Dazzling Desktop Dodecahedron

Much like us, [AGBarber] digs all the infinity polyhedra already out there, but laments the fact that almost all of them are too large to be used as desktop distractions conversation pieces. That’s probably because it’s a lot easier to build ’em big, but that didn’t stop [AGBarber] from trying, succeeding spectacularly, and paving the way for anyone who wants to take on the challenge of building a dazzling desk toy of their own.

We all know that all those little strips of LEDs have to be chained together somehow. Wires would work fine in a larger version, but at roughly softball size, they become a tedious and fiddly nightmare. So what did [AGBarber] do instead? That’s right, they designed two different types of custom corner PCBs. The 3D printed brackets that hold the LEDs and the panels together are no cakewalk, either — [AGBarber] recommends using a resin printer if you have access to one, though it isn’t strictly required.

Everything about this project is open source, including a bonus printable jig for gluing the brackets together at just the right angles. All the steps are well-documented, from applying the mirror film to programming the Wemos D1 mini that controls the lights [AGBarber] programmed in a ton of animations, too, which you can watch after the break.

Want to build a small infinity thingy that isn’t quite so difficult? Crack open a cold one and check out these cool coasters.

6 thoughts on “Dazzling Desktop Dodecahedron

  1. The YouTube video of the dodecahedron has a comment right below the video with a timed playlist of all 19 LED modes, just click SHOW MORE to see it. You have to go to YouTube proper to see the timed playlist, it gets cropped off in an embedded YouTube window. I really like this project. The music genre accompanying the YouTube video should have been Trip-Hop or Psychedelic.

    So you need 30 edges * 7 LEDs/edge = 210 LEDs for this regular dodecahedron[1]. The SK6812 1-meter 144 LED strips on Ebay linked to by the Instructable BOM costs USD $22.06 plus $2.50 slow boat from China to U.S. (SBFC2US) shipping for a total of $24.56. He says to buy two 144 LED strips for a total of $49.12, that gives you a total of 288 LEDs which is 78 more than the 210 needed.

    I searched around on AliExpress to see if I could find a better deal, ideally one where you can get a cut strip of 210 LEDs. Nope, no cut strips and most of the AliExpress prices were a little higher due to higher shipping prices. Reference [2] has a link to an AliExpress page that let’s you specify some of the parameters of the SK6812 LED strips such as the number of LEDs per meter, IP rating, and whether the LEDs are RGBW or RGBWW. (I wonder which would be better for this project, RGBW or RGBWW, or does it matter? Both options cost the same on the AliExpress page.)

    It seems that 1-meter 144 LED strips are the only option in that LED density. Using the parameters specified in the Instrucable, in the AliExpress page I found a 1-meter 144 LED IP30 (no water proofing) RGBW or RGBWW (both are the same price) strip costs $22.35 + $7.08 SBFC2US for a total of $27.43, a few bucks more than the Ebay 144 LED strip mentioned in the BOM. So in the end it seems [AGBarber] did a good job of selecting the LEDs.


    1. Regular Dodecahedron


    2. 0.5M 1M 2M 3M 4M 5M DC 5V SK6812 RGBW 4 IN 1 Pixel LED Strip 30/60/144 Leds/m Black PCB IP30/65/67 RGBWW WS2812B LED Tape Light


  2. Great project ! Looks awesome.

    Now if a beautiful woman suddenly appears, says “I am for you” and wants to lay her hand on your shoulder to kill you….run ! 😁. (Ok nerds +1 for the show +2 for the name of the character +3 for the name of the actress)

          1. +5 for watching the episode ! As soon as I saw the picture of the dodecahedron I immediately thought of the computer that kept creating Losira as a protection.

            Now what was in Losira’s recorded message ? Oh yeah…”in creating this planet we accidentally created a virus…”. Oh shit….

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