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Picture of Arduinoflake

A freeform interactive snowflake animated by Arduino Nano. Using 17 independent PWM channels and touch sensor it can create awesome effects!

There is also a PCB version everybody can make!

Step 1: Overview

The snowflake consists of 30 LEDs grouped into 17 independent segments which can be controlled separately by Arduino Nano microcontroller. Each of the LED group can be dimmed with PWM to create some lovely animations.

kanouti1 month ago
The code has uploaded to my nano clone, but it seems to freeze after the fourth animation. Also, every second animation automatically changes after two seconds. Is there a reason for there two issues?
WilliamM25 made it!8 months ago
Very nice project, it takes a lot of patience but it gives a lot of fun too. I used an Arduino Pro Mini and it works without problems. Thanks Jiripraus!
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jiripraus (author)  WilliamM258 months ago
Really nice build!
WilliamM258 months ago
Beautiful work jiripraus, Congrats! I will make one for myself ;0)
Just one thing, the Arduino Nano uses the ATmega328P IC (the same as the Arduino Uno) that has 14 digital I/O pins (D0-D13) and 6 analog I/O pins (A0 to A5), those are 20 I/O pins in total.
Pins D0 and D1 (marked as RX0 and TX1 on the board), are used for Serial communication, therefore, if you don't use serial communication in your sketch (you don't, just delete the line Serial.begin (115200); because you don't need it), you can use one of them to connect separately the pair of LEDs that you had to join.
Thanks for sharing!
jiripraus (author)  WilliamM258 months ago
Really nice build, man! Yes, you are right D0 and D1 are usable as well if you don't need serial debug, which I like to use :)
Visje19908 months ago
Awesome project! I'm trying to make one myself, but i am having trouble programming it.
When i try to verify or upload the code i get an error message saying:
"Arduino\libraries\ADCTouchSensor-master\src/ADCTouchSensor.h:46: error: 'ADCTOUCH_DEFAULT_DELAY' was not declared in this scope"
I have imported the right library.
Do you know how i can fix this?
Thanks :)
Hi, it seems like something is wrong with the "ADCTouchSensor" library that you are using. You should try to install it again, the latest version is 0.0.9.
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Thanks for your reply!
When i was looking for the library manager it apperently wasn't there.
Apperently i had a realy old version of Arduino IDE installed that, besides not having the library manager, somehow didn't work with the program.
After updating to a newer version it programmed just fine.
AlexP4368 months ago
If I put 820ohm instead of 860ohm resistor on touch ring, will it still work?
jiripraus (author)  AlexP4368 months ago
Sure, 860ohm resistor is a current limiting resistor to prevent Arduino pin from burning out from static electricity. I think anything between 200-1000 ohms is just fine.

The other 10M resistor configures the sensitivity of touch sensor, values from 1M to 22M should work.
brmisawesome made it!9 months ago
I couldn't figure out how to get the captouch working correctly (A6 and A0 connected on either side but the code only calls A0?) so I added a pushbutton feature instead. Working on a 2nd direct copy now that I've got some brass rod (although not the right size). This is a fun little project
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ImAThingsGuy made it!9 months ago
I had a lot of fun making this for Christmas, changed the shape a little and tried to give it a new spin, hope you guys like it.
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SteveW2489 months ago
Awesome project!
I'm trying to 'plug and play' this code using a Teensy LC board, but am getting an error stating 'Error compiling to device Teensy LC' (see image). Seems to be somewhere after line 120. Any suggestions? The board is working fine with other code.
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jiripraus (author)  SteveW2489 months ago
Hi, it's so obvious, how can I even write such code? :D Byte type can only stores values from 0-255. That means that -1 in array does not make sense, some compiler will allow it some not, change the type of array to int8_t, does it helped?
JulianW36 made it!9 months ago
not easy but really cool!
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jiripraus (author)  JulianW369 months ago
Good job man!
ÁdámB471 made it!9 months ago
Thanks your tutorial! Mine is not nice, but it works :D
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Wrrr 10-G9 months ago
Haha, I noticed you sneaked in an SMD resistor on A0, for the 'sensor ring'. Did you do that to increase rigidity of the structure? I can imagine.. everything's so tiny, and so non-insulated :)
For the same purpose, I am considering using your 'original' 4-resistors-in-a-row in A0 to A3, and glueing them together to serve as a structural pillar.
jiripraus (author)  Wrrr 10-G9 months ago
It is surprisingly rigid, I was very pleased with the result. I didn't have a 1M THT resistor at the moment so I used the SMD one, and it was a mistake! It looks nice but it broke several times, the pads on an SMD resistor are very easy to break. I actually replaced that with a THT resistor in later upgrade :) Let me see your build once done!
Hey Jiri, I uploaded 2 photos of my build last weekend, but something went wrong apparently. So once more...
As you can see, the structure only differs slightly from your design. See it as a tribute :)
Have you seen the new hackaday 'circuit sculpture' contest?
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jiripraus (author)  Wrrr 10-G9 months ago
Hi, I am impressed! Really great job man, I love it! Seems like an exact copy of mine :)
How long does it take? Any major problems?
As for 'circuit sculpture' contest, yes I've submitted my Arduinoflake there.
I just saw Mohit Bhoite's tweets, and found your Christmas ball there..
Wow man, that's awesome and somewhat humbling... You guys...
I will be making something like he did with a 'breathing' led, made with discrete THT's.

Have you ever seen the educational work by Jie Qi? Her work is 2D but her Chibitronics website will give you more inspiration I'm sure.

This is the stuff that makes kids want to start soldering ;)
In spite of your hard work, it took me 8 hours!. Before that, I studied your '3D routing' and rearranged some brass lines in my drawings, trying to think of the design as consisting of 4 layers.
The 'iced' leds I had laying about look pretty good when lit.
I gave the 'Yuleduino' to my parents who are very pleased with it.
brmisawesome9 months ago
Do you just leave power connected from a wallwort? I often see projects that are cool or interesting, but it's rare to immediately want to start making something. I've ordered brass and some more nanos, but copper is already being laid out for a first prototype.
jiripraus (author)  brmisawesome9 months ago
Thank you! Yes, I did not have a battery pack when making these photos and also the wire and connector acted as a support. Let me know what you've made!
rhartinstruct9 months ago
Beautiful project. Thank you for the idea. I have nearly mine completed. 1 mm brass rod will fit the Nano I/O connections if you gently force it. Please note that the library for the touch sensor is at github.com/arpruss/ADCTouchSensor. The library mentioned in the text by Paul Stoffregen will not work without modification.
asegal00009 months ago
Is it really .8mm brass rods? That seems very thin.
jiripraus (author)  asegal00009 months ago
It's the largest diameter that can fit into Arduino Nano holes. It very flexible but pretty strong once done intro such construction.
Thanks, now I have to find that brass. I want to make this project!
leoo139 months ago
your project is no longer on PCBway https://www.pcbway.com/project/shareproject/Arduinoflake_PCB.html, why?
will you make a new post?
jiripraus (author)  leoo139 months ago
Hi, soon enough, I've done some updates and now it's waiting for review.
leoo13 jiripraus9 months ago
Hello! Is this a corrected (new version) ?
https://www.pcbway.com/project/shareproject/Arduinoflake.html
TamusJRoyce9 months ago
Really awesome idea! Design + hardware is an area I am lacking. I might try running this through a MCP23017 (16 gpio extender). Thank you for sharing!

p.s. Does it work well? Is it flaky? Ba da boom, chah... I'll be here all night.
Wrrr 10-G9 months ago
Simply beautiful, and soldering skills to boot.
Thanks for sharing!
woo its really wonderful.Amazing submit it on badge contest on hackster it will definitely win the prize .
jiripraus (author)  Ashwini Kumar_Sinha9 months ago
Thank you, and thanks for advice, submitted it :) Wish me luck
Best of luck !! Your project is already get featured on F.B page of that. check that out
zoki79 months ago
Can I use different type of wire instead brass?
jiripraus (author)  zoki79 months ago
Sure why not, as long as you are able to solder them together
knackster9 months ago
Fantastic project, thanks for sharing. By chance do you have a source for those flat top LED's that you used?
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