Optic Fibre Star Map




Introduction: Optic Fibre Star Map

So, a while ago I saw this intructable: https://www.instructables.com/id/Star-Map/ and I fell in love. At that time I didn't have the time and money, until this summer! As MrTrick said, this is a time consuming project. I based this project on his instructable, but some steps were a little different. Maybe if your inspiration or motivation is gone, this extra instructable could help you! It's not the most extensive instructable, but I hope you'll enjoy it. :)

This map is about 170x100cm big, has a lót of stars which I haven't counted because, well, aint nobody got time for that and weighs quite a lot.
It also has a few different twinkling options, which looks really pretty.

And now, on to the first step!

Step 1: Materials

You need:

Optic fibres:

You can use either a christmas tree and/or a UFO-lamp. I found my tree at a fleamarket for 5 euros and bought some cheap UFOlamps, because I wanted a big map and the tree was just a bit too small to cover the whole surface.

Light source:

I'm not the most briliant person when it comes to electronics, so I chose the easier option: buy a string of fairy lights and bundle them together. They usually have different modes which makes the stars twinkle!

I used foamboard. Foamboard is really light but really strong, perfect for this project! To cover the substrate I chose stick on velcro. You could just paint the foamboard or use cloth or whatever. It's your personal choice.

Just as MrTrick's Map, I had to make my own frame. So you need wood, tools, screws, wood glue etc.

Step 2: Stripping the Tree

This, ladies and gentlemen, is nót a fun thing to do. It takes a LOT of time and will drive you slightly mad, but all for a good cause ofcourse. The trick was to start at the bottom and work your way up. I used this http://www.atelier-yvonne.nl/images/tornmesje.jpg little tool to strip the tree, very useful! (According to google translate it's called a seam stripper).
Eventually you'll only have the optic fibres left!

Step 3: Velcro!

Time to stick the velcro on the foamboard!

First i spraypainted the foamboard, so that if the material wasn't perfectly alligned you wouldn't see white stripes. Unfortunately I couldn't buy one big piece of velcro, so I had to use three roles (well, four, I screwed up).
So, this job is really a two person job and patience is the answer! Be very careful, otherwise air gets stuck underneath and then you can start over. Luckily foamboard has two sides! The lines between the roles stay visible in daylight, but I don't mind.

Step 4: Time to Print Out and Poke the Stars!

Because what's more fun than having the actual sky on your wall!

I used the program Celestia (see https://www.instructables.com/id/Star-Map/ step 5) which worked perfectly.
I didn't glue the paper on the foamboard, but used sticky tape.
I put the board on a few toiletpaperroles and started poking.. and poking..and poking, using the MkII-hole-poking-device (see pic), which indeed was pretty handy. My advice: put on netflix or music or something.

Step 5: Sticking the Fibres Through

As you can see, because of screwing up, the black spay painted lines are also on the back side and also the right hand corner is missing a layer since the velcro was a bit more sticky than I thought. First I poked the ufolamps in each corner (don't really know why, just started somewhere) and than it's just a matter of (again), poking and poking and poking (and watching netflix) and poking.. The advantage of the velcro was that the needle-poked-hole stayed 'open', but shrunk just a tiny bit, which made it annoying to guide the fibres through, but once through they stayed where they were! No glue needed!
I removed the paper with the stars because the holes were visible on the foamboard.
Don't cut the fibres just yet! Just leave them like that until the very last phase.
As you can see in the last picture, it looks so cool! Some stars are brighter than others because of the bundled LEDs and different sizes fibre.

Step 6: Making the Frame

So, my frame is a little bit different from the frame MrTrick's made. The second photo shows it pretty well. First I made the outer frame and then scewed on the inner frame, using lots of glue and screwes, insuring it won't fall apart. I haven't made a lot of pictures of this bit, sorry. The paint used was cheap spray paint (2 euros) but it worked perfectly. The goal was to still see the woodpattern, but this is your personal choice.

Step 7: Putting It All Together

Unfortunately, didn't make lots of pictures.

The foamboard was put in the frame and fastened with a few cubes made out of wood, scewed to the inner frame.
The LED's were bundled together with tiewraps and duct tape and fastened to the optic fibre bundles using the same materials. There were some LEDS unused, but I just let them dangle there. MrTrick covered the back due to light leakage, but I didn't. Again, personal choice. If i'm ever going to move it, then it might be a good idea to protect the fibres that way.

Last step, cut off the fibres, hang on the wall and stare in awe to the beautiful artpiece you've created!

To attach the starmap, I used these kind of brackets: http://www.schuttingensite.nl/upload/Elephant/pics/groot/0019-99799999HK006.jpg

Good luck!

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