How to Make a Light-up Grim Reaper

These are the steps I took to create a Grim Reaper statue that lights up.

Step 1: Problem Solving

I started prototyping this project on October 10th. I had to ask myself a crucial question; what can I do to make the statue look the best while still being functional? I then made a list of ideas and thoughts on how to achieve this goal. Once I decided what I wanted to do, I sketched out a design and took measurements of the parts I would need.

Step 2: Design and Prototyping

After many nights and many failed attempts, I figured out the best way to construct my reaper and send it to the 3D printer. Once printed on October 22nd, I looked into how I would light it; a tea light would be too big and the model is too heavy to put on a light strand. I decided to use an LED Festoon bulb and wire it with a resistor to prevent a power surge destroying the bulb. I then wired this to a switch using two 9-volt batteries to power it. (LED Festoon Bulb 12 Volt DC Only 0.5W T3 Replacement 2700K Warm White 60 Lumens PLT 10397 to be exact about the bulb).

Step 3: Finishing the Prototype and Throught Process

After I got the light and batteries, I designed the base for the project. The base would hide all of the electrical components while allowing the statue to stand firmly. I drew the prototype, but it was too small. I had to adjust the dimensions to make the final sturdier and hide all components. With having the measurements finalized and pieces sanded, I ran into some problems.

Step 4: Fixing the Problems

As I was all ready to print the base and get the reaper together, my 3D printer was not heating correctly. It was a known problem with Anet A8 printers that the MOSFETs were undersized. A word of warning to anyone with this printer, make sure your printer is heating correctly and if not, order 2 additional MOSFETs and a power supply. As I was waiting for the MOSFETs to be delivered, I decided to theorycraft a different way to get inside the base and decided to change the measurements to 57.15 by 40 by 39.37 mm and use a Dovetail to get inside. Once the MOSFETs arrived, I fixed the printer and printed the base with corrected measurements.

Step 5: Light-up Grim Reaper: Tools

Shown above are the tools I used along with online programs such as Tinkercad, Autodesk Inventor, and Fusion 360. For the Reaper I Rotated it 90° and sized the Y down to .8 instead of 1.

Step 6: Assembly

As my project was coming to the end, along with my time, I decided to glue the reaper to the base. Using wood glue and a piece of paper to size the holes for the light to shine through, I drilled and sanded the base until it was flush so the wires would stay in.

Step 7: Finishing Touches

After the holes were drilled and the glue dried, I finished the construction of my LED light-up Grim Reaper. Printing with different color filaments is possible, but painting the finished statue will reduce the light-up effect of the statue, so it is not preferred to paint the final statue.

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