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Adafruit Graduation Gift Guide 2017: 3D Printing #3DThursday #3DPrinting

Adafruit graduation gift guide blog

Graduating is a great accomplishment. So is 3D printing your very own project! Keep your grad’s momentum flowing this summer with some of our favorite 3D printing guides from the Ruiz Brothers and Todd Treece in the Adafruit Learning System.

3D Printed Fidget Spinner: Make your own addictive spinner!

A fidget spinner is a simple and basic handheld toy meant for mindless fidgeting. These toys are one of those “I don’t get it” things, until you play with one. Fidgeting is actually very helpful for people with ADD/ADHD and even anxiety, but you don’t have to have a disorder to appreciate them.

There’s been a sudden explosion of fidget spinner designs on sites like Thingiverse.com. Most of them use a standard 608ZZ ball bearing to spin freely. They can be purchased online and cost anywhere from $10 – $20, but you could easily 3D print and make your own for a few cents! The recent trend of fabricating your own seems to vibe nicely with the maker community and even more so with 3D printing. (read more)


ESP8266 WiFi Weather Station with Color TFT Display: Build a Weather Station with ESP8266!

In this project, we’ll learn how to make a DIY fully featured weather station using an ESP8266 and a 2.4″ TFT touchscreen display. This project pulls weather data using the Wunderground API. It displays the date, time, current weather conditionals, 4-day forecast and even moon phases. (read more)


Mini Commodore PET with Charlieplexed LED Matrix: 3D Print This Adorable Retro-puter

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to build and assemble a mini replica of the PET commodore. This isn’t necessarily useful or an actual computer, it’s just a cool prop. You will however, hopefully gain some experience, learn something new and have fun 🙂

There’s 144 LEDs in the Adafruit 16×9 charlieplexed matrix. It’s a classic LED matrix look that uses the IS31FL3731 chipset and can PWM each individual LED in a 16×9 grid so you can have beautiful LED lighting effects. (read more)


MicroPython OLED Watch: Make a MicroPython OLED Watch!

In this project we’ll show you how to make a watch using an Adafruit Feather M0, an RTC module and an OLED display.

This uses microPython, which is an interpreted language that runs on small embedded boards. (read more)


Custom Bluetooth Cherry MX Gamepad: Make a custom wireless gamepad with Cherry MX Switches!

In this tutorial, we’ll build a custom PCB for Cherry MX switches and the Adafruit Feather 32u4 Bluefruit LE to make a custom gamepad. We’ll design and 3D print an enclosure and custom keycaps. This project is great for casual gaming, or creating custom controllers for various applications.

The Cherry MX switches are found in most gaming keyboards and offer a really satisfying click. Instead of remaking a full sized keyboard or standard keypad, I thought it’d be really cool to make a gamepad. There are lots of options for mechanical keyboards, but I don’t think I’ve seen a gamepad with Cherry MX switches. It’s not exactly the most practical use of cherry MX switches, but I think it makes a fun project 🙂 (read more)


Raspberry Pi Zero NPR One Radio: If you are a NPR nerd, this project is for you.

This project started last summer when I was sniffing traffic from the NPR One iOS app with wireshark. After logging a bunch of requests, I thought it might be possible to create a simple radio using a Raspberry Pi, since I’m unable to get a decent FM signal from WYPR or WAMU.

While testing out the endpoints, I spotted a link to NPR One public API docs in the error response. The project was pushed forward by the availibily of great API docs, and a bunch of application development and design documentation at the NPR One Developer Center. Since the NPR One API docs were written using swagger, it didn’t take much work to develop a full Node.js API client for NPR One by using swagger-client to connect to the API. (read more)


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Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!

Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!

The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!


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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

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