We are thrilled to announce our newest project - a majestic unicorn sculpture with embedded LEDs! The Crystal Unicorn will be made up of 600 clear 3D-printed pieces and will be assembled to create a 4-foot-tall unicorn sculpture.
These parts have internal channels that we'll be stringing LED strips through. Please print your part in translucent clear plastic so the LEDs can shine through and diffuse to create a stunning effect when lit up. We’ll be controlling the LEDs with a microcontroller and will be able to display neat patterns like rainbows and fire. We’ll be displaying the sculpture at Playa de Fuego, a regional burner event Memorial Day Weekend in Tamaqua, PA. We received a small art grant for this project and will be using it to cover costs of things like LEDs, power, and building materials.
To create this model, Todd started with stronghero’s open source horse model, sliced the head off, modeled in a spot for the unicorn horn in Meshmixer, hollowed the model out, and added tubes for the lights. This model was then sliced up in LuBan to create the 600 parts. I did the horn separately because I’d like to build that first and display it on its own to help promote the project. I’d also like to light the horn separately from the rest of the head to make it stand out on its own.
What makes this project even more special is that each piece will be made from translucent clear plastic with internal tubes to allow for embedded with LEDs, creating a stunning effect when lit up. The unicorn sculpture will be a glowing symbol of hope, beauty, and imagination - a true masterpiece that will inspire anyone who sees it.
We are inviting everyone in the WeTheBuilders community to be a part of this project. Whether you have experience with 3D printing or not, there are many ways to get involved. You can contribute by printing parts, assembling the sculpture, or helping to promote the project on social media.
Over a dozen LED strips will be threaded through the sculpture. They'll be placed in the tubes that start from the base and go al throughout the sculpture. They will all be wired together and controlled from a central location. The LEDs will be able to display a pattern and be coordinated and run in sync with each other. The sculpture will function as a display for these LED strips. It will be able to display different patterns like a simulated fire pattern, rainbows and more.
The channels for the LEDs were added in Meshmixer before slicing the model up using the Add Tube function. We found the easiest settings to use were Autoroute Minimal for this function.
We used the LuBan software again which really streamlined our process and helped us save a ton of time. Here is what the Crystal Unicorn model looked like when we sliced it up in that software. It gives us estimates on print time and weight and let us preview the slicing before each part was saved as a separate .STL. We are again using the registration features on each block so they'll be easier to orient and align during the construction. This will be especially important to be sure the LED tubes stay alligned.
The main head of the unicorn will be made of 587 blocks, and the horn will be made of 13 blocks. We'll have the sample horn completed and on display on April 23rd at the Downtown Columbia Mini Maker Faire in Columbia Maryland.
We’re asking you to print your part in translucent clear plastic so the LEDs can shine through and diffuse to create a stunning effect when lit up.
Thank you for contributing to this fanciful project! Some reminders:
Our thanks to all the individuals who are making this project happen!