Having the tools needed to do a job is a powerful thing. Having the tools needed to make more tools for doing cool things is even better, though, and that’s where [Jiří Praus] took things with this 3D-printed jig for making his blooming tulip circuit sculpture.
If you haven’t seen [Jiří]’s tulip, check out our coverage from back when he first built it. The brass wire and tube mechanism and some clever linkages let a single servo open the Neopixel-adorned petals at a touch. But what started as a one-off romantic gesture for his wife on Valentine’s Day became something more, and what was a labor of love turned into just labor very quickly. [Jiří]’s solution, explained in the brief video below, is a 3D-printed jig that holds all the wires that form the tulip petals locked into position. The wire that defines the spine of the petal goes into a groove and gets held down with removable clips. The edge wires are held by rotating clips, and the veins of the petals just lay in place in grooves. The area around each joint is hollowed out so [Jiří] can solder easily without melting the plastic jig.
The best part comes at the end, when it’s time to release the completed petal. For that, a tool with pins that looks a little like a hedgehog is inserted from below, and pins that fit into each joint’s hole pop the finished petal off. We can see how this tool would greatly increase the production of his tulips, so if that’s his goal, he’s on track.