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Halloween 3D Printing & Laser Cutting Projects

With Halloween just a few weeks away there is no better time to begin planning your spooky making activities, we thought we would get in nice and early this year and share some of our designs. We've got a handful of Halloween 3D printing and laser cutting projects to help get you in the mood and maybe give you a few ideas too!

Halloween 3D Printing -all-ideas-870

We've included download links for all of our design files so you can begin making straight away! Although this isn't a tutorial we've included tips with each of the projects to help you get up and running with as little fuss as possible.

 

Halloween 3D Printing & Laser Cutting Projects:

Near the foot of the article we've also listed some of the other ideas we had that we didn't have time to produce, hopefully some of these ideas will help to inspire your own designs. The download links for our designs can be found within the relevant sections.

 

Halloween Flicker Boxes:

Halloween 3D Printing -flicker-boxes-870

These highly effective little flicker boxes were designed in 2D and then cut with the laser cutter from shiny black card. You should be able to source suitable card from any stationers or craft shop. They can be put on a windowsill or suspended in air by attaching thin string or fishing line.

Tips: We glued squares of thin white paper inside of each of the design windows. This allows the light to get out but hides the LEDs from view. To light the box, we took the quick route and taped our LED to a coin cell battery and popped it into the box. The candle LEDs mimic how fire flickers and look quite effective, especially when the LEDs are hidden from view as they are in these boxes.

Flicker LED GIF

We used: 

Downloads:

 

Halloween Pumpkin With Yellow Flickering Candle LED:

Halloween 3D Printing pumpkins-870

 The above pumpkin design was 3D designed for printing and features the same flickering candle LED that we used in our flicker boxes. Although we only had time to print one, we made three designs, each design used the same pumpkin and lid with the pumpkins being overlaid with different DXF files for the face design, we chose DXF over SVG file as they are easier to handle within our CAD software.

Tip: As with the flicker boxes, the LEDs are more effective when they are hidden from view. Our design features a little tombstone within the pumpkin which has a space at the back to hold the coin cell battery. The LED is then pushed over the battery and is kept in place by the tight fit of the battery holder.

We used: 

Downloads:

 

Bat With Flapping Wings:

Halloween 3D Printing bat-870

This is my favourite design out of the four projects. Not only does it automatically flap its wings but it also highlights how a design fail can turn into a design win. We initially laser cut our bat from a perspex sheet with some kerf cuts along the wing/body join so that the wings would flap. In our haste we got our sums wrong and kerf bending became kerf snapping. We re-cut our bat from polypropylene and salvaged the body from our perspex version to act as a platform for mounting our flapping mechanism.

Halloween 3D Printing bat-close-up-870

Our flapping mechanism is quite simple and consisted of a battery cage, a BBC micro:bit, a servo, some crocodile leads and a length of wire. Oh, and some sticky pads!

The flapping was achieved by having the BBC micro:bit rotate a servo back and forth, we threaded a piece of wire through the servo horn and passed either end through a wing and knotted them.

Halloween 3D Printing -bat-full-back-870

Tip: Details on how to code the BBC micro:bit to control a servo can be found here. We used the same code for this project only tweaking the code slightly to get the desired effect.

We used:

Tip: To connect the BBC micro:bit to the servo we created Frankenstein leads out of the jumper wires and crocodile leads. One end of our lead had a Male jumper connector and the other end had a crocodile clip.

Downloads:

 

Waving Skeleton:

Halloween 3D Printing -skeleton-870

 Last but not least is our servo assisted waving skeleton, this design would look great hanging in a window. The skeleton was cut in two pieces from a perspex sheet. As you can see from the above picture, the servo was mounted on the rear with the shaft coming through to the front. The arm bone was connected to the... servo and screwed firmly to it.

Tip: Details on how to code the BBC micro:bit to control a servo can be found here. We used the same code for this project only tweaking the code slightly to get the desired waving effect. Although we built ours using the prototyping system, if we were going to put it into a window we would power it and connect it up in the same way we did for our flapping bat design.

We used: 

Downloads:

 

Further Project Ideas:

halloween-project-ideas-horns-870

  • Motorised Spider: Laser cut or 3D print a spider and attach it to a motor using string. Use the BBC micro:bit and a motor driver board to drive the motor one way and then the other, lowering the spider down and then winding it back up. This would work great in a window.
  • Wearable horns with lights: 3D print hollow horns that can be held in place with a strap and design an insert for each that holds a coin cell battery and an LED. Design the horns so that they are thin enough for the light to be visible. If you're feeling really adventurous  you could add light sensing functionality so that the LEDs only turn on in the dark or add physical on/off switches.
  • Sweet collecting cauldron: Design a sweet cauldron with a lid and holes for a string handle. You can place an SVG or DXF image on the bucket in much the same way as we did with the pumpkins above. A flickering light inside would also enhance it's look, especially outside when going door to door.

 

Time Lapse Video Of A Halloween 3D Print:

 

If you wanted to have a go at creating a time-lapse video of your own 3D printing projects we've got some resources to help you do just that. Although aimed at those who use a Robox 3D printer some of the hacks can be used for any 3D printer. The table below contains links to all of the relevant resources.

 

How To Make A Time-Lapse Video Of A 3D Print.
Make A Time-Lapse 3D Print Video With A GoPro We cover how to trigger a GoPro camera with a Robox printer over WiFi to fully automate your time-lapse image capture.
Make A Time-Lapse 3D Print Video With A DSLR. This time we are going to cover how to use Robox’s Go Pro Trigger function, and a a little hack, to trigger a DSLR Camera to fully automate your time-lapse image capture.
Make A Light Rig For Time-Lapse 3D Prints. How we made a custom light rig for time-lapse 3D print videos to ensure consistent results for each print.

 

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2 thoughts on “Halloween 3D Printing & Laser Cutting Projects”

  • Hello,

    I downloaded the flicker boxes. When importing in techsoft 2d design I only go the box net, without spooky designs. In Inkscape I got the designs outside of the box net.
    The bat won't import in 2d Design as dxf. not will the skeleton. In Inscape the bat will import but the fold lines are off. The skeleton won't import.
    Please can you email me the correct files.

    thanks R. Smout

    Reply
    • Hi Robin, sorry you had issues with the resource files. I've emailed new versions of the files which should solve your issues.

      Reply
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