Overwatch is one of the online computer games my eldest son enjoys. So to add another cool feature to his games room I decided to 3D print this Overwatch wall light.
The light’s going to be capable of all sorts of different lighting effects that will be controllable from a web page on his tablet or via google assistant and our home automation system.
This should keep him happy but I’m adding a an extra feature to help me when he has got his headphones on – Flash “We need you” indications.
The Light Body
The body’s a 3D printed design I have submitted to Thingiverse, you can download these files from the link.
It a fairly simple print but it is large. PLA is more than adequate for this project and it doesn’t matter what colour of PLA because its going to be painted, so just use up your old filament or get some cheap filament of any colour.
If you have printed in PLA a good super glue will achieve the best results. I also use an accelerator to aid the process.
Dry fit the parts together first to make sure they all link together properly and check you don’t need to trim. On my print I needed to remove the odd lip from the print with a knife, nothing more.
Just take your time working through the glueing, making sure you fit them together on a firm flat surface to make sure they all end up perfectly flat. You want to try and minimize any imperfections at this stage otherwise the finishing stage they will become even worse!
I hate this part of the job and as you can see I’m not very good at getting a perfectly smooth finish, in some places I might have been better off just leaving the raw printed part!
The biggest issue I had was on the logo points, these didn’t print too well and printing supports should have been used.
After filling, I used a small handheld sander and different grades of sandpaper. Then repeated the process using a very fine filler on any imperfections and then continued sanding.
TIP – Using the spray on filler primer between sanding helps highlight imperfections.
I’m afraid I just lose patience with the whole process. So if anyone has any tips and tricks to achieving a silky smooth finish with minimal effort please speak up.
The area of my design that didn’t work well was the points of the logo and the holes for the mounting pins. These have been removed before I uploaded the 3D design to Thingiverse. They really were not required but caused me grief with having to fill the ends in to get a clean finish.
Now this is a job I do find enjoyable but again I’m no expert and I invariably have issues as I get carried away and apply too much paint or don’t clean the surfaces enough after sanding.
The base parts I decided to cover in a matt white to help the logo illuminate from the back. The rest I sourced as close I could the colours of the logo in automotive spray paints from a local shop. This could have been done with acrylics and mixing but I managed to find close enough colours.
The links here are for items I think may be suitable for achieving the correct logo colours, but I did not buy these parts so Im not 100% sure they will be correct, please use the logo images to make your own decisions on this.
This is going to be a WiFi attached and controlled light. In this post I will describe only the physical construction and the parts required, the software is covered in the ESP8266 RGB Lighting Template post.
- NodeMCU (ESP8266 processing module)
- Addressable LED string with adhesive back.
- Level Shifter (I didn’t require this in the end)
- Power Supply
- Soldering Iron and Solder
- Heatshrink tubing
I had intended all the lights sit flat into the grove on the back of the light but this concept wasn’t thought through very well. The ribbons of LED’s don’t allow you to stick them down into a curve of this radius so the solution was to stick them vertically down the grove.
This worked well and had an added advantage that all the light is being thrown into the center of the light. You could cut the strips up and solder them together with wires but this would be a very time consuming task and I doubt it will give any cleaner effect.
The LED’s on the points of the light were however stuck down flat as originally intended as these are in straight sections.
I managed to fit a total of 86 LEDs into the light however the pointers are wired in parallel so both illuminate at the same time. Thus the software sees only a total of 74 LED’s
- The Main Ring having 50 LEDs (0 to 49)
- Top Segment having 12 LEDs (50 to 61)
- Pointers having 12 LEDs each but wired in parallel data wise (62 to 73).
If you don’t follow this wiring sequence with the correct number of LED’s my code will not operate as it should.
The NodeMCU fits nicely in the base along one of the arrows. Using hot melt to fix the module in as hot melt allows me to peel it out later should I want to.
Wiring all the LED strips up was a bit of a fiddle but there’s plenty of room to do all this.
What isn’t in the 3D printed design are the holes to feed the wires though, these I drilled in where I thought would be the best position to hide the wiring as I wired.
I have left these out of the design on purpose as it allows others to decide what they wish to do with the wiring.
At each of the wire splices I used heatshrink tubing to protect them.
With 74 LEDs attached I required a 15W (5V 3A) PSU and used an extension lead with the end cut off to wire the power directly to the LEDs and the NodeMCU.
WARNING – Do not attempt to power all these LEDs through the NodeMCU and its USB interface.
This will cause you problems as the supply and the circuit within the Node MCU isn’t designed to carry this level of current.
I have written a whole post for you on my software template and how to use it.
The End Result
I’m really pleased with the end effect and how it softly illuminates the logo on the wall.
The interface is clean and responsive and the different lighting effects give William some different ambiances for his games room.
Then there’s the extra parent features for “Dinner”, “Bed Time” and “Too Loud” that annoy him just enough as for them to be effective (It is mounted directly above his gaming TV).