Mood Lighting For ToM

by jetty, published

Mood Lighting For ToM by jetty Jan 10, 2012

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Pimp your bot ! These instructions detail how to build software controllable RGB Mood Lighting for your ToM. The mood light is controllable via a new menu on the Gen 4 LCD Interface or via GCodes in ReplicatorG.

Your bot can now show it's build status via the color of the mood light.

Video (showing functionality):
Video (mood light to music):

Additionally, you can set your own RGB color, pick from a predefined list. Also you can pick animated color scenes, for example a Thunderstorm complete with Lightning flashes or signal S.O.S.

This is a beginners level project, with a tiny bit of soldering, and is designed for ToM Motherboard V2.4 (the version currently shipping).

Required parts are a BlinkM MaxM, RGB Led Strip, a couple of resistors and some bits and pieces you likely have lying around. (full parts list in the pdf).

You'll also need:


Download the attached pdf for full instructions

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Finally got around to doing this. The lack of good lighting while printing was driving me nuts...and why not go all the way. Works great! Even with super cheap LED strips from DealExtreme I had kicking around from another project. A quick chop on the bandsaw and a little wire jumper between them and it's good to go.

Pimping out my bot now! :)

The RGB LED strip MakerBot sells (at least from the batch I received) is 5050 common anode.

The 5050 and 5060 are SMD LED size designations: 5.0mm x 5.0mm for the former, and 5.0mm x 6.0mm for the latter. The 5060 is a bit brighter, but both are bright.

Thanks for posting that. I did ask Makerbot, but they didn't have a clue what it was.

Oh! my led strip was common cathode, and the blinkm is common anode haha :( maybe I have to remove the current leds or make some converter

Try a ULN2803A, it should invert the signal for you. Handles upto 500ma per channel (you may need a heatsink if going that high, they do get hot). May need a larger resistor to keep the Mosfet open on the BlinkM.

Failing that, you could build a Mosfet inverter.

Also, check out the schematic I posted here. http://laminar.forumotion.com/t283-jetty-s-wifi-web-based-laminar-jet-projecthttp://laminar.forumotion.com/...
(the 40W Led's I was driving were common cathode, so there's an inverter in that schematic coming off the BlinkM.

Nice! will check that, but a led strip costs like 10 usd in ebay, so it is probably better idea to just order another one (also I want 60 leds/m not 30 as is right now)

Worked flawessly with your firmware. I used a very cheap 5050 1.2 meter from eBay with a pretty clone design from the one in your document http://screencast.com/t/HKbj5SNwRNhttp://screencast.com/t/HKbj5S... :D luckily the led controller was free due the sparkfun free day :-$

Nice idea. But would be no support in firmware unless you write it, and also you would need to dedicate CPU cycles away from printing and to driving the color which will likely effect your print quality. Whereas with a BlinkM it contains a dedicated CPU that takes that task away from your bot. You could add a ATtiny or Arduino to do this instead, but by that time you have a BlinkM anyway, and you still need to code the CPU and create all the scripts you want.

Also, I'd like to mention that the title of this document implies it only works with a ToM, but that's not the case, it's only because I have a ToM I wrote the instructions for a ToM. If you have 2 spare digital or analog pins and can fit the firmware on your Arduino, then you can run the Mood Li
ght with a simple change to Configuration.hh to match the pins you're using. If you have no spare pins, but have hardware I2C, then PM me, and I can help you get it running over hardware I2C instead.

He uses the PWM pins of the Arduino, which take fewer CPU cycles to set up than it takes to communicate with a BlinkM.

All the PWM pins on Motherboard V2.4 are in use, so no hardware PWM if you obey the schematic. Software PWM will take more CPU cycles that Software I2C and would be tough to make work well because of stepper interrupts happening all the time, so you'd get "light" fluctuations or print issues. Plus you still have to write all the RGB lighting scripts (hardware or software).

If you want to go the hardware PWM route, you'd need to loose Extruder B and ZMin port and use both Timers 3 and 4 because Timers 0, 1, 2 are in use. That's do-able if you're not using them, but some are.

wow this is nice! you are making lots of good things with your TOM! nice :D I tried to do this with a chinese controller, but it is half baked