A Polycarbonate and LED Christmas Tree Star

star-cropThis Christmas, it was requested that we get a new tree. I voted for a more unconventional* choice, which was agreed to on the condition that I make a star for the tree. I was happy to do it, and though my memory is a bit hazy, I may have agreed to this task before. Nonetheless, this was the year.

After considering a few ways to make it out of paper, it occurred to me that I could attach two pieces of polycarbonate together, and with the correct holes drilled, I could also embed LED lights, similar to how “throwies” work. After a little design work, and cutting with a CNC router and manual milling machine, I had something that attached nicely to the top of our tree. Check out the video to see the build process:

If you’d like to make your own, the DXF I used can be downloaded here. As shown in the video, there’s a little more to it, since you’ll have to drill and tap the holes appropriately, but that should give you the basic outline.

*The “unconventional” tree was a potted specimen, that I thought would be fun to have and bring indoors for the holiday season. It’s a little smaller that we’d like now, but if I actually water it regularly, it should grow with us. Although I didn’t necessarily expect it to be cheaper in the short-term, it was actually quite a bit cheaper than most cut or fake trees.

I suppose this either makes me smart, a cheapskate, or very environmentally conscious, since it should make less of an environmental impact than the other choices.

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