Making a light-up Tree of Life with NeoPixels and CircuitPython #CircuitPython #QTPy #NeoPixel @molecularist

The Molecularist blog presents a 3D printed tree with NeoPixel lights illuminating the branches.

The brains of the operation is an Adafruit QtPy, chosen for its size, simplicity, and that I really only needed two pins. Also, because I intended to run this off of the USB jack, didn’t really need much more (the NeoPixels are powered from the GND and 5V pads underneath the QT Py – giving 5V directly from the USB).

Of course, the other special reason is that the QT Py runs CircuitPython, with which I prefer to code my projects. This also helped in the prototyping of the build.

For prototyping, I used a Circuit Playground Express, also from Adafruit. The CPX has 10 NeoPixels, so I could prototype much of the code – setting up the pixels, the animation, the logic behind it (I’ll get to that). And then all I had to do was copy the code over to the QT Py when everything was hooked up.

Read more about this build here.

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, 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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