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LESSON 14: Expand your Pins with Shift Registers

Now that you know how to connect a variety of components to your Arduino, you'll be inspired to build larger and more complex projects. But what happens if you don't have enough pins for your creation? That's where shift registers are helpful. They only require 3 pins on your Arduino and you get 8 outputs […]

LESSON 15: Relays & Transistors

The pins from the Arduino can power a variety of components up to 5V but anything requiring more voltage or current can damage the Arduino if you try to hook it up directly. To incorporate higher power devices like fans, lights, motors, heaters and other household appliances into your projects you're going to need a […]

LESSON 16: IR Remotes & Receivers

Using remote controls with your Arduino projects is a great way to control robots, lights, relays and more - wirelessly. We're going to learn how infrared remotes send information to the Arduino and then we'll use that information to trigger different actions and control other devices. MATERIALS: You’ll be able to follow along and build […]

Painting Eyes on Glass Cabochons (Dome Tiles)

We’re kicking off our course on everything CREATURE PEEPERS with perhaps the most budget-friendly option of all – painting eyes on glass dome cabochons. The flat bottom makes for an easier painting surface and the curved top gives your design believable depth and movement. Cabochons also come in a variety of shapes from round and […]

Painting Acrylic Spheres with Pupil Reflection

Full sphere eyes are a great option if you want maximum rotation and movement with your eye mechanism. Unlike the cabochons and half spheres where all the artwork has happened in the back of the eyes, we're now going to paint the entire surface. Another advantage to full spheres is that by masking a pupil […]

Robot & Cyborg Eyes with LED Backlight

Up until now we've done a variety of animal and creature-themed eyes so it's time to move towards the other end of the spectrum - from organic to tech. We'll mask off a more complex pupil and paint mechanical elements on our eye. Then it will be time to wire up an LED, drill a […]

Painting Eyes on Acrylic Hemispheres

We'll be getting more practice by painting another style eye using a different color palette. You're welcome to continue using the glass cabochons from the last lesson, or if you were able to get them, acrylic hemispheres. The higher dome shape of the half spheres give your eyes even more depth and movement than the […]

Heating Elements from an Old Toaster Oven

We're tearing down my thrift store toaster oven to harvest the 4 heating elements inside as well as the electronics so we can build our own custom heat box for the vacuform machine. Second-hand stores usually have a good stock of these toaster ovens but you can also use heating elements from space heaters. LESSON […]

Building the Heat Box

After tearing down our old toaster oven, we now have 4 heating elements and some electronics we could repurpose for our vacuform machine. Using roof flashing, aluminum angle (L-channel) and a few bolts, we're going to build a heat box enclosure for our heating elements while spacing them out for even heat coverage. LESSON CONTENT: […]

Building the Vacuum Box

With the heat box complete, we now have a way to heat our plastic! But in order to shape it for our projects, we'll need a good vacuum box. We're going to develop a design to maximize suction and then build it out of plywood. We'll also mount our power switches to the front of […]

Vacuform Machine Final Assembly & Test

The two main components of our homemade vacuform machine are complete and now it's time to put them together and connect the wiring. Before we can test it, we'll have to build a quick frame to clamp our plastic to that we'll transfer from the heating elements to the platen in one smooth movement. LESSON […]

Lesson 1: FastLED Basics

Get ready to start adding lighting effects to your projects with some of your very first programs! I'll show you how to determine which LED products are compatible with your microcontroller and best practices for powering projects of all sizes. With everything hooked up properly we'll explore the necessary setup functions from the FastLED library […]

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