Electronic Terrarium

Introduction: Electronic Terrarium

I’m creating an interactive electronic terrarium. When people touches the terrarium, the lights start to breath and a leaf appears in the sand.

Normally, people put plants or plastic plants in terrariums to create a small concentrated nature environment. I think the interesting point of a terrarium is the glass vase isolates the ordinary objects from the real world and frames the objects for people to take a close look. My idea is to include electronic components into a terrarium for people to appreciate the aesthetic aspects of technology. Also, I also want to express technology is alive in another way.

I used an Attiny as micro-controller, flexinol as heating element and thermochromic sand as output.

Things you need:

Attiny45, Arduino(to load the code to Attiny)

Transistor (Tip120)



Resistors(100 ohm x 1, 100k ohm x 1, 1Mohm x 10)

Coin battery (holder), 9V battery

Sand, Thermochromic Ink, Regular paint

Flexinol, A piece of fabric, crimp beads

Vase, copper tape

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Step 1: Dye the Sand

Mix thermochromic dye with regular paint. Add the mixture to the sand and let dry. The color of trermochromic dye will fade when heated.

Step 2: Sew the Flexinol

Draw a shape as your choice on a piece of fabric. Sew the flexinol onto the fabric. Seal the two end with crimp beads. Test the result use a 9v battery.

Step 3: Tape the Vase

Use copper tape to outline your desire touching point.

Step 4: Code

Use Arduino to load the code to the Attiny. Here is a tutorial about how to work with Attiny.

Step 5: Solder Everything

Step 6: Put Everything In

Arrange the parts as you like. Glue some parts on the vase if you want to. At last, add the sand in and leave a thin layer on the heating part.

Step 7: Connect Battery and DONE

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    4 years ago

    Really fun and different project! Thanks for sharing!