LED - 0V

Finally, download coding from the file that I attached on Microbit website.

Step 12: Play Play Play :)

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