Introduction: Electric Puzzle Game
1.1 What is it
When I was a child I had a game like an electric puzzle that fascinated me. With that game, you could make a lot of electric circuits like radio, buzzer sounds, lights...and others. This project is not like that game but is something close.
I wanted to buy such a game but you don't find such games these days. So first I want to show you what this game can do so you can decide if you want it or not.
This is a puzzle-like game where the puzzle pieces are electronic components.
I made 19 circuits using simple passive electronic components.
The electronic components are making contact without soldering anything, contact is made by small magnets with screws.
The game can be used especially for educational purposes.
1.2 What will you be able to do
Implemented circuits are:
- Voltmeter- measuring a battery voltage - video here
Using a LED, a switch, a push-button, a REED switch, and making a variable LED light - video here
- Capacitor discharge - video here
Light a LED with water - video here
Infrared remote control - video here
Infrared remote with a transistor as a switch - video here
Simple buzzer circuit - video here
Variable buzzer sounds - video here
Discharge capacitor into the buzzer - video here
Birds sound with a buzzer - video here
Light-activated LED - video here
Dark activated LED - video here
Touch sensor - video here
DC motor and Newton's disk - video here
DC motor speed regulator - vide here
Generating electricity with a DC motor - video here
Flip flop LED - video here
Tesla coil - video here
- Lie detector - video here
1.3 Tools that do you need
- soft hammer (a hammer that is not made out of metal, maybe a wood hammer - I used a hammer with plastic head, you can see an image in step 1)
- pliers to cut wires
- striping pliers
- electric screwdriver (don't even try to do this manually)
- soldering iron
- palette knife
- 3D printer
- a measuring device (for continuity, ohmmeter, transistors...)
1.4 Materials that you need
- PETG filament for the 3D printer(I used red and blue but the choice is yours). I don't think PLA will work well for this. You will need a small amount of red, transparent PETG for the leds that are completely inside the covers. I used ruby red.
- about 200 x Neodymium magnets 6x3mm(6mm diameter, 3mm height). Magnetic poles m
- 1 x 9V battery
- 2 x 1.5V AAA battery
- 2 x 1.5V AA battery
- 1 x 9V battery socket
- 2 x 1.5V AAA battery socket
- 2 X 1.5V AA battery socket
- electrical wires - I used wires from a UTP internet cable.
- Screws M3x10, hexagonal inner head, round outer head, flat head
- Screws M3x18, hexagonal inner head, round outer head, flat head
- Rectangle nut M3
- 1 x voltmeter https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32917656425.html?...
- 2 x push buttons round, diameter 12 mm
- 1 x push switch button 12 mm diameter
- 1 x switch 3 positions with lever 6 mm diameter.
- 1 x REED switch
- 2 x 9V DC motor - 26mm diameter
- 1 x 6V DC motor - 21 mm diameter
- 2 x 2N2222 transistors
- 2 x 2N3904 transistors
- 1 x phototransistor
- 1 x photoresistor
- 1 x 220 Ohm resistor
- 1 x 270 Ohm resistor
- 1 x 330 Ohm resistor
- 2 x 390 Ohm resistor
- 2 x 470 Ohm resistors
- 1 x 1K Ohm resistor
- 2 x 10K Ohm resistor
- 1 x 20K Ohm resistor
- 1 x 47K Ohm resistor
- 1 x 100K Ohm resistor
- 2 x 1M Ohm resistor
- 1 x 1K ohm variable resistor
- 1 x 5K ohm variable resistor
- 1 x 100K ohm variable resistor
- 1 x PC buzzer
- 2 x 100 micro Farads capacitor > 9V
- 1 x 470 micro Farads capacitor > 9V
- 1 x 1000 micro Farads capacitor > 9V
- 2 x led (red - 5mm)
- 2 x led (green - 5mm)
- 1 x 1N4007 diode 1 x infrared led
- 2mm diameter copper wire for the primary Tesla coil
- 0.4mm diameter copper wire for the secondary Tesla coil
- [optional] 1 x module for lowering tension from here
- [optional] 1 x 12 V DC transformer
Step 1: Before You Start Printing
Use the G-codes I attached where they are available, some were too big to attach but most of the objects have G-codes.
If you do not want to use the G-codes you can use the STL I attached. Place the objects exactly as in the images attached at each step, use the same infill and support structures(only 3 small objects contain supports)
Print all the pieces exactly as described in the images, do not add supports where they are not specified.
I printed everything in 0.3mm resolution with 25% infill. I used this low resolution because there is a lot to print.
I used a special print bed for PETG, I'm not sure how is called, the surface is not flat, it has a lot of irregularities and this helps to remove PETG as PETG sticks extremely well. But I found that these small irregularities give a pleasant look to the objects. I attached a picture of my print bed in this step.
Step 2: 3D Print a Special Piece That You Will Use to Assemble the Motherboard.
This step is very important because you will repeat it a lot of times so if you passed through this successfully then the hard part has passed.
First, the hammer I used is not a regular hammer, is a hammer with plastic not metal on the head. Probably regular hammers will work too but I think is better to hammer down with this hammer. You can see an image with the hammer right here.
- Print cover.stl in red.
- Print base 1x1.stl in red.
- Print at least 4 contact.stl in any color.
- Print mesh_contact4.stl in blue.
- Use the tweezers and remove the filament that is hanging in the holes where you will put the screws as in the image attached. Insert tweezers catching the filament and rotate. Do not try to print with support structures to avoid this step, it will only make things worse.
- Place the cover on but don't put the lateral screws.
- Place the magnets in the holes and hammer them into the sockets. They are very tight. You need to know exactly how hard you need to hammer the magnets to not break the plastic. It will be very helpful if you will hammer them on a surface that is not very hard. I hammered the magnets on a hexagonal dumbbell filled with sand and coated in rough plastic but many surfaces will do well.
- Open the cover and using the palette knife. You will see that is very hard to split the base from the cover, they fit in perfectly.
- Place the base on a surface and hammer the contacts on with the electrical wires in. Contacts have a variable inner diameter and the original plan was to insert them with the wider part first but the contact is perfect anyway.
- Using the measuring device check all connections. If you don't have continuity probably you need to reuse the same handy hammer but before that check if there is not a residue of plastic between the screw and the magnet.
- Put back the cover and place the 4 lateral screws(M3x10). I placed these screws on every piece but they are optional as the base and cover are already very tight.
- Take mesh_contact4 object and hammer it down(or stick it with superglue if is not a perfect fit). Hammer works for most of the objects, no superglue is needed.
Step 3: Use a 3D Printer to Print the Motherboard Pieces
The motherboard is composed of 5 pieces:
- base_extended.stl - printed twice
- bridge_base.stl - printed twice
- bridge_lateral.stl - printed twice
- table.stl - printed twice
- contact.stl - about 200
Print the attached STL's exactly as described in the images attached or use the G-codes attached.
The motherboard is the biggest piece and the hardest to assemble. You should have a flat surface on the 3D printer bed, otherwise, some problems may arise.
Step 4: Assemble the Motherboard
- All the holes in the table.stl must have screws M3x18, except the border holes(as you can see in the second image attached to this step). Place all the screws using the electric screwdriver. When screwing, place one finger on the back of the motherboard to prevent the special mobile section to spin out of control(as described in the image).
- Check each screw and see if is mobile. All screws have mobility in a special shaft. Press hard with your fingers to unlock each mobile section. All the mobile sections will be locked right after print because PETG leaves fine filament traces between objects.
- Turn the table upside down and place the piece listed in step 2 in one of the designated slots.
- Now you can safely hammer the contacts.stl with the wires into the screws that are right above the special piece listed in step 2.
- Repeat step 4 for all the slots. Be careful not to hammer on the border holes, you may damage the table. When finished the back of the motherboard should look like the image named back_of_motherboard.JPG
- Assemble the rest of the pieces as described in the image above.
- Where you see rectangular holes you must use the rectangular nuts.
The motherboard is ready.
Step 5: 3D Print the 1x1 Bases
This will be the most printed part, over this base there will be the electrical components.
The G-code I prepared contains 9 bases. Print 9 now and later you can print more.
After print prepare them as described in step 2(tweezers, screws, magnets, contacts.stl).
Step 6: 3D Print the Batteries Bases, Covers and Meshes, Assemble the Batteries.
Print the files, assemble them as described in step 2. In the next steps, I will just publish the files, assembly instructions are the same...
Step 7: 3d Print the Buzzer Cover and Mesh, Assemble the Buzzer
Step 8: 3D Print the Capacitor Covers and Meshes, Assemble the Capacitors
Step 9: 3D Print the Big Contacts Covers and Meshes, Assemble the Contacts
Step 10: 3D Print the Small Contacts Covers and Meshes, Assemble the Contacts
Step 11: 3D Print the Diode and LED's Covers and Meshes, Assemble the Diodes and LED's
There is a special plate with 2 cover_led_transparent.stl. Here you should use the transparent RED PETG.
Step 12: 3D Print the Tesla Coil Cover and Mesh, Assemble the Tesla Coil
In the movie, you can see that the tesla coil is not properly assembled, the secondary coil connector is indicated wrong on the cover, in fact, the secondary coil connector is on the opposite side under the cover. The wires are so thin that I didn't want to correct this problem to do not break the coil.
I wired the Tesla coil as indicated in this article.
However, in that article is not mentioned the diameter of the wires. According to my measurements, I used 2mm diameter copper wire for the primary Tesla coil and 0.4mm diameter copper wire for the secondary Tesla coil. I have measured the diameters with a digital shahe and I'm unsure if I measured them correctly as this cooper wire is insulated with a thin layer of some isolating substance.
Step 13: 3D Print the Liquid Holder Covers and Meshes, Assemble the Liquid Holder
Step 14: 3D Print the Voltmeter Cover and Mesh, Assemble the Voltmeter.
Step 15: 3D Print the DC Motors Covers and Meshes, Assemble the Motors.
button.stl and gear1.stl both contain a hole for the magnet.
Here you must place the magnets in such a way that button.stl is attracted by gear1.stl so Newton's disk can be sandwiched between them tightly.
Step 16: 3D Print the Power Supply Cover and Mesh, Assemble the Power Supply.
Step 17: 3D Print the Reed Switch Cover and Mesh, Assemble the Reed Switch.
Step 18: 3D Print the Resistors Covers and Meshes, Assemble the Resistors.
Step 19: 3D Print the Switches Covers and Meshes, Assemble the Switches.
Step 20: 3D Print the Touch Sensor Cover and Mesh, Assemble the Touch Sensor.
Step 21: 3D Print the Transistors Covers and Meshes, Assemble the Transistors.
Step 22: Start Playing
All pieces are done, now you should measure all the pieces and make sure that are working properly.
Use the measuring device and check all contacts and pieces if you have not done this already.
Place the motherboard horizontally when working with it.
Starting with the next step I will post images of the puzzles.
Step 23: Circuit 1 - Voltmeter- Measuring a Battery Voltage
Step 24: Circuit 2 - Using a LED, a Switch, a Push-button, a REED Switch, and Making a Variable LED Light
Step 25: Circuit 3 - Capacitor Discharge
Step 26: Circuit 4 - Light a LED With Water
Step 27: Circuit 5 - Infrared Remote Control
Step 28: Circuit 6 - Infrared Remote With a Transistor As a Switch
Step 29: Circuit 7 - Simple Buzzer Circuit
Step 30: Circuit 8 - Variable Buzzer Sounds
Step 31: Circuit 9 - Discharge Capacitor Into the Buzzer
Step 32: Circuit 10 - Birds Sound With a Buzzer
Step 33: Circuit 11 - Light-activated LED
Step 34: Circuit 12 - Dark Activated LED
Step 35: Circuit 13 - Touch Sensor
Step 36: Circuit 14 - DC Motor and Newton's Disk
Step 37: Circuit 15 - DC Motor Speed Regulator - Vide Here
Step 38: Circuit 16 - Generating Electricity With a DC Motor
Step 39: Circuit 17 - Flip Flop LED
Step 40: Circuit 18 - Tesla Coil
In this image and in the corresponding video you can see that I used a module to lower the tension to 9V, but a fully loaded 9V battery will also do the job.
Step 41: Circuit 19 - Lie Detector
Step 42: Final Words
Most of the circuits are from http://www.learningaboutelectronics.com/. There you can find some technical explanations about the physics behind these circuits.
The Tesla coil is made after this article.
Flip flop LED is made after this article.
The DC motor speed regulator is made after this article.
The lie detector is made after this article.
Some circuits are adaptations made by me but I'm not a specialist in this domain so use this game at your own risk. I would not let children around the Tesla coil unsupervised, in the rest, the projects should not pose any danger to children on adults in my opinion(as a nonelectrical engineer).
The magnetic contacts add some resistance to the circuits and as the circuits grow the resistance starts to be a problem. I think the size of the motherboard is at a maximum like this.
These 19 circuits are only a part of what you can do with this game, even with only these components you can make a lot of other circuits useful for learning the physics behind. I also made with the existing components some logical gates: OR, AND, NOT, NOR and NAND. I used the instructions from here to make them.
If you need to create new pieces you can find the original Blender file here. In this file, you will find a few components that are not included in this instructable like a volt-amperemeter cover, a half-sized motherboard, an ohm-meter cover, a simple inductor cover, some different gears for the motors.
But the file could be especially useful because I left personalizable text with what you can make completely new components like a new resistance with a value that is not in the original project described here.
This project is free for all non-commercial purposes.