This instructable describes a possible way to create a tiny christmas house with a LED light inside that you can switch on or off. 3D printing is a technology that is becoming more popular every day. To use this technology to create holiday decorating is a nice way to create your own personal touch to your holiday.
This project was made for the course "Technology for Concept Design" by Tjark Roozendaal and Sebastiaan van der Made.
Step 1: Building the 3D Model
Use modelling software to design the house, or you can use our design.
(note that our design was made specific to the components that we were going to use, and that it might take some knowledge of modelling software to alter it.)
- The house should be hollow.
- The house should contain holes (windows/doors/chimneys) through which light can shine.
- The house should have enough space to house a LED light.
- The platform should have enough space to contain a battery. (we used a lithium button cell)
- A hole/space for the switch should be made in the model.
- Make sure the platform and the house fit together.
Other things you should note when designing something for 3D printing:
- The 3D printer can not print on air, although it will manage to bridge things like circular holes, you have to take into account that too big of an overhang will require support strucures that are hard to remove and mess up the quality of your print.
- To make the parts fit together, mind the shrinkage that plastics will undergo after printing. How much it will shrink depends on the material. For PLA (which our house was made of) it means that the holes for the switch and for the bed itself are about 0,6mm bigger.
Step 2: Print the 3Dmodel
This step is relatively easy, just let the printer do all the work!
if you don't have your own 3D printer, there are platforms on the internet like 3Dhubs where you can find people in your neigbourhood that can print things for you.
Step 3: (optional) Painting
To enhance the Christmas spirit you can paint your model. Add some snow or paint some baubles on the tree.
Step 4: Making the Electronic Circuit and Assembly
For the electronics part you just need 3 or 4 components.
- an LED (preferrably yellow)
- a resistor, if your LED has a low voltage you might need one so that your light does not burn up. The type of resistor depends on the specific voltage of your LED.
- a battery, and optionally a battery holder.
- a switch
First put the switch inside the base of the house. Put the LED inside the holder (try bending the feet a little first).
Take note of which foot of the LED is the longer one, because this side will connect to the + side on the battery.
Solder the resistor to any side of the LED, connect the battery to the LED on one side, and connect the other ends of the battery and the LED to the switch. If you have a switch with three prongs, conect one wire to the middle one and the other to either side.
When you finish the circuit you can close the container, and Voila! Your Christmas house is finished!