Introduction: The Adventure of Electricity: an Interactive Light Diorama

About: A group of 3 students from the University of Colorado Boulder who like to make things that think.
Where does electricity come from? Who invented the light bulb? How do cities use this technology today?

These are just a few questions that we hope to address in this interactive diorama, The Adventure of Electricity!

This project was designed for educational purposes so that younger generations can experience a more hands on approach to learning.  In this project, we show the history of electricity through three scenes.  The first scene shows legendary tale of Benjamin Franklin using a kite in order to decipher the characteristics of electricity and where it is found in nature.  The second scene shows Thomas Edison and his trials to create a light bulb to produce light through harnessing electricity.  The last scene shows the city of Paris, in all its illuminated glory.

How kids interact with this educational tool is through buttons which activate different aspects of the scenes.

* For Benjamin Franklin's scene one can press a button to light up a lightning bolt which in turn will raise Benjamin's hair. (Using Flexinol muscle wire to create the movement.)

* For Thomas Edison's scene pressing the button will light up a representation of the first light bulb ever in history. 

* In the last scene, the viewer can light up Paris one sector at a time until the entire city is illuminated.

This was a fun project to work on but also tedious so we recommend allowing yourself plenty of time to build this 3 scene diorama.

Step 1: Building the Bases

The creation of the base is composed of marking, cutting, and assembly.  It will hold all the objects from each scenery.

2 boards at least 24 * 48 inch
wood glue

buzz saw
thin dowels of wood


width = short edge
length = long edge
mark the circle near one of the edges of the board so we can use as much board space as possible using a pencil
the diameter of the circle is 24 inches. measure 24 inches from the length edge of the board and mark on both edges.  then mark the center by measuring 12 inches from one end length wise on both edges of the board and 12 inches width wise on both edges.  Then draw a line across using a straight edge on the length wise marks.  then draw a line straight down the middle of the long part of the board using the width wise marks.  draw a line on the 24 inch marks you made earlier.  Now, with the center marked at the cross points you just made at the 12 inch mark point. tie a string (12 inch) to the pencil and put one end at the center point and the pencil end at the edge of the board. While keeping the string tight draw a circle around the middle.

2.) The circle now drawn use the protractor to mark divide the circle into 3 120 degree zones.

3.) The leftover part of the board should be 24 *24 inch.  You should divide that into two 12 * 16 inch boards.

4.) The other 24 * 48 inch board should be divided into 4 12 * 16 inch boards which should be divide the same way as the leftovers part.  (optional) to make these more aesthetically pleasing one can round off one of the corners using a protractor.

5) cut the circle out using the buzz saw and then cut out each of the 120 degree divisions

6) cut the other 12*16 inch boards out throwing away the leftovers

7) you should now have 3 pieces of a pie and 6 12*16 inch boards

8.) start gluing each of the 16*12 inch boards to each of edge of the pie using the 12 inch edge as the bottom. 

9.) glue the corners where the 1wo 16*12 inch boards meet.  If there is too big of space in between each board then use the dowels as a medium in between each board and then glue.

10.) At the end of this step you should have 3 scenes which look exactly alike.

Step 2: Benjamin Franklin's Kite Experiment

The first scene in our Adventure of Electricity diorama is Benjamin Franklin's Kite experiment. 

This is a simplified (and somewhat stylized) version of the experiment that Benjamin Franklin conducted in 1752 to determine how lightning is related to electricity. 

Our scene features Benjamin Franklin atop a grassy hill where he holds the string to a kite that is stuck by lightning at the push of the viewer's button. When the lightning strikes, Ben's hair raises on end!

The flash of lightning is achieved by a strand of LEDs. The raising of Ben's hair is achieved by using muscle wire, a type of shape memory alloy. 

The first step of the Kite Experiment scene was to make sure that using the muscle wire to lift the hair would actually work. We had never worked with muscle wire before, so we started by building a rudimentary Franklin Head + Hair prototype.

Step 3: Franklin - the Scenery

1' x 1' chicken wire
white felt
brown fabric
faux model set grass
fake miniature trees
spray adhesive

hot glue

Benjamin Franklin will be standing on a hill in this scene, so we need to give the setting some dimension.

Use the 1'x1' piece of chicken wire to form a hill. Mark on the board several places where you can drill holes to secure wire that will keep the chicken wire in place.

Drill the holes and cut lengths of wire to secure the chicken wire to the board. Twist the wire on the bottom of the structure to keep in place.

Use black, silver, and gray/white paint to create a stormy background. This can be rather abstract looking, since the sky is supposed to be stormy and unpredictable. 

Cut elongated cloud shapes from the felt and glue to the background. We used sticky-sided felt but using regular felt and hot glue is fine.

Place your brown fabric over the hill and cut to size. Do not secure the edges yet-- you will need to get back into the chicken wire when you place Benjamin Franklin and his wires. Use spray adhesive to attach the faux grass to the fabric. It's OK if this looks a little mottled. You can enhance the look by using another shade of faux grass or faux moss on the upper layer. 

The trees that we have in our scene we found at the local dollar store. (Intended for miniature Christmas scenes.) The bases were originally white, so we painted them forest green. Place your trees in the scene but not on the hill. We want the small trees to give a sense of depth for our diorama. 

Step 4: Franklin - Muscle Wire + Hair Prototype

For the head we needed something spherical and hollow. The first easy choice was a ping pong ball. It can be easily drilled and cut, so we began fabricating the prototype. You may bypass this step if you do not wish to test the muscle wire setup before creating the actual model.

ping pong ball
wire (for hair)
Flexinol 0.006" muscle wire
nylon thread
copper wire
plastic cup
scrap wood

hot glue
power source


Drill two holes about 3mm apart from each other on one side of the ping pong ball. (Funnily enough, the ping pong balls that we happened to buy were the Franklin brand. How fitting.) Also drill one large hole at the bottom of the ball. Cut the ping pong ball in half, making sure that the two holes are aligned horizontally in the center of the hemisphere.

Create two strands of hair by making a small loop at the end of 2-inch pieces of insulated wire. Tie a piece of the nylon onto one loop of wire and string it through one hole. Loop the free end back through the other hole and secure to the other wire hair. Make sure the loop of nylon thread is shorter than the cup. 

The idea for this setup is you will string the muscle wire through the nylon loop and that it will cause the hairs to lift up. See the video below for a visual description.

Cut a hole in the bottom of the plastic cup. Hot glue the hemisphere on the edge of the hole so that the half of the ping pong ball is secured on the base of the overturned cup. The holes should be parallel to the tabletop. 

Take your piece of scrap wood and place the cup onto it. Mark 2 pairs of holes (4 holes total) on the wood just outside opposite sides of the cup. This is to give your copper wire a place to hold the Flexinol down securely. Since you cannot solder to the Flexinol directly, you will have to use copper wire to secure the muscle wire.

Get out your Flexinol and string it through the nylon loop inside the cup. Hold one end of the Flexinol outside the cup at the base near the pair of holes you just drilled, and adjust the other end of the muscle wire so it comes out from under the cup by the pair of holes on the other side. Cut the Flexinol to size so that it is about 3mm longer than the pair of holes.

Create a crimp out of the copper wire for each end. In the original prototype version, we crimped the ends with copper wire and attached the Flexinol to the wood with regular wire, but to simplify you can just attach the copper wire directly to the board. When you crimp the ends, keep the coppe wire ends long and thread them through the holes on the board. Twist the ends together on the underside of the board to keep the wire in place.

To secure the cup to the wood you can use tape or hot glue.

You can now test your hair prototype. Make sure you follow the specifications for your specific Flexinol wire voltage so as not to burn out the muscle wire. A handy chart can be found here:

Hook your coppe wire ends up to your power source and try out your moving hair!

Step 5: Franklin - Building the Real Head

Now that we know our Flexinol and nylon thread-pulling hair setup works, we can fabricate the actual head. 

Our first thought was to use another ping pong ball for the final head itself, but we decided that it was A. not sturdy enough for multiple hair-pullings, B. not lifelike enough, and C. not the right scale for the diorama size. What we opted to do instead was find a head we could 3D print and see how the hair setup worked with it. The head we ended up using came from Thingiverse from user CarryTheWhat. We scaled the head down so that it was only about an inch and a half tall. We chose this head because it is already designed to be hollow, which was a necessary characteristic for Benjamin's head.

3D printed head
primer paint for plastic
acrylic paint
black sharpie
brown colored pencil
covered wire
nylon thread
small split ring (the style you find on keychains)



Begin by spray-painting the 3D-printed head with primer so that we can get Benjamin ready for some flesh tones. We printed with dark blue plastic, but to make your life easier it's probably a better idea to print with white, if you have it.

Once the head is primed, you can make some flesh-toned paint by mixing white, pink, yellow, red, and brown in different combinations. We started with pink and white and kept adding suitable tones from there. Paint the head with however many coats necessary. Use white paint to paint the whites of his eyes. Later, you can add eyebrows with the brown colored pencil and pupils with the black sharpie.

**NOTE: It's a good idea to have Benjamin's arms and Edison's head and arms cut at this step as well, so you can paint them with the same skin-tone and you prevent yourself from having to re-mix the acrylic. See steps 5 & 10 for those instructions.

Make sure the painted head is completely dry before the next step.

Mark 10-15 dots on the head where you want your hair to be. Drill those holes with a small drill bit. 

Make the hair by bending a small loop on the end of pieces of insulated wire, attaching a length of nylon thread to each loop. We used brownish-colored wire for a brunette effect. String each hair into the head and make sure to gather the free ends of the nylon so that they don't pull back out of the head. You can do this by pushing the gathered threads into your small split ring. You will also later use this ring for stringing through the Flexinol. 

We've included some pictures from our aforementioned ping pong attempt, just so you can see why we opted to go with the 3D-printed head.

Step 6: Franklin - Making the Body + Clothes

Although we used a 3D printed piece for Franklin's head, we used laser-cut figurine pieces for his body. This was because we needed simple structures that we could customize to our needs.

basswood figurine cutouts
scrap wood
wood glue
0.006" diameter Flexinol wire
copper wire
hot glue
white fabric
black seed beads
fabric glue
double-sided tape
silver-colored wire
packaging tape

laser cutter
needle nosed pliers

The figurine cutouts we used for this project were modified from the template we used in a previous instructable (Artemis and Apollo). The Adobe Illustrator figurine template file is attached to this step.

First, attach Franklin's head to one of the the torso cutouts using hot glue. Cut a piece of scrap wood to the size of his hips and drill two pairs of holes in the center. These holes will be used to secure the copper wire with the Flexinol crimped, just like in the prototype. Glue the piece of wood onto Franklin's hips. 

Cut a length of Flexinol about 8 inches long. Make a copper wire crimp for one end of the Flexinol and attach it into one pair of holes. Thread the Flexinol through the split ring that is holding the nylon threads inside the head and bring it back down to the torso base. Pull the Flexinol taut and crimp another copper wire to the end to fully secure the Flexinol inside the torso cavity. Make sure you leave the copper ends long enough to solder them to the long wire you need to connect to the Arduino.

To get Franklin's shirt + belly, take the other 3D-cut torso piece and attach a piece of white fabric. You can stuff stuffing into his shirt before you secure it to the back of the cutout just to give him some extra dimension. To add more detail, we made a "hemmed" shirt closure from a piece of double-stick tape covered in white fabric and made shirt buttons by gluing black seed beads to the closure using Jewel It bead and fabric glue. 

To make Franklin's shirt, use a piece of heavier red felt. Lay the torso and arm out to get a feel for how long you want the coat to be, and cut a piece that is long enough to wrap around his toso to the front. (Note: his final torso depth will be deeper than just his belly, so keep that in mind when you're cutting.) Once you have the rectangle for his coat, fold the edges back on themselves to make his lapels. Use hot glue in the crease to keep the lapels in place.

To get the shoulders right, turn the coat inside out and staple the upper corners of the rectangle. Then, when you turn the coat back the right way you will have a well-tailored shoulder. Cut two oval holes in the jacket below the shoulders so you can attach the sleeves. The sleeves are simply made from a tube of red felt that has been whip-stitched (or hot glued) into a tube shape. Turn the jacket inside out and sew the sleeves in.

To make Franklin's pants, simply cut fold a piece of beige/brown fabric in half and trace the outline of his legs, making sure to leave enough space for the width of his legs. Cut two identical pants pieces--one of the front and one for the back. Turn the pieces right sides in and sew along the outer legs and along the inner thighs. You can "hem" the pant legs by using the same double-stick tape technique that we did with the shirt closure. In fact, use that same technique for the waistband of the pants as well.

If you're feeling like your Benjamin needs a little flair, you can make him a cravat out of fabric scraps. Our Benjamin has one made out of mesh material for that extra-fluffy look. For his spectacles, use the needle nosed pliers to shape the silver wire in the shape of glasses. For the lenses, fold some packaging tape back on itself, cut into tiny circles and superglue onto the spectacle frames.

Franklin's legs are painted white with black shoes painted on. His arms are also white, but with flest colored hands. You can use the same paint that you used for his head in step 5.

As a last touch, when you have the body fully assembled you can use velcro as a means to secure the jacket to his belly. That way you can undo the velcro to see the Flexinol mechanism inside his torso.

When you are ready, glue Franklin's belly piece onto his neck and Flexinol support. 

Step 7: Franklin - Wiring

How do we place Franklin in the scene and get him to connect to the Arduino?

long white wires
sturdy wire
hot glue

soldering gun

Now that we have the copper wires connected to the Flexinol and attached to the torso, solder them to two long white wires. These long wires must be able to reach down into the hill and through the back of the scene, so measure accordingly. Put Franklin's pants over his legs, making sure to keep one wire each in each pant leg. 

User superglue to attach the wires to the non-viewer side of Franklin's legs. (See photo.) If you want to go the extra mile, you can even use sharpie to color the wire black where it overlaps with Franklin's black shoes. Glue his pants onto his torso at the waistband.

Position Franklin where you want him on the hill and cut two small holes in the hill fabric where you'd like his wires to pass through. Additionally, make a mark on the back wall where you'd like to place his support wire. (He needs the wire support to stand up straight!) Drill four holes in the back of the wall: one for the Franklin's support wire, and two where you want the wires to pass through the back to get to the Arduino. Guide the white wires through the holes to the Arduino. For the support wire, make an L-shaped support to attach to Franklin's back and poke the wire through his coat. Pass that same wire though the wall and secure on the other side either with glue or tape. 

If you haven't done so already, put Franklin's arms into his coat. 

Step 8: Franklin - Kite + Key

Making the kite and key for the Franklin scene is pretty straightforward.

3D printed key
gold paint
thin wire
thick wire
hot glue
Fray-stop "glue"

wire cutters

To make the kite, cut a piece of diamond-shaped fabric. Use Fray-stop on the edges so that you don't end up with a thready kite. Let dry. Cut two pieces of approx. 4mm wide wood, one for the length of the kite and the other for the width, Hot glue the ends of these wood pieces to their respective corners on the kite. You can also cut a piece of the heavy wire to insert into the top of the kite. (Franklin put a piece of metal on his kite to make it more attractive to lightning.)

The tail of the kite is made by making small fabric bows and hot gluing them onto the thin wire which is bent to look like it's moving in the wind. The wire is attached to the back of the kite. You can attach the kite to the background scene by drilling a hole in the back wall and securing a piece of sturdy wire to the hidden side of the wall. Attach the other end to the kite by hot gluing it to one of the support beams of the kite.

The key is printed from the Thingiverse prop key file created by user CaptainKirk.
We scaled the key to be about an inch long. After it prints, prime it with white primer spray paint and let dry. Paint gold or any other metallic key-like shade. 

Tie a long piece of string to the crossbars of the kite and guide it back to Franklin's hands. Don't forget to attach the golden key to the string!

Step 9: Edison's Lab

- Bass woods
- Red felts
- Photo paper
- Black acrylic (for the record)
- Yellow paper (for the record)
- Deaden woods
- White, Yellow, Orange, Red, Black paints
- Various colors of PVC tape
- Silicon echo-water

- Hot glue and glue gun
- Laser cutter
- 3D printer
- Electric saw
- Sander
- Wire cutter and wire stripper
- Solder
- Brushes and palettes
- Drill

To furnish Edison's Lab, paint the floor with white paint - but you can choose whichever you want. We attached wooden tapes to the wall to make it look like an old fashioned-room. With the 3D printer, you can print furniture for the room - a hallway table, antique chairs, a book case, a TV set, and a fire place. The original .STL file was found at Do not forget to re-size them to fit to the room size. We recalculated the size of the furniture so that all of the lengths of each object does not exceed 5 inches. 

[1] TV
Download the .STL file and paint them before fabricating. We colorized the body of TV set with brown and black paint. Luckily we found AN INTERESTING NAPKIN, which has a cartoon on it. We cut it so that it would fit the size of TV screen and fabricated all of the components. AS YOU KNOW, Thomas Edison lived in the 18th century and died in 1931.  The black&white TV was invented in 1926. In 1929, BBC broadcasted its first show through the black&white TV. It's very likely that before Edison died that he was able to experience the tv.  This is another Easter egg that people will notice is out of place in this scene.

[2] Hallway table and Antique Chairs
The original size of these were small enough(below 2 inches) so we printed them without adjusting the size. After they have dried well, paint them with brown, sand brown, and black paint mixed together. This was done in order to make them seem varnished. We then painted them again with polar paint to apply an additional coat. In addition, we attached red felt fabric on the chairs to imitate a cushion. We used the same felt to make a carpet in front of the fireplace.

[3] Bookcase
We painted the small books inside the bookcase after we printed it.  This is one of the most complicated, picky, and fussy tasks. Just prepare 3-4 different color paints, and paint it. You can mix some of them, paint it, paint it, and even paint it with the tip of a tiny brush. GOOD LUCK!

[4] Fireplace
Printing a fireplace was a simple job. Decide where you want to attach it on the wall and then paint with black color before you stick it.You can paint the fire in the fireplace with red color in order to make the fire look real. Wait for a while to let it dry and then you can paint with orange and yellow color. Make sure to make it look natural! After drying, you can put "dead wood eco-objects" in front of fireplace as firewood. If you are not able to buy wood then you can just cut the wooden dowels (by hand, not cutter) and color it with an arbitrary paint.

[5] Lab Table & Edison's Invention Collection
We laser cut 1/4 inch bass wood to make a table and then we assembled it with wood glue. Depending on the components you want to put on the table, the table size will be different. Since Edison invented a lamp, gramophone, toaster, and coffepot, we printed all those small objects with a 3D printer. We then cut a small circle from black acrylic with a laser cutter and then we stuck small yellow paper on it in order to make a record on the gramophone. Use 1inch by 1inch wood to make the body of a gramophone. Print beakers, flasks, rounded flasks by recalculating with different size, and then paint it so it mimics the chemical liquids inside them. Especially for the beaker, we put silicon inside the beaker after we painted the half of inside wall, and melted the silicon with the heat gun. Be careful, if you heat for too long, the plastic body of the beaker will be melted too. You can then make a flask holder with wire and then hang the flask on it. 

[6] Closet
We drew the blue print of the closet for laser cutting, and attached it here. Cut 1/4 bass wood, and assemble it. Place the two smallest squares on top of the two middle sized square and then fit the two smallest square last. Those squares will be the bottom and top of the closet. Put two long pieces of wood on the sides to make the side of the bookcase. Do not forget to stick knobs.  You do not need to paint the wood because it is already wood but if you want you can paint it whatever color you want.

[7] Frame & Window
We made a window to make the room more lively by creating a frame out of wood and then attaching scenery behind it.  This can be further decorated by attaching a curtain on it.

[8] Plants
Cut square and circle dowels and tape them with colorful PVC tape, put ec-bushes on it. Isn't it simple?

Step 10: Edison's Body and Light Bulbs

- Glass balls
- Wooden dowels
- Copper wire
- White and Black fabrics
- Bass wood
- Wires

- Hot glue and glue gun
- Laser cutter
- Wire cutter and wire stripper
- Solder
- Needle and threads (white, black)

[1] Bulbs pile
Cut thin wooden dowels and prepare glass balls, after sanding tip of dowels, attach it to glass ball with hot glue and coil these with copper wires. Even though Edison had failed 10,000 times in order to make a working light bulb, you do not need to make as many bulbs. You can make just enough to make a large pile of faulty bulbs. You can make a small trash bin with hard paper, and then put some of the bulbs inside the box, and stick them together on the bottom with hot glue.

[2] Lab Coat
Draw templates for the backside and the two parts of the front of his lab coat on white fabrics. Be sure to leave enough room to create a seam. You can now sew each of the parts of the lab coat together with white string.  You now can make two sleeves from square white fabric and attach them to the lab coat. After you can attach small pieces of white fabric to his collar to create the collar part of the lab coat.

[3] Pants
We attached cutout template of pants. What you have to do first is cut black fabric according to the solid line, sew according to dotted line, and turn it inside out. Cut and trim left over threads.

[4] LED
We intended if a user turn on switch then his final invention, working filament bulb is lighting in his hand. Connect two wires to the LED 's polars and pass it through Edison's clothes, and finally, let them go through the small hole at the bottom. Attach long wires in order to make it to be connected to an Arduino.

The figurine cutouts we used for this project were modified from the template we used in a previous instructable (Artemis and Apollo). We attached the template of figurine for laser cutting. Finally, we are peeping Edison's Laboratory!

Step 11: Paris - Buildings and Constructions

- Bass woods
- Flat thin wood sticks
- Tiny Red, Green, White SMT LEDs
- Wood glue
- Wires
- Solder and leads
- Conductive Paint

- Hot glue and glue gun
- Laser cutter
- Wire cutter and wire stripper
- Solder
- 3D printer

[1] Buildings
There are many possible ways to make different shaped buildings in Paris. We cut bass wood with laser cutter, attached flat wood stick to make wall and roofs, used electric saw to make a arch shaped door. In order to put LEDs inside the buildings and let users see the lights, we made windows. Also, you can 3D print some of them, resizing it to a reasonable size. We attached three types of templates for laser cutting. We attached three different types of building cutout .ai file but, BE CREATIVE to make your own beautiful paris buildings! Solder wires to the small SMT LEDs and then put them inside buildings to let the lights come out through the windows. You should make wires enough long because you have to connect all LEDs in a line to go to the Arduino.

[2] Bridges
We made four different types of bridges. We attached templates for two arch-style brides for laser cutting. In order to make gate style bridge, cut bass wood for the bottom 1inch by 5.5inches, and two .5inch by 5.5inches for guard. Cut a squared wooden dowel, to make four 3inched columns, two 1.5inched . Here is one more picky and fussy task to do, to make old fashioned wooden bridge. connect two thin, flat wood stick horizontally, and attach a small 12 .5 inched vertical screen between the bottom of bridge and the top.

[3] Ferrys Wheel
We drew the template of a ferrys wheel with google sketchup, exported as 2D .png file, imported to Adobe illustrator, and cut it with a laser cutter. We attached .ai file. Before fabricating components, make a whole at the center of the wheel to let a wire to pass through it. If you connect the triangle base, the wheel actually spins. Put small LEDs over the wheel and connect wires, stick with conductive paints. Finally, your ferrys wheel is prepared to be connected to the Arduino.

[4] Eiffel Tower
We 3D printed the Eiffel tower, and painted it with white paint. Put small red SMT LEDs on the surface of Eiffel tower, and connect the wires. Because the LED is really small, you need to watch out that wires are not attach each other. Otherwise, it will create a short. 

Place all the substantial components according to the baseline of La seine, and connect each of the LEDs. line one is for all of the buildings, street lamps, and the Eiffel tower. Line two for all of the bridges. Line three for the ferrys wheel. 

Step 12: Paris - Buildings and Constructions

- Orange, Red, Yellow, Blue, Skyblue, White, Black paints
- Silicon echo-water
- Thick acrylic (for the base)
- Green colored foam
- Tiny green LEDs (*10)
- Wires
- Conductive paints
- Blue, White, Red fabrics, Yellow(or Gold) thread
- Black straw (*2)

- Hot glue and glue gun
- Brushes and palettes
- Burner and pot
- Heat gun
- Laser cutter
- Wire cutter and wire stripper
- Solder
- 3D printer

[1] Wall
Prepare red, orange, and yellow color paints. DO NOT MIX THEM In ONE TIME. In order to make sunset scenery, Just dip a brush in paints, stroke horizontal direction ONLY. Now you can see beautiful halo sunset. 

[2] Base
In order to differentiate the ground from the river, we need to cut thick acrylic for the base. The thickness of it is .5inch, which requires us to cut it 5 to 7 times with the laser cutter. In order to make natural riverside road, drew a random curve with Adobe illustrator, but if you want, you can download it from here. Be sure to make two copies of the acrylic so that you can heighten the land to the height of the bridges, and paint over the top with gray color. We used asphalt colored paint to draw the line. In addition, in order to make Montmartre hill you need to (even though we don't have the catedral) cut green foam with hot foam cutter. One good point of foam is that you can put on the trees without glue!

[2] Seine River 
We painted the river with a variety of blue variations and then we melted silicon eco-water and poured over the river to imitate natural river flow.  As we poured melted silicon water twice, it was messed up because it dries super fast. Yet, you can adjust the flow, melting it again with a heat gun.

[3] Street
Put small green SMT LEDs according to the street line and connect them with wires, and stick the tips of them with conductive paint, instead of soldering. Unfortunately, the conductive paint is not consistent and strong enough for large amounts of LEDs so you can use wire instead.

[3] Flags
Prepare blue, red, and white fabric pieces, and sew it to make flag. This is our 3rd easter egg, because it is flag of Holland, not France. 

[4] Boats & Cars
We printed small toy boats, a titanic ship, toy cars, a duplex bus, and bezier boats for the yacht. We painted each of them with various colors. One can create the sails for the bezier boats by attaching a thin piece of wood with a white cloth to it. Once finished attach each of the boats to the river with hot glue.

Step 13: The Circuit Logic

This is the logic input and output logic for each scene.  The logic consists of 6 led logic, 2 switch logic, and 1 force sensor resistor logic.

lots of wires
6 transistors
6 optional leds
2 buttons
1 force sensor resistor
1 big bread board
1 arduino uno
9 (depends on transistor used and switches used) resistors

power source or computer
suader iron
wire cutter

1.) connect ground to common ground bus
2.)connect one voltage bus to 5v pin and the other to 3.3 v pin

the 6 led logic:
1.) make each led logic 6 times with voltage to 3.3 v.
2.) each arduino pin needs to be connected to digital 3,4,5,6,7,8

the 2 button logic:
1.) make each button switch connect to 3.3 v
2.) each button needs to hook to digital pins 11 and 12

the 1 FSR logic:
1.) make it connect to 5 v
2.) connect it to analog pin 1

you can connect leds for each led logic temporarily to test in the future

Make extensions for buttons, FSR, and each LED logic:
1.) cut wire to length of wanted extension
2.) expose wires with wire cutter
3.) sauder ends with buttons and FSR or sauder to appropriate scene for LED logic.
4.) twist wires to manage them.
5.) connect to appropriate logic on board.
           for each LED logic:
               pin 3 logic to the lightning bolt in Ben Franklin's scene
               pin 4 logic to light bulb in Edison scene                      
               pin 5 logic to bridge in Paris scene
               pin 6 logic to building in Paris scene
               pin 7 logic to ferris wheel in Paris scene
               pin 8 logic to ben Franklin hair in Ben Franklin's scene

At the end of this step you should have all the logic needed to run all the lights.

the problem's we encountered was that the arduino did not have enough power to light each scene well.
Try plugging a dc power supply into the arduino instead of powering it off the computer's supply

Step 14: The Code

Copy and paste the code into the editor, compile then upload. The code loops and checks if any of the buttons are pressed.  Each of the buttons are toggle buttons and checks the current state of the switch.  One cannot edit any of the other scenes while Paris is lighting up or while lightning is happening


//variable checks
int BenOn = 0;
int lightOnED = 0;
int lightOnEL = 0;
int lightOnPA = 0;
int lightOnPA2 = 0;
int buttonStateED = 0;
int lastButtonStateED = 0;
int buttonStateEL = 0;
int lastButtonStateEL = 0;
int pressurePA = 0;
int lastPressurePA = 0;

//output pins
int lightningBolt = 3;
int lightBulbEddison = 4;
int bridgeLights = 5;
int buildingLights = 6;
int ferrisWheelLights = 7;
int benFrankHair = 8;

//input pins
int eddisonScene = 12;
int benScene = 11;
int parisScene =1;

void setup() {               
  // initialize the digital pin as an output.
  // set up all outputs
void loop() {
  //read all inputs
  buttonStateED = digitalRead(eddisonScene);
  buttonStateEL = digitalRead(benScene);
  pressurePA = analogRead(parisScene);

  //check if ben scene turned on
  if(buttonStateEL != lastButtonStateEL){
    if(buttonStateEL == LOW){
       Serial.print("buttonStateEL pressed\n");
      else if(lightOnEL==0){
        lightOnEL =1;
  lastButtonStateEL = buttonStateEL;

  //check if eddison button pressed
  if(buttonStateED != lastButtonStateED){
    if (buttonStateED == LOW) {
      Serial.print("buttonStateED pressed\n");
      lightOnED = !lightOnED;
  lastButtonStateED = buttonStateED;

  /*Serial.print("last Pressure: ");
  Serial.print("Pressure: ");

  //pressure check for Paris force sensor resistor
     if(pressurePA > 1){
       if(lightOnPA2 ==1){
          lightOnPA2 = 0;
       else if(lightOnPA ==0){
          lightOnPA =1;

  lastPressurePA = pressurePA;

    //turn on lights of each area of paris sequentially
    lightOnPA = 0;
    lightOnPA2 = 1;
  else if(lightOnPA2==1)
    //keep lights on after sequentially turned on
    //else turn them off

  if(lightOnED == 1){
    //turn on eddison's light bulb
    //turn off eddison's light bulb

  //check if lighning bolt is on ?
  if(lightOnEL == 1){
    lightOnEL = 0;
    BenOn = 1;
  else if(BenOn==1){
    //turn ben's hair up after lightning strike
    //else nothings happening turn both off

Step 15: Finished

Things to take into account if it's not working:
the amount of voltage supply.
bad connections


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