NeoPixel Servo Lenses

With Circuit Playground Express

Project Intro

Alright people let's do this one last time...

Its 2020, wearing a mask to pop down the shops for a pint of milk has become a bizarre kind of social standard. So the way I see it, if you've got to wear a mask, you may aswell have fun doing so! Get out and about with these light up spider-man goggles and take full advantage of some everyday-cosplay! I used Adafruits Circuit Playground Express (CPX) board with two NeoPixel Rings (16 x 5050 RGB LED) and a micro servo motor to control the pivoting axis. A basic gimble mechanism using a couple of Du-Bro Micro Ball Links (928) was designed in Fusion 360 to support the LED lenses so they can be worn without any electrical wires coming in contact with the wearers eyes. The lenses can alternate between 4 LED modes: Standard swirl, Pulsing White, Red wheel (for Karen's Instant Kill) & Multicolor swirls. Check out the project details below to see how I put this prop together.

Light Up Spider-Man Lenses

 

Designing In Fusion 360

I modelled the parts in Fusion 360 using Adafruits Costume Goggles as a base. These goggles are inexpensive, comfortable to wear and worked as a great start point for this project. I absolutely must give a nod to @kacosplaytech for this awesome set of servo operated lenses. The idea sparked me off in the first place, but I also wanted to include some lights that would activate when prompted. I figured using the CPX would work nicely as I would be able to control the servo motor pivoting the lenses while changing the LED's colours and animations.

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3D printed parts

All the parts were 3D printed in Polymaker PolMax PLA (supplied by 3d Filaprint) on my Creality Ender-3. PolMax PLA is great for rapid prototypes that need to withstand mechanical stress or high temperatures, so you can get pretty rough with this filament and it holds its strength very well. Pretty much everything was modelled in 3D space prior to designing the lens mechanism; such as the costumes goggles, caps, servo etc. ensuring appropriate tolerances for the moving parts.

 
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Wiring & Components

The lenses operate by pressing the A and B buttons on the CPX; alternating between 4 modes controlling the NeoPixel rings (2x16 LEDS), the 10 onboard CPX LEDS and the servo motor. Check this Fritzing Wiring Diagram for more information on the circuit. I programmed the board with Microsoft MakeCode which is great for beginners and experienced coders. You can check out or edit the - Project File Here. There is a list of off-the-shelf items I used to assemble these lenses below:

  • 3 X M2 14mm Button/Flat Head Hex screw
  • 21 X M2 12mm Button/Flat Head Hex screw
  • 6 X M2 8mm Button/Flat Head Hex screw
  • 2 X M2 5mm Button/Flat Head Hex screw
  • 1 X HITEC HS-53 Servo / w x2 screws
  • 1 X Du-Bro Micro Ball Links 928
  • 1 X Circuit Playground Express | ID: 3333
  • 2 X Adafruit NeoPixel Rings 16 x 5050 RGB LED
  • 1 X Adafruit Costume lenses | ID: 1577
  • 8 X N52 10x2mm Disc Magnets
  • 2 X Clear Plastic Disks Ø47.5mm / Sheet 1mm
  • Clear Plastic Sheet - 1mm
  • Soldering Iron | Solder
  • Selection of Stranded-Core Wire-26AWG
  • 6, 3 & 2 Pin JST Connectors
  • Heatshrink Tubing
  • Final outcome

    There we go. It's a relatively straight forward project to demonstrate concept design, 3d printing & basic electronics to create an effective little prop. This was a first attempt at programming with Makecode on the Circuit Playground Express but the code does demonstrate some interesting animations that can be edited to suit another project. Subscribe to my Youtube Channel for future projects and if enough people actually want to build one of these kits I'll be sure to share the STL files.

    See below for a build video demonstrating how I put this prop together!

     
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    • Created by: K Meadows
    • Completed on: 18th August 2020
    • Software: Fusion 360
    • Purpose: Electronics Project
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