In this project we'll use a Circuit Playground Express to light up a 3D print Christmas tree. The 10x on-board NeoPixels are perfect for lighting up all sorts of decorations and props. Our custom designed geometric Christmas tree is hollow with a thin walled shell. This allows internal light to nicely diffuse the shape. It's also designed to be 3D printed without any support material.

Circuit Python Code

Learn how to use Adafruit's Circuit Python to write code and light up the NeoPixel LEDs using colors and animations. Just download the latest UF2 for your CPX and get the latest library bundle to get started. Our demo code will get you up and running quick and easy!

A special 3D printed mount secures the Adafruit Circuit Playground Express and snap fits under the Christmas Tree. For best lighting effects, use translucent PLA filament to nicely diffuse NeoPixel LEDs.

Prerequisite Guides

There's resources in these guides that go beyond what's covered in this tutorial. The introduction guide is all about setting up your Circuit Playground Express board. The Circuit Python introduction guide walks you through all of the pinouts, sensors and everything you need to know.

USB Power

The Circuit Playground Express can stay connected via USB power from either a wall adapter or computer's hub. This allows the Christmas Tree to stay lit as long as you want (nightlight mode anyone?). The Christmas tree has a cutaway to accommodate for a USB cable. Lipo battery is optional and can be tucked in between the Circuit Playground Express and 3D printed mount.

This guide was first published on Dec 19, 2018. It was last updated on Jul 13, 2024.

This page (Overview) was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

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