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Adafruit Graduation Gift Guide 2018: 3D Printing #3DThursday #3DPrinting

Adafruit graduation gift guide blog

The Adafruit Learn system is full of great 3D printable gift ideas for Graduates. Whether you want to print a special project yourself or gift the raw materials, 3D printing projects are sure to impress!

Want your Grad to stand out during the commencement ceremony? Why not 3D print some custom letters or print a POV LED wand!

Checkout these great 3D printing projects that would make excellent gifts for the Grad in your life!


Custom 3D Hat Graphics – Custom embroidery? Nah, custom 3D printing! Bring your hat’s style into the 21st century with this easy printing+sewing project.

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CircuitPython Painter – In this project we’ll show you how to build a POV LED wand. Adafruit DotStar’s deliver high speed PWM making them great for Persistence Of Vision. It’s powered by Adafruit’s Circuit Python, making it really easy to change and modify. The Adafruit Feather shows up as a USB drive so you can drag and drop the code. The handle and wand were designed to be 3D printed and houses all of the electronics.

Read more!



Webcam Cover-Up Lego brick with Adabot Mini Fig – Look, we’re not saying anyone’s watching you. We’re not saying that some secret organization has taken over your webcam and is recording you, right now, as you read this sentence.

And we’re definitely not saying the government’s watching you. We’re not saying that the FBI or the NSA took over your laptop’s camera and are making sure you’re not using your Onion Pi too much.

But let’s just say, hypothetically, that it wasn’t crazy and that someone did want to take over your webcam and watch your every move. And let’s just say you didn’t want them to.

Then maybe 3D Printing a webcam blocking cover wouldn’t seem so ridiculous. They completely block the camera while provide a fun way to customize your computer with Lego blocks or even mini figs!

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USB Foot Switch Controller in Circuit Python – In this guide, we’ll build a USB foot switch controller. This can be used as an addition to your keyboard or as a way to free up your hands. I’m using it to do overhead photography so I can trigger the camera and use my hands at the same time.
It’s powered by Adafruit’s Trinket M0 which is a tiny microcontroller that can run Circuit Python. Just connect over USB and load it as a flash drive. All of the code and libraries are accessible on the drive so you can make small edits and iterate quickly. The Adafruit HID library simulates USB devices so it can send keypress just like a mouse and keyboard.

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NeoPixel LED Jewelry – In this guide, we’ll build a Legend of Zelda themed pendant. This wearable necklace features the Sheikah symbol and glows nicely making a chic accessory. The parts are 3D printed and snap fit together. Illuminating the pendant is a NeoPixel Jewel which features 7 smart RGB LEDs. Driving the NeoPixels is an Adafruit GEMMA M0, which runs the CircuitPython code base.

If you’ve made it past the thumbnail, you’re probably interested in The Legend of Zelda. But if Zelda isn’t your cup o’ tea, it’s totally possible to re-skin and theme this as whatever you want. Maybe you want to make this as a gift for a friend who’s into some other Sci-Fi / fantasy stuff. Maybe they like sports. Or maybe you’re into cosplay and need a specific theme.

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StarFlower Neopixel Strand with MakeCode – Make beautiful 3d printed glowing flowers to string around your room or your back yard. Use the Circuit Playground Express’ onboard sensors to make the lights react to their environment: when it gets dark outside the lights come on automatically and shine bright, and when it’s light out they will turn themselves quietly off.
This guide will cover modeling the flowers in Fusion360, connecting the light strand to a Circuit Playground Express, and creating animations and reactivity with the MakeCode editor.

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Arcade Button Control Box – In this project, you’ll learn how to build a basic USB HID keyboard for triggering things like commands and hotkeys for controlling any number of software and hardware. We’ll use an Adafruit Feather M0 Express, a handful of arcade buttons and Circuit Python to make a DIY keyboard controller.

Circuit Python makes this project super simple to program and easy to update – no need for a compiler, IDE, or any special drivers. Just plug it in and open up the text file in the virtual USB key to reprogram the keys whenever you want.

When this box is connected to your computer, it behaves just like a USB HID Keyboard. Press a button and it types a letter! It’s really simple and easy to manipulate the software so you can output single characters, or string multiple characters together to execute commands! The LEDs also light up each time you press a button.

Read more!

Check out all of Adafruit’s Gift Guides!


Make a robot friend with Adafruit’s CRICKIT – A Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. It’s an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express, FEATHER and other platforms to make and program robots with CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. Start controlling motors, servos, solenoids. You also get signal pins, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel driver and amplified speaker output. It complements & extends your boards so you can still use all the goodies on the microcontroller, now you have a robotics playground as well.

Join 7,500+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community! http://adafru.it/discord

CircuitPython in 2018 – Python on Microcontrollers is here!

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