The Trompe-l’œil Menorah

Hanukkah decorations have been up in stores since before Halloween, and that means it’s time for electronic Menorahs with blinking LEDs, controllers, and if you’re really good, a real-time clock with support for the Jewish calendar. [Windell] over at Evil Mad Scientist just outdid himself with the Mega Menorah 9000. It’s a flat PCB with nine LEDs, but it uses stippling and a trompe-l’œil effect to make it appear three-dimensional.

Making a 2D object look three-dimensional isn’t that hard – you just need the right shading. A few years ago, [Evil Mad Scientist] created StippleGen, a library to turn images into something that can be easily reproduced with the EggBot CNC plotter. It’s actually quite impressive; there are Voronoi diagrams and travelling salesmen problems, all to draw on eggs. The library can be used for much more, like properly shading a PCB so that it looks three-dimensional.

The Mega Menorah 9000 is surprisingly large, at about 7.5″ wide. It’s powered by an ATtiny85 loaded up with the Adafruit Trinket firmware, making it a truly USB enabled Menorah. While it may just be a soldering kit, it is a fantastic looking PCB, something we’d like to see some more examples of in the future.

3 thoughts on “The Trompe-l’œil Menorah

    1. I am a huge fan of Deluxe Menorah kit! This new one looks excellent! These are great for anyone who is new to soldering (or has shaky hands like me). The solder pads are very large :)

  1. Hey, I hate to be that guy, and I’m not trying to be obnoxious, but I just want to say that this is a hanukiah, as it has 9 candle “branches.” A menorah has 7, three to either side of the center candle holder. Anyways, nice project.

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