Tag Archives: Christmas

3D printing a white Christmas with the Atmel-powered MakerBot

Who doesn’t love the Plaza in New York City? Over the years, the hotel has hosted a number of famous visitors in its hallowed suites, including The Beatles. More recently, a MakerBot-made Christmas Tree topper made an appearance in the Plaza’s lobby when the hotel proudly unveiled its annual holiday tree.

“The striking evergreen is crowned with a gleaming twenty-four-inch snowflake printed on an [Atmel-powered] MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer using [the company’s] True White PLA Filament,” MakerBot’s Ben Millstein explained in a recent blog post. “The tree topper is just one of the artfully crafted snowflake designs curated by Saks Fifth Avenue for their own flagship Manhattan store and the lobby display at The Plaza.”

Indeed, Saks Fifth Avenue tapped award-winning graphic artist and longtime creative collaborator Marian Bantjes to create the unique snowflake ornaments for the holiday season. According to Millstein, Bantjes brought her signature style to the ornate, hand-drawn snowflake designs.

“For our collaboration with Saks, the MakerBot Design Team reinterpreted a selection of her designs as 3D printable models,” he added.

Readers interested in seeing more 3D printed snowflakes and a Replicator 2 demo can visit the MakerBot kiosk on the fourth floor of the original Saks Fifth Avenue department store on 611 Fifth Avenue.

Christmas lights with an Atmel-based Arduino

Thanksgiving may be over, but Christmas and twinkling holiday lights are headed our way. And really, what could be more appropriate for Makers than strings of artfully strung Christmas lights controlled by an Atmel-based Arduino?

One such DIY LED array recently came to our attention, courtesy of the folks at HackADay.

Indeed, a Maker by the name of Anx2k created permanently mounted Christmas lights using LEDs left over from another project. More specifically, the RGB pixels are mounted underneath the tiles on the roof, three per tile, two facing up on either side of the tile and one facing out at an angle in the middle.

“All the wires [run] into his attic where he has an electrical box serving as the main control hub. He uses an Arduino Uno (ATmega328) to control them and a 460W computer power supply to provide the juice,” explained HackADay’s James Hobson.

“The LED modules themselves are Adafruit RGB pixel strings. There’s actually three of the LED modules per tile – two shining up to illuminate the tile, and one shining out.”

As you can see in the video above, Anx2k configured a number of slick patterns for the Arduino Uno to run, including color drop, blended Christmas, spectrum chase, Christmas alternate, random stars and rainbow.