DIY PaperCircuitSheet(PCS)-Rocket With Copper Band & LED

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About: My name is Sabine. I'm a hobbyist with a variety of interests which includes 3D printing, tinkering, music, stories etc.

Paper is the theme and I've had something spacy, copperish in my mind which includes illumination and most of all a lot of fun making it.

And here it is: copper one - the PCS-Rocket (PaperCircuitSheet-Rocket)

Step 1: ​The Gear I've Used

  • Paper
  • Acrylic Paints (black, gold, dark brown)
  • Palette Knife/Brush
  • Sissors/Cutter
  • Glue/Tape (any kind of)
  • Copper Band (self-adhesive) and Copper Wire
  • LEDs (from flashlights)
  • Battery holder and Batteries (from flashlights)
  • Push Button Switch (from flashlights)
  • Wire/Cable/Strand
  • Lever Nuts
  • Wire Stripper
  • Nippers
  • 3D Printer
  • PLA Filament (white)
  • Software: Tinkercad, ideaMaker, paint.net

Please take all necessary safety precautions while working with heat, sharp objects, electricity, vapors or resulting gases, bright light and whatever could endanger your health.

Step 2: The Prototypes

I made two prototypes to figure out the final design and where to add the components. I designed a 2D model in Tinkercad and added the wiring in paint.net.

Step 3: The Battery Box and the Nose

Battery Box: I shaped a paper cylinder, taped the name tag on and added the cover lids and battery holder.

Nose: I shaped a paper cone from a semicircle and taped it on the PCS. The copper band is just decor.

Step 4: The LEDs

To make it as simple as possible I took two cheap flashlights* apart and pulled out the needed components:

  • 2 LED boards
  • 1 battery holder
  • 1 push button switch

I also cut out pieces of LED stripes in the preferred length as well.

All LEDs set to run at 4.5 V and run off three AA or AAA batteries.

My flashlights came with an AAA battery holder so I used this one.

* Using the components from flashlights was inspired by Punished Props Academy - Easy LED Lights for Cosplay!
I usually don't like to destroy working things but in this case I went for the simplest and cheapest way.

Step 5: ​The Paper Moon

I spontaneously decided to create a very simple paper moon. The USB-LEDs are powered autonomously via a power bank.

Step 6: The PaperCircuitSheet

2.1 The Rocketshape

Well, I'm not very good when it comes to drawing, so after I found a picture of the Ariane 5 Rocket on the internet I decided to go for this shape.

I streched out the picture because I needed more room for the components in the center of the rocket's body.

I transferd the shape to the papersheet using my black acrylic paint and palette knifes.

2.2 The Copper Band

I guess, copper band is often used in railway model making to tap the electricity at any point you like. And that's excactly what I was looking for.

I cut the pieces in the length I've measured on my prototype-models and because it is self-adhesive I just taped it on the papersheet in the places I picked out.

2.3 The Wiring

I took a red wire for the positive pole and a green wire for the negative pole for most parts of the build and started to find out which connection would make the LEDs shine.
I forwent soldering and taped, glued, pinned, tacked and crimped it. For some parts of the cable links I used lever nuts - this made it very easy. BUT to be completely blunt: Not soldering isn't the most reliable solution.

2.4 The 3D Printing

I 3D printed the cover lids for the battery holder and the name tag in white PLA filament; dry brushed with the acrylic paint. Because I had no copper paint in store I mixed gold and a little bit of dark brown.

Step 7: ​Thank You …

... for reading, watching and paying attention. I have summarized all the pictures in a video.

I hope you will find this any kind of inspiring. It was fun to make and always is a learning experience. I think, this could be a nice project to do with kids. Maybe in shape of a car or a building - like a castle.

You may have noticed that my PCS-Rocket wasn't built for enternity. As I mentioned before if you want it more solid I recommend to solder or use (luster/terminal) clamps or whatever makes it sturdy.

Please let me know if you've made one by yourself.

Hopefully Auf Wiedersehen in one of my next instructables.

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