With Christmas nearly upon us again, makers everywhere are looking into fun 3D printing projects with a holiday-themed touch. Unfortunately, most are not as cool, beautiful or even as covered in lights as most of the store-bought decorations available nowadays, so good luck convincing your partner to hang them in the tree. Fortunately, there is another option, coming straight from Functionalize’s workshop on the North Pole. They have just shared two 3D printable designs for tree ornaments that, with the help of their highly conductive F-Electric filament, LEDs and a small laser, add a bright 3D printing touch to the festive season.
Readers might remember Functionalize from their efforts to bring electricity into the realm of 3D printing. A year ago, they brought us the world’s first highly conductive 3D printing filament for PLA-based 3D printers, and have since been making it possible to simply insert LEDs and more into prints for fabulous new effects. Remember this easily 3D printed flashlight?
These new Christmas ornaments can be seen in a similar light. “The elves here at Functionalize bring you good tidings of great 3D joy, which shall be to all makers: For unto you is posted this day an LED flashing, laser-shooting circuit board and spaceship STL, printable with F-Electric conductive filament”, they tell us. “Most joyously, the elves designed this circuit board for printing on a single head printer. And cleverly, the resistor component is printed in F-Electric, to the exact resistance required for the timer chip.”
What’s more, they are also quite simple to make and a perfect way to get familiar with the benefits of conductive filament 3D printing. In additional to the STL files for the Ornament Spaceship and theOrnament STL Circuit, you simply need regular PLA (for the circuit board base), F-Electric filament for the circuit traces and connectors, a capacitor (from 22 – 56 uF) for determining laser blink speed, a 8-pin 555 timer and a laser. Two multi-colored LEDs are also included, while a silver conductive pen is used to solidly attach the little electric parts in place. “You might also try the Nickel conductive pen, to save some money, but we have not used it ourselves,” they say of the parts.
While they haven’t made a detailed tutorial here, the overview of the Functionalize website and some basic circuit making experience will help you a long way. Can you think of a better way to combine Christmas and 3D printing?