Design and create glowing scales in your favorite shape and add NeoPixel strand lights inside for a stunning display of animated lights.
These are so easy to add to any costume or design. This guide shows you how to create your design in TinkerCad, a free online 3D design program. You can print your armor at home or use an online printing service. Hot-glue a strand of NeoPixels inside and control your project with a Gemma M0 or microcontroller of your choice.
We've included some easy-to-customize CircuitPython code so you can choose your color palettes and get your costume glowing!
You'll need a NeoPixel strand and a microcontroller, plus a battery or power supply to run your project. For costume applications I like using the Gemma M0 because it's small and compact and really easy to solder to and program.
If you want interactivity in your project, like motion sensing or sound reaction, you might want to consider using the Circuit Playground Express instead - it's got a ton of onboard sensors. We've got a lot of guides showing how to use this board. I'm using a Gemma M0 for this project but it will work the same no matter which board you choose.
You will also need some lights! I'm using the NeoPixel LED dots at 2" pitch. This makes for a nice tight design, but we've also got them in the 4" variety if that suits your project better.
This project works best with clear or glow-in-the-dark 3d filament. I like the glow kind, because glow in the dark stuff is just so cool, and it will glow like crazy even after you turn the lights off.
Finally, you'll want a battery to power your project. If you're making this for kids, or for a roomy costume like a jacket, I recommend this AAA battery pack. It has an on/off switch and is a safer option than Lithium Polymer batteries, which can explode if they're mistreated.
However, I personally really prefer the small size of the Lithium Polymer batteries, and since I'm making smaller costume pieces -- a necklace and a bra -- I'm using these smaller batteries. (And don't forget to get a charger!)
My necklace design also uses this on/off switch, and some silicone stranded wire.
You'll also need a hot glue gun and some mesh fabric or tulle to insert into the print.