3D Printed Christmas Tree with a MagTag and NeoPixel strip

I waited until after the Adafruit Adabox 17 official unboxing to post this. Adabox 17 included a MagTag and some useful items to make a cool Christmas wreath project. Well, I don’t have a wreath, but I thought the same project would look nice as a 3D printed Christmas tree.

Parts Used

MagTag Christmas tree.

Here are the parts from Adabox 17 to do the project:

  • Adafruit MagTag. This is a seriously cool device. Its deep sleep capability, combined with the eink display, has a lot of potentials. But for this project, the deep sleep function isn’t being used.
  • Magnet feet. The feet are handy for putting the MagTag on metal surfaces, such as refrigerators. The Adabox also came with a very cool sticky magnetic surface that can be mounted on walls for the MagTag.
  • White acrylic cloud faceplate.
  • NeoPixel strip. A 1-meter NeoPixel strip with 30 RGB LEDs came with the Adabox.

I printed Thing 4001671 by strablej to use as the Christmas tree. I downloaded and printed the MagTag stand from the Adafruit learn guide. Everything was printed using red PETG from Duramic.

Other parts used:

  • 4 – M3 screws. To hold the acrylic cover on the front of the MagTag.
  • 5.1 V DC USB-C power supply. The Adabox does come with a micro-USB cable and micro-USB to USB-C adaptor. But I happen to have a USB-C wall wart available, so why not use that.
  • Red zip ties. I used one at the top of the tree, one at the bottom of the tree, and one behind the MagTag for cable management.

Assembly and programming

There really wasn’t much to assembly. I mostly followed the plans from the Adafruit learn guide. The main difference is I used a 3D printed tree instead of a wreath. I also printed out a stand for the MagTag and placed one of the acrylic covers on it.

The programming is the code provided by the learning guide. I did play around with different colors. But honestly, the programming provided has a perfect mix of light colors already. So, I put the programming back to the guide’s example code, and my wife loves how it looks.

Test Video

The MagTag has code on it with four different light modes. The four buttons on the MagTag are used to choose which mode is active.

  • Color Cycle – The NeoPixels back and forth between green and red.
  • Sparkle – The NeoPixels are all white and have a sparkle animation.
  • Comet – This is my favorite. White and blue comet animations go up the tree.
  • Off – The lights are all off.

Here is a demo of the light animations.

The tree is now spreading cheer up in my living room.

More MagTag projects coming soon

I had a feeling Adabox 17 would include a MagTag. But I couldn’t resist ordering another one last week when I saw them come back in stock. So now I have two MagTags for making. One will be made into an inspirational quote device for work. For that project, I will be using deep sleep. The other MagTag will be used to play with and see what this little thing can do.

Song of the Day: Christmas Eve / Sarajevo

My favorite source for Christmas music comes from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Being able to see them live last year with my wife and two of my boys absolutely rocked!

Bonus Song: Christmas Time is Here

Another great source of Christmas music comes from one of my favorite guitarists: Steve Vai.

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