Part Fusion's Giant LEDs Are Through-Hole Components for Hobbyist Behemoths

Inspired by an earlier build of a 10X Arduino kit, Robert Fitzsimons' handmade giant LEDs are nothing if not eye-catching.

Part Fusion's Robert Fitzsimons has released a batch of hand-built through-hole technology LEDs with a difference: they're built to a 10X scale compared to a standard 5mm LED.

"My first Maker Faire as a maker was New York 2012, I brought a Giant Arduino Starter Kit. Everything was ten times scaled up: the Arduino Uno, breadboard, resistors, potentiometer, LDR, jumper wires, and LEDs. As the LEDs were portable, I would bring an LED with me to other Faires, it has always been received well and many times people would ask was it for sale. In September 2018 I decided to explore turning the rough model in to something that I would be happy to sell."

That process, detailed in a series of YouTube videos is now reaching its conclusion. The creation of custom-made 10-scale LEDs ready for sale. "3D printing was used to make the basic LED and leg shapes. Each shape was refined over a number of days with multiple stages of filling and sanding," Fitzsimons explains of the process behind the design. "One part silicone molds were created with custom 3D-printed mold boxes. Two-part silicone molds were created using clay.

"Brass rods and 2mm banana connectors are soldered together. Two rods, a surface mount LED, a surface mount constant current regulator are soldered to a small PCB. The PCB sub-assembly is then cast in a silver coloured polyurethane resin. After curing the leg sub-assembly is then cast in more polyurethane resin made slightly opaque with a very small amount of white pigment."

The process isn't quite down pat yet, though: Fitzsimons admits that the current batch has a range of imperfections, which will be resolved in future batches — and is offering the hand-made LEDs at 40 percent off the eventual retail price as a result. Each LED accepts between three and 30 volts — "up 40 volts should work," Fitzsimons explains, "but has not to been tested" - and draws 20mA of current, with no current-limiting resistor required.

More details, plus a link to sign up when additional stock is available, can be found on Fitzsimons' Tindie store.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
Related articles
Sponsored articles
Related articles