LED Ring - Inspired by Detroit: Become Human

About: Web developer by day, tinkerer by night. IoT, Home Automation and LEDs are my passion

A friend of mine asked if I could make something like the ring out of the game "Detroit: Become Human",

I initially tried to use sanded acrylic, which didn't work well. Then I used blurred film on the acrylic which also didn't work the best.

I finally settled on using hotglue and casting it in a 3D printed mould. Which is my entry to the "Stick It!" competition.

The parts list is quite basic, you could switch out the 3d prints with rings cut from wood and cardboard if one isn't available:

  • 3D printer
  • Arduino
  • Hot glue gun with clear glue
  • Wire
  • LED
  • Wire strippers (the £1.20 ones from china work fine)

Step 1: Salvage LED From Strip

To start with you need to find an RGB led, I found that using a WS2812B or similar is best, this is due to their low profile.

I had tried using a traditional RGB LED but its footprint was too large and left dark areas.

To start with you need to cut away the excess PCB from the back of the LED, we do this so that it is hidden behind the glue. We also keep some of the PCB so we can use its adhesive backing, this comes in handy later.

Step 2: Solder Stripped LED and Wire Arduino

Once you have stripped your LED back to a small PCB you need to solder three wires onto the LED itself. Note: If you are using a different LED chip you might have to use an extra wire for the clock, WS2812B LEDs just use 1 line for data.

I used an arduino nano for my project to make it easier to carry, I power it using a cheap powerbank that is just a single cell and find it runs great.

Step 3: Prepare and Print Parts

Since this project uses hot glue to make the transparent LED holder I decided to 3d print a cast for the glue.

I have found that printing on glass yields the best results, this is because we use the print bed for the casting as well as the printing. We do this so the inner circle is perfectly centred in the whole assembly. The assembly is just a hollow ring with a disc in the centre.

Step 4: Glue Casting

Once the parts are printed now its time to add the glue and the LED itself.

Again, we cast on the printer so we need to leave the parts on there for now. Fill the void with glue and then add the cap and LED.

Step 5: Removing the Cast and Cleaning

Once the cast is fully cooled its time to peel it off the printing surface, all the plastic will come with it, that is fine as we snip it off anyway.

The outer plastic ring is trickier to remove, I tend to take some wire cutters to it and just snip it off that way in stages, making sure to avoid slashing the cast itself.

Step 6: Final Thoughts and Future Improvements

Congrats you have reached the end!

Some potentional additions to this could be:

  • Remove the need for a 3D printer
  • Make the design even smaller

This is my entry to the "STICK IT! " contest if you enjoyed this instructable, please vote below :)

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    32 Discussions

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    alexsl

    Question 4 months ago

    Hi I just want to know since your vidéo and picture arent very clear. Is there any visible wire anywhere ? Since on the picture we cant really see the side and on the video it is really far.

    Otherwise honestly it look perfect!

    3 answers
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    JammyDodger231alexsl

    Answer 4 months ago

    The wire is visible at the back, but the wire itself is very thin, about 1mm :)

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    alexslJammyDodger231

    Reply 4 months ago

    Oh perfect then ! I will try to follow eventually the tutorial but for now as i understand when i plug my arduino nano on my mac (i dont have a pc) the port showing is set to bluethoot which doesnt work sadly maybe ill find eventually a solution for that. I havent look too much into it since i am working on 3 other cosplay in a rush for this weekend X_X

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    alexsl

    Question 4 months ago

    Also...some commenter are talking about the diagram that show an arduino uno but...i'm not sure where to find the diagram since i want to see how to plug the arduino. If i click on download up there it just download the page wich isnt what i was expecting x)

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    JammyDodger231alexsl

    Answer 4 months ago

    After the questions about the diagram showing an arduino uno I thought I would remove it to avoid confusion :) I don't remember how I wired it in this version as I have changed it since then, but you can use pretty much any output pin on an arduino using the FastLED library :)

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    TheDancingO

    Question 4 months ago

    What kind of price are you asking for these? If you're still selling. And how are you changing the colors?

    1 answer
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    JammyDodger231TheDancingO

    Answer 4 months ago

    Drop me a PM :) and the colors change using a button that is on the controller that goes into the pocket

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    JammyDodger231

    Answer 5 months ago

    I am! Please send me a PM and I will message you directly :)

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    Artuino

    Tip 5 months ago

    maybe you could smoother some oil inside your cast so that the hotglue will not stick to it.

    1 reply
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    JammyDodger231Artuino

    Reply 5 months ago

    Funnily enough, the most recent one I will be trying silicone spray to try and stop it sticking :) only thing is that because of the way its printed I actually wanted one part to stick, since then though I have bought a proper craft knife to trim it properly
    . Thanks for the tip!

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    LivG1

    5 months ago

    This is so cool by far

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    LivG1

    Question 5 months ago on Introduction

    Will you make a tutorial on youtube visually? Also I am interested to purchase ^^

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    Melany Eichholz

    5 months ago

    Hi there! Could I potentially purchase one of these from you?

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    gingerminion

    5 months ago

    Hi I was interested in seeing if you're currently doing color changing led commissions? I am really interested and can even put a downpayment if needed :)

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    KelseysamanthaB

    Question 5 months ago on Introduction

    Could you please do the version that doesn't use the 3D printer just so I know how to do it and I don't mess up.