In this Pro Trinket powered project, build and 3D print yourself a friend, an Adafriend! This little colorful guy with an eye responds to taps and vibrations, and shows emotion on its little LED matrix front with a sad, neutral, happy, or angry face. It gazes around at its environment and blinks, plays spontaneous tones and patterns that correspond to it's emotional state, and even sings some recognizable tunes and themes when it's in the mood! If left alone for too long it gets lonely, but pester your pet too much and it may get angry at you! Build yourself an Adafriend and keep it happy to sing along with the coolest little cube around!

Recommended Precursor Guides

Before embarking on this guide, I recommend you take a look at the 1.2" LED Matrix Backpack guide to familiarize yourself with the core hardware and software of the guide. The Ruiz Brothers' guides also involve thin wires in tight spaces, here is their profile. Also check out Phillip Burgess's LED Matrix animating guides for more LED eye costumes and creations, the base code and inspiration for this project!

Complexity Warning

This guide involves very thin gauge wiring that requires tweezers to solder, screw tapping, heat shrinking, and a bit of hacking to miniaturize the circuit. It is also somewhat difficult to test and rework, so do not proceed unless you are confident in your abilities and understand the above recommended guides.

Tools Needed

For this project you will need a soldering iron, solder, diagonal cutters, wire strippers, tweezers, a phillips screwdriver, a hot glue gun, and a lighter, heat gun, or blowtorch to shrink heat shrink tubing.

The Hakko FX-888D, my personal favorite Soldering iron

60/40 rosin core solder for easy flowing, strong solder joints

Flush diagonal cutters essential for quick, precise snips of wire and leads

One thing you really can't skimp on is a good pair of wire strippers, these are the best balance of price and quality from Hakko, a very good buy

Fine tip curved tweezers, perfect for guiding wires accurately into place for soldering and keeping fingers away from very hot things

A precision screwdriver set comes in handy for projects like this that require screws or some leverage, pick one up in the adafruit shop!

A hot glue gun is needed to secure the IR receiver and power switch in place.

A standard lighter, blowtorch, or heat gun should shrink heat shrink tubing quite nicely

With these tools gathered, we can move on to the cute little cube friend part of the guide!

This guide was first published on Jun 28, 2016. It was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

This page (Project Overview) was last updated on Jun 06, 2016.

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