You always wanted a kitty with blinking LED, rainbow eyes, right?
Now you can make as many as you want!
- Blinky Kitty has a posable head, tail, arms, and flexible whiskers.
- A tilt switch inside the tail activates Blinky Kitty's mesmerizing, rainbow, color-changing eyes.
- Exposed battery terminals at the ears let you use Blinky Kitty as a 3V coin cell battery supply too.
- You'll need Teknikio's Sparking Sense Set to complete this project!
Designed by Macakcat
- These two files should be printed with supports:
- Print the rest of the files without supports.
- You'll need to print 2 arms!
- For all files, 3 shells were used for additional strength.
Tools You'll Need
- Wire Strippers
- CA glue ("Super glue")
- Small screwdriver of any type (Optional)
- Hobby Knife
- Wire Cutters
- Small Pliers
- Soldering Iron (Not pictured)
Some helpful tools
The Electric Circuit Schematic
Blinky Kitty is activated by a tilt switch hiding in the tail. You can shake, tilt, or pose Blinky Kitty's tail, to make Kitty's eyes glow and flash.
Blinky Kitty's left and right eyes are wired in parallel and triggered by a tilt switch.
Luckily for us, this circuit is simple and requires no current-limiting resistors. The forward voltage drop of the LED's and internal resistance of the 3V coin cell battery balance out to work perfectly. Please do not power Blinky Kitty with voltages higher than 3V as this will burn out the LED's!
Teknikio Blinky Kitty Schematic Circuit Diagram
Parts Required for your Blinky Kitty
- Teknikio Sparking Sense Set (Kit includes a coin cell battery, Teknikio battery board, tilt switch, and 2 "rainbow" LED's needed for this project)
- 6 pieces of 1" lengths of flexible filament for whiskers (1.75mm)
- 2 pieces of 12" lengths of 22AWG, stranded wire
- 1 piece of 1" length, 22AWG, stranded wire
- You'll need to print each STL file supplied once, except for the arms because you'll need two of those.
Blinky Kitty Parts
- Adult supervision is required since we're working with a hot soldering iron and very strong CA glue.
- Read each step carefully and refer to the indicated photos prior to assembling.
- Be patient. Take your time. Half the fun is assembling your Blinky Kitty!
Step 1 - Prepping the Parts
- Go ahead and print all the parts!
- Be sure to use the print settings for the files as described earlier.
- You'll find support material in the cat's head (part with the ears) and in Blinky Kitty's muzzle.
- These should be carefully removed with pliers and any rough edges cleaned up with a hobby knife.
- Be careful! It doesn't have to be perfect--just enough for the parts to fit nicely.
- The inside of the muzzle is somewhat detailed. Be sure to check out the photo of the muzzle cleared of support material.
- The rectangular opening in the underside of the muzzle is for ease of battery removal after assembly.
Blinky Kitty's head with support material removed
Blinky Kitty's muzzle with support material removed
Step 2 - Assembling Blinky Kitty's Eyes
- Find the piece shaped like a sideways figure 8, these are Blinky Kitty's eye sockets.
- There's no top or bottom to this piece, just a front (curved) and back (flat).
- Drop or press the color-changing LED's in. They should sit flush with the flat side.
- It makes wiring easier later on if you place these LED's in at 45 degree angles as shown in the below photo.
- Be sure to place the longer, LED positive leads (anodes) on one side.
- In the photo I have the positive leads towards the top, with the shorter negative leads (cathodes) towards the bottom.
Step 3 - Continuation of Eye assembly
- Find the elliptical piece with two round holes in it. The elliptical piece has a rectangular notch in it. This notch faces the bottom of Blinky Kitty's face.
- Examine the photo below. The photo is the bottom view of the complete eye assembly with the positive LED leads (the outer ones) facing the table and the negative LED leads closer to you (the middle ones). Note how the rectangular notch is on the side closer to the negative leads.
- When you're satisfied with the LED positioning, place a small drop of CA glue on the sideways figure 8, and carefully position the elliptical piece onto it, in the correct orientation, centering it with the LED's.
View of the eye assembly from the underside
Step 4 - Wiring the LED's in parallel
- Carefully bend the four LED leads--the positive to positive, and the negative to negative.
- Solder these together in parallel.
Soldering the LED leads in parallel
Step 5 - Adding the 1" wire
- Your 1" wire will go from the positive battery terminal to the positive anodes of the LED eyes.
- As in the second photo below, solder the other end of the wire to the positive battery terminal.
Wire attached to LED positive anodes
Wire end attached to positive battery terminal
Step 6 - Adding the 12" wires and Assembling Blinky Kitty's face
- In the next photo, I've soldered the red 12" wire to the negative terminals (cathodes) of the LED's, and I've soldered the black 12" wire to the negative battery terminal.
- It's important that these wires are soldered in place as shown since there isn't much space for them in Blinky Kitty's little head.
- Leave the wires long for now!
- In the second picture below, I test fit Blinky Kitty's muzzle to the board, then glued it in place along with the eye assembly.
- Be sure the route the wires to come out of lower portion of the battery board as shown!
Blinky Kitty's head fitted and glued with the wires routed as shown
Step 7 - Assembling the back of Blinky Kitty's head
- Thread the 12" wire leads through the hole in Blinky Kitty's neck as shown below.
- As in the second photo below, place 4 small drops of glue and carefully line the back of the head up with the front as you glue them together.
- The third photo below shows you how everything should line up.
Thread the wires in through the hole in the neck
Apply some glue as shown
Carefully assemble and it should look like this!
Blinky Kitty is taking form!
Step 8 - Adding whiskers to Blinky Kitty
- Next, using the six 1" flexible filament pieces you've prepared, glue them into the dimples in Blinky Kitty's muzzle.
- Trim them down to size as you like.
- You don't have to use flexible filament for the whiskers but I think it works better.
Blinky Kitty's head is done!
Step 9 - Giving Blinky Kitty some arms!
- Add a drop of glue to the pegs on the end of the arms and carefully glue them into Blink Kitty's arm ball joints.
- Give the glue some time to set and wiggle the arms a little bit.
- The ball joints should break free and Blinky Kitty can finally wave "Hello!"
Blinky Kitty's arms attached
Step 10 - Routing the wires
- Thread the long wires from the head through the ball joint at the top of Blinky Kitty's body.
- There may be some additional filament blockage in this hole--that's normal.
- If you need to, use a small screwdriver and gently press it into the hole. This will clear some space for the wires to fit through.
- I sent the wires all the way down through big hole at the bottom of Blinky Kitty's body to make Step 11 easier.
Routing the wires
Step 11 - Routing the wires continued
- Next thread the wires back up and through the ball joint for Blinky Kitty's tail.
- Blinky Kitty should now look as in the photo below.
- Add a drop of glue to Blinky Kitty's neck and push it into the ball joint at the top.
- Give the glue some time to adhere and twist Blinky Kitty's head a few times to break the ball joint free.
Wire routing completed
Step 12 - Adjusting the wire length in the tail
- In this step, I've placed the wires into one half of the tail assembly. This is to help you get the wires cut to an appropriate length.
- One end of the tail has a peg that goes into the ball joint. The other end has an enlarged opening for the tail tip and tilt switch to fit in.
Getting ready to trim the wires for the tilt switch...
Step 13 - Adjusting the wire length in the tail continued
- Trim the red and black wires about 2 to 3mm from the end of the tail section.
- These need to be short so we don't have too much wire slack since there's limited space.
Cut the wires at this position...
Step 14 - Preparing the wires for the Tilt Switch
- Carefully strip the very ends of the wire and tin them.
Wires stripped and tinned...
Step 15 - Assembling the tail tip and adding the Tilt Switch
- Find your tail tip and tilt switch
- Gently push the tilt switch into the tail tip. This is a somewhat tight fit, but the switch needs to go in as far as you can push it.
- I used some pliers to help me hold the switch as I pushed it in.
- The second photo below shows how far the leads will stick out once the switch is all the way in.
Tail tip and Tilt Switch before assembly
Tilt Switch pushed into the tail tip
Step 16 - Trimming the Tilt Switch leads
- Using wire cutters, trim the leads for the tilt switch shorter. They should stick out by 1 to 2mm.
Step 17 - Soldering the Tilt Switch to Blinky Kitty
- Carefully solder the tilt switch to the ends of Blinky Kitty's tail wires you prepared earlier.
Step 18 - Assembling Blinky Kitty's tail
- Starting with one of the tail halves, guide the wires into place with the tail fitted onto the end.
- At this point you can add a drop of glue to the tail half and tail tip junction to help holds things in place.
Wire fitment and attaching the tail tip to the first tail half
Step 19 - Assembling Blinky Kitty's tail continued
- Next, add a few drops of glue along the inside of the first tail half, then very carefully position the second tail half over it and stick them in place.
- Your Blinky Kitty should look like the photo below.
- Once that's all done, you can add a small drop of glue to the base of the tail and insert it into Blinky Kitty's rear ball joint.
- Give the glue a short time to adhere, then twist the tail a few times to break the ball joint free.
Finishing up Blinky Kitty's tail
Step 20 - You're all done!
- At this point Blinky Kitty should be all assembled!
- Place the 3V coin cell battery into Blinky Kitty's head (positive towards the front of Blinky's face), wiggle the tail and watch your kitty's eyes light up!