Introduction

This whip makes me feel like I'm dancing with a thousand fireflies.

Its light source is a neopixel jewel, with seven addressable pixels allowing for an amazing array of color changes and animations.  The end-glow fibers dance around in the air and create a whirl of color points that is mesmerizing to watch and incredibly fun to play with.  I never want to put it down.

The handle is 3d printed and fits the battery and all the electronics inside.  There's a button for changing modes and an on-off switch.  It's got an onboard battery charger too, so you can play with it for hours and then recharge by plugging in a USB cable.

Difficulty Level

This project requires decent soldering skills and the ability to upload code with the Arduino IDE.  It's also a little fiddly to get everything situated in the handle correctly.

You don't need mad coding skills -- you can copy and paste the code into your IDE and use it as-is.  

Also don't worry if you don't have a 3d printer!  There are services available that will print the handle and ship it to you.

Fiber Optics

Fiber optics are fiddly beasts.  You can order them in bulk online but lining them up with the light source is hard -- to do it right you need specialty tools like a hot knife and fancy connectors.  

I left that part of it to the pros, and ordered this pre-assembled fiber optic bundle from Weidamark.  Shop around on the site -- there are several different options for cable length and number of fibers.  The 12 foot, 144 strand bundle is what I used.  

Parts & Materials

1 x Pro Trinket
Pro Trinket 5v
1 x Neopixel Jewel
Neopixel Jewel
1 x Momentary Switch
Metal mode-change switch
1 x Slide Switch
On/off Switch

You'll also need the fiber optic bundle and a 3d printed handle.  I also added a wrist strap to minimize dropping.

Tools

  • Soldering Iron & accessories
  • Heat shrink tubing
  • Hot glue gun
  • Gaffer's tape or duct tape
  • USB cable
Last updated on 2017-09-21 at 05.31.24 PM Published on 2017-09-25 at 01.26.00 PM