Snowy mobile speaker is an interactive speaker and I created it as my personal expression to get away from mundane Christmas day and enjoy it with a unique display.
Since I crafted this by folding origami and running basic led Arduino code, beginners or elementary after school STEAM club are also manage to create it and have fun together if they have materials.
Okay let's start!
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Step 1: Materials
- A1 size Papers (depends how many snowflakes you want to make)
- Any kind of conductive thread
- Speaker amplifier (https://www.adafruit.com/product/2130)
- ⅛ inch audio cable (like from an old pair of headphones)
- Any kind of flexible wires
- Leds (White and blue)
- Cotton puffs
- A hanger
Step 2: Fold Origami
Let's make snowflakes. Aligns faces with the circle. I wanted active and 3 dimensional snowflakes so, I followed one of Richard Sweeney's origami pattern for my snowflakes. To make them look diverse, I used white and silver colored papers.
Here are some links that you can follow:
As you can see it looks really challenging to cut every single fractal, so I drew the outline of a piece and did laser cut for 30 pieces before folding them.
Step 3: Insert LEDs in Paper Crafts
After completing paper crafts, put white and blue LEDs inside origami snowflakes and cover the surface with cotton puffs.
(I will attach the final code in the back.)
Step 4: Make a Speaker
On this step you will need
- Conductive thread
Speaker amplifier (https://www.adafruit.com/product/2130)
⅛ inch audio cable (like from an old pair of headphones)
to make a paper speaker and solder amplifier.
You need to sew or put conductive thread in a spiral shape and in this case, it is important to keep the closest distance between each gap and the more you make spiral, the stronger the sound will be.
Here is a further information how to create a speaker: http://www.kobakant.at/DIY/?p=2936
I found the very important issue when testing sounds: if you use thick paper or fabric it hinder the sound waves to vibrate easily and also the silver color thread that I attached on the preivious step works the best.
This is quite challegning part. Soldering!! Please be careful while soldering otherwise, you will burn your finger.
Soldering two elegator clips, lithium Ion Polymer Battery, and two sides of audio cable! Again, it has really small room for soldering please be careful!
[Connect the amplifier to paper speaker and play the music by using magnets]
After completing prior two steps, now you are ready to play the Christmas carol!!
Plugin the audio cable to your phone and after hitting play button, you can listen to it by swaying the magnets above the paper speaker (or you can just attach the magnet on it).
Step 5: Add Snow Effect!!
I wanted to give snow effect which moving up and down so I used muscle wires (Flexinol) to give the effect.
I used the linear trained version, but I realized it would be better to use spiral one to create the more active and realistic effect. It depends how you want to make the effect so look throught those links that I attached below.
Here is the link you can buy it.
Step 6: Combine All Parts Together
Let's put all pieces that we created together!!
I refer to the structure of Alexander Calder's mobile to look more dynamic and unique.
Based on his mobile mechanism, i drew my own drawing and wireframed the structure and painted white acrylic paint on it.
Attach all origami snowflakes on tip of the frames with glues or tape. In this case, I used Arduino to control the LEDs and muscle wire, I had to link each led legs with conductive thread and extend it to the Arduino.
Since you should keep seperate conductive thread not to touch with each other, you need to wind thread on each wire.
Step 7: Have a Wonderful Christmas With This Snowy Speaker:)
Now it is time to enjoy with the snow mobile speaker!
Put them in the dark room for a better effect.
First of all, I had a difficulty in making an amplifier circuit and tried several kinds of conductive threads and attach on one of the biggest origami but it is smaller than I expected so for future iteration, I will try to embed all things like Arduino and speaker and other circuits in origami.
What I learned from this project:
I learned how to link Flexino to Arduino and how to use it not only technically but in design wise. I also found which thread works better than others to make quality sounds.