How we made rocket night light
Ok. We started new DIY project – We will make Night light for kids. We will use 3D printing and publicly available technologies. So no welding, no drilling, no CNC router machining. This project can be used in science lessons or in technical creativity studios for children.
Task and requirements for a night light for kids:
- Make a night light for children.
- The night light must be battery powered.
- Should be simple and affordable for every family (who has a 3D printer).
- Should not require special equipment.
- The night light should be easy to assemble even by a child.
- Do not use soldering.
- Must have a switch.
- Should make children happy!
This is not an ordinary decor project “from what you found in the kitchen”. You will have to buy at least 10 LEDs (you can easily do this on Amazon). And you definitely need a 3D printer. If you don’t have it at home, you can ask your school or friends to print the parts. In our work we will use various programs: Autodesk Fusion, Blender. We will upload the finished files for printing in stl format, a little later, when the project is finalized.
Let’s start as usual with sketches. In case you forgot, we are on the Cats on a mission website. So our night light for children should be on a space theme. Let it be Rocket. Yes, rocket night light!
We hope your kids enjoy it. Maybe this will be the beginning of a series of DIY devices for children.Or maybe someday we will launch the device into production! Then we can write on our website “Whoo! We made the best night light for children ever!”. Now we need to focus on design.
The main task is to figure out how to assemble an electrical circuit without soldering. So that the contact be reliable and the design is very simple. We had many different ideas:
for example, use graphite from a pencil to draw them on a printed circuit board, or use standard sockets from computers. All this was discarded because it turned out to be too complicated. We need an idea that is very simple to implement. We need a super duper simple DIY. Our night light for kids should be very simple and don’t require any special skills from the maker.
We’ve done some failed tests. Then again the search for an idea, then again drawing with a pencil and in Fusion. Printing on a 3D printer. Then all over again. I had to do about 10 iterations.
Eureka! It seems that an idea was found on how to fix and connect the LEDs on the night light without soldering! At some point, it even seemed to us genius! (joke). We will make holes in the plate. And insert the LEDs in them rotated 90 degrees! Okay, you say. You inserted the LEDs.
What’s next?How do I connect them to the battery? After all, our children’s night light will be battery powered? Is not it? Do not worry. Everything is invented! Take a look at the picture below. We’ll take metal foil. Let’s cut the tracks out of it. We put them on the legs of the LEDs. Press the top and bottom with the front plate. It will turn out like a hamburger. The conductive tracks will not move anywhere and will firmly press against the LED contacts.
Where can I get metal foil? Its quite simple. Aluminum foil from a can is suitable for the night light for children. Can From your favorite carbonated drink. Since the post is not paid by the …o…a-…ola company – we will use Noname can. An important point. The foil in cans is covered with a protective film and is non-conductive. We’ll have to scrape it off. It is enough to clean one side. Let it be the inner side. It is much easier to clean it. We cleaned with sandpaper. f you don’t have sandpaper in your house, you can try scraping off the top protective soy with a knife. Do you have a knife in the house? 🙂
How to cut foil wires straight? It’s easy too. We will print two templates on a 3D printer. We press the template to the foil (the foil must be pre-stripped. Because peeling a whole sheet is much easier than narrow strips). Then we circle it with a felt-tip pen. When everything is outlined, you can cut it with ordinary scissors. The thickness of the foil from the cans is small. Therefore, ordinary scissors can easily cope with this task.
The main technical problem has been solved. Now it’s time to think about a night light design for kids.Time to model a little in Blender. During the design process, we also had to discard several options. First we were going to make the fairing round (photo below). But this idea seemed to us not very good.
In this case, the holes for the LEDs “do not work”. The design of the night light turns out to be too simple and banal.
You need to look for something more interesting. Let’s try to build on our hamburger idea. The entire design of the night light consists of flat plates pressed against each other. It remains only to come up with the design of the side plates.
Also, when designing, you must not forget about the battery compartment. We are going to use AAA size cylindrical batteries. They are the most affordable and small in size. Why are we using 2 batteries? One battery has a supply voltage of 1.5V. For most LEDs, the minimum voltage is 2V. This means that one battery will not be enough. By connecting two batteries in series – we get 3V at the output and our LEDs will glow brightly enough.
With all these considerations in mind, we draw folowing design. Looks interesting, what do you say?
I’d like to see how the night light will look with the LEDs on. But this is not yet possible. You need to be patient and do all the work to the end.
For now, let’s not think about the mount. First you need to assemble a night light for children “as is”.Other disadvantages will appear during the assembly process. We will fix all this a little later.
So far, only half of the head has been printed. We added batteries. I think it looks good. What do you think?
We still like everything. Now it’s time to think about a switch for your night light. We immediately dropped the idea of using off-the-shelf switches.They have many benefits. But they also have one big drawback – you don’t have them at home. And the purchase can take a long time.
Taking into account everything described above, we will construct our own switch. Let’s make it in the shape of a middle rocket booster. If the lever is turned to the side, this will be the “off” state.
If the Lever is in the middle, it means “on”.In order for the circuit to close, we need to insert a piece of metal foil into the switch. Do you still have foil from the previous step? Try not to throw anything away until we finish everything. Our project is absolutely eco-friendly. We use recycled materials in our work.
First, let’s print the test switch of the night light separately. Let’s check how well the parts connect.
We will also check how reliably the night light for children turns off and on. After we make sure that everything works as it should, we will retype the main part of the night light and put everything together again.
It’s free for copy/paste sharing on other websites. But backlink to the source required.
Full tutorial how to make Rocket night light for kids is here.