Intro: LED Critters
This is a quick instructable (hopefully more an inspirtional) on creating LED bugs and citters.
Step 1: Items/Tools You Will Need
1) A few LEDs for eyes
2) a CR2032 battery
3) a hand full of paper clips
4) needle nose pliers
5) a soldering iron & solder
Step 2: Directions & Suggestions
1) First straighten out your paper clips. For this bug I started out with (5) straightened sections of paper clip about 3" long.
2) I took four of the five sections and held them in the middle with my needle nose pliers (at the widest point in the pliers) and bent each side down 45 degrees-ish. These are your legs (see pic).
3) The fifth section of paper clip was bent into a circle roughly the size of the battery holder. You will have to cut a little off. Keep the scraps for claws, etc. Solder the circle closed.
4) Lay the circle on your table and solder the leg sets on one at a time. Depending on the critter you are building you might not use all of the legs or you may need to bend some more up.
5) Now you should have legs soldered to a circular paper clip body. I used hot glue to attach the plastic battery holder to the chassis (see pic).
6) Decide where you want your eyes to end up (close to the body or more buggy) and solder the minus legs directly to the bug's metal chassis.
7) I soldered the positive leads of the LEDs together and just bent them up and over the battery (pretty close to it but not touching). Passers by just need to touch the LED critter's back to turn on his menacing eyes.
Take your time when soldering paper clips together so that they heat evenly. The joints will be stronger.
In the pic I used the battery and battery holder from an old PC mother board as the critter's body but this is optional. You could simply bend a loop out of paper clip to hold the battery in place instead.
His little booties are just some pieces of heat shrink to keep his legs from scrathing my desk.
I use different areas in the needle nose pliers jaws as bend guides so that legs, etc are consistent lengths.
If you're more artisitc than me you might be able to pull off the
most intense LED paper clip critter of all. The praying mantis. I'm not posting a pic of mine becuse it is dreadful.
Hopefully this inspires you to make some nerd jewelry for your desk!
Thanks for looking!
Step 3: Another Suggestion
Take a peek at my other instructable for a "dollar store joule thief". This makes a pretty sweet power supply for little critters with a AA or AAA battery as their body.