Never be afraid of the dark again with this Tron light! Use it as a night light or just a cool decoration. I loved the look of the newest Tron movie and decided to finally create my own version of an identity disc. I recently got involved with 3D printing, so I wanted to print my own design for this light. Since I don’t own a 3D printer, I used the site http://www.makexyz.com/ to find someone who would print the parts for me. I will show you the pieces I used to build this project and show how you can customize your own.
I have attached the .stl files I used for this project. Here is a list of other items you might need:
· 3D printer/3D printed parts
· Cyanoacrylate (Super-glue)
· Nail file
· Color changing LED tealight (http://www.homedepot.com/p/Home-Accents-Holiday-Color-Changing-Tealight-Candle-5-Piece-1659014/202407336)
Now, without further ado, let’s enter the Grid!
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Step 1: Designing the Model
The first thing you need to do is come up with a design. The identity disc is obvious, but it’s up to you how you want to make the base. I opted for a partial pyramid shape to make it look like a trophy. I started by making the base (called Generic Base). While modeling this part in Solidworks, I kept in mind that this piece would be clear so that the light from the LED could shine through. I essentially made the part how I intended the finished product to look and then I left certain parts open so I could add other parts in black plastic (I used ABS).
After making the base, I created the other pieces so they would fit in with the base. These pieces (all of the covers) were made by measuring the base and creating parts that would fit to create the finished model. Make sure you leave some space for clearance, otherwise the parts might not all fit together. I then put all the parts together in an assembly file to make sure that everything looked right and fit together.
In my design, there is a perfect spot on the front of the base to customize it by adding your initials, for example. I found a website (http://www.dafont.com/tr2n.font) that had a font style to match that of Tron: Legacy. I didn’t like how they did the J or the A, however; so I came up with my own.
Now that you’re done modeling (or you plan on using the files I provided), it’s time to print.
Step 2: Printing the Model
In order to print some of the pieces, and depending on the type of 3D printer you use, you will need support material. All of the parts should be printed in black except for the base, which should be clear (often called natural). The Front Cover and Disc Cover should have no problems printing with the flat side of the model on the printer bed. In order to print the Base Cover, you have some options. One option would be to print it with support material and keep it in its final orientation. Alternatively, I recommend printing it so that the side with the cutout is on the printer bed so that you don’t have to use so much support material and this orientation will give you less problems while printing.
The largest piece is going to be the Base. This will require support material because the inside is hollow so that you can fit the LED tealight inside.
Step 3: Assembling the Model
Now that you have all of the parts printed, it’s time to put everything together. When I printed the parts, I actually didn't have enough clearance so I needed to file down some of the parts to make them fit. I then just squeezed the parts together instead of using glue because it was a tight fit. If you leave enough space for all the parts to fit together and you don't have to squeeze them in, you can secure them by just using super glue or any other adhesion method.
Step 4: Adding the Light
Once you have an LED tealight, take apart the cover so that the LED is exposed. With the tealight I used, I had to pry off the plastic flame as shown in the pictures. You can leave the cover on if you really want, and if it fits, but the light won’t be as bright.
Step 5: Finishing Touches
Next, turn on the tealight and insert it into the opening in the back of the assembled model. If your tealight has multiple lighting options, you can choose to have it cycle through the colors or leave it on a particular color. Now you’re ready to show off your identity disc!
I hope you enjoyed reading my first Instructable and I hope you will look forward to more 3D printing Instructables from me!
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