Everybody knows that extraterrestrial aliens only want to do two things: probe humans and abduct cows using tractor beams. We don’t know why that is, but it seems to be an undeniable fact if pop culture is to be believed. Presumably to appease potential alien abductors, Redditor OneIdMonSTR built this awesome 3D-printed UFO lamp that features glowing LEDs, billowing smoke, sound effects, and, of course, a cow caught in the spaceship’s tractor beam.
This lamp is designed to look like the classic idea of a UFO, like you’d see in some ‘50s sci-fi B movie. The outer edge of the UFO has a revolving purple light effect that was created with a string of LEDs. Between the grass-covered base and the UFO is a chamber enclosed in a cylinder of transparent plastic. That chamber is lit by green LEDs and is filled with smoke. The cow hangs from fishing line within that chamber and rotates slowly as it hovers endlessly in the simulated tractor beam. Various otherworldly sound effects play to complete the effect.
The lamp’s functions are handled by an Arduino Nano board, which controls the WS2812B individually-addressable LEDs that provide the purple and green glow. The cow’s fishing line is connected to a small DC motor for rotation and that motor is controlled by the Arduino through an L293D H-bridge driver. The “smoke” is created by fog machine fluid that is heated by a coil in cotton, though OneIdMonSTR plans to replace that with an ultrasonic module as the current setup is a fire hazard. The sound effects are played through a DFPlayer Mini MP3 player. The UFO and the base were 3D-printed. The result is one of the most fun lamps that we’ve ever seen.