I recently purchased an Anet A8 3D printer.
This comes in kit form so I spent a fun couple of days building and trouble-shooting it. One of the advantages of building it yourself is that you have a far better idea of how it works so can fix things better than if it came pre-made.
If you are like me and enjoy making things (why else would you be on Instructables?) then I highly recommend this for a hobby 3D printer. It is also extremely cheap (around 150 USD or less on some sites) compared with other hobby printers,
After I printed a few mods for the printer I was feeling unusually seasonal so decided to make a Xmas decoration.
Step 1: 3D Print the Tree Model
I used green TPU filament which is flexible, translucent and created a nice tree-ish texture when printed (also it was the only filament I had until my PLA arrives next week...).
I had a few problems printing with this filament on my Anet A8 as it kept spooling up in my extruder. After a lot of searching and trial and error I adjusted my printing speed to 25 mm/s and upped my nozzle temp to 210 degrees. Everything seemed to run perfectly after this.
I found the model here:
But I printed it a lot smaller, just over 9cm in height.
Took about 2 hrs.
Step 2: Add Some Leds
I was planning on programming my Arduino to make a nice flashing light effect but when I was digging in my boxes to find some leds, what I thought was a white led turned out to be a flashing RGB one!
Not only does this save a lot of time, it also meant that the tree could be stand-alone.
I soldered 3 together in a triangle pattern, being careful to ensure that all the anodes were soldered together and all the cathodes were soldered together separately. Apologies for the sloppy soldering...
Step 3: Power Supply
For the power supply I used a 3V button cell in a holder that has an LDR on the underside.
No need for the LDR but it means that my tree only lights up when it is dark.
Step 4: Done
My flashing led Christmas light!