The design idea was to make a complete scenario representing - inside a box - a metaphor of the most popular Christmas symbols. Maybe it is a bit distopyc but it moves, lights and reacts to music. The other not easy aspect of the building was just to use the cardboard as the primary material. The central moving parts have been inspired by the incredible quantity of DIY Marble Machines you can find on YouTube (just put the two terms for searching videos and you remain speechless)
A more detailed description of the electronic assembly can be found on the Element14 Project14 blog post. Below the video of the final building followed by some photos of the cardboard mechanic building.
Designing and Making the Parts
Excluding the electronic components and board (the cost amount does not reach 50$) and few $ for the spay paint the building is inexpensive. The primary material I used is recycled cardboard, the gold balls come from a 16 pieces ping-pong balls (0.58 $) while the chrome supports are a set of drinking straws (096 $) The base of the front rotating engine is a sheet of recycled packaging foam.
1 / 6 • Cutting the cardboard components
As you can see in the above images, the design of the parts needs a considerable precision when cut. It is possible to do this printing the SVG files on paper then using them as a guide to cut the cardboard but using a DIY laser has saved me a lot of time, reaching the highest precision possible.
After cutting, the parts have been assembled together making the components then painted with acrylic spray paint. The images below shows some of the building steps.
1 / 8 • Building the rotating engine
The coloured light spots:
I should admit that without the laser cutting option I had to resign to hand-cut the city skyline with all the small windows, maybe searching for some alternative option.