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Fibre optic fans


I went through a bit pf a phase recently, where I was totally obsessed with shiny, light up things. This resulted in the dance routine videoed above (so chosen because of the level of darkness showing off the fans properly).

I've been promising myself to write up the instructions about how I made the fans - so here it is!

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The ingredients are pretty simple. The electronics and fibre optic fibres for the fans came from a fibre optic fountain table lamp, bought down the local pound shop for a pound. I wound up using four of them for each fan. I also used blu-tack, lollipop sticks, elastic bands, some flexible plastic mesh (cardboard would probably work) and gaffa tape.

2013-06-22 12.22.23
The bundle of fibres popped out of the base pretty easliy, and turning the base over, you can see the screws that hold the base together. There's also a button on the bottom of the base that allows you to turn the lamp on and off, and cycle through the colour options.

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Inside the base you've got the circuit board with the LED on two plastic sticks. It was easy enough to pull the circuit board off and cut the plastic supports off with some pliers.

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The wires were long enough to put the circuit board on the side of the battery case. Then I used blu-tack to stick the two units together.


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The bundles of fibres go on top of the LED, held in place by by a frame made from the plastic mesh.


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Everything gets held in place by gaffa tape.

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When held up, the fibres took on a round fountain shape, instead of a more fan-like shape. So I used two lollipop sticks and two elastic bands to sandwich the fibres into a fan shape, then covered the sticks and battery packs with yet more gaffa tape (being careful not to cover over the buttons that turn the lights on and off.)

2013-06-22 14.07.30
I then made another one of these units, and put them together to make one fan, connecting them through yet more gaffa tape.

For the costume in the dance routine above, I had two layers of dress. The bottom layer had electro-luminenscent wire stitched onto it, with a chiffon layer over the top. The battery packs were gaffa-ed together on a ribbon that went over my neck and shoulder, and hung by my hip.

And there you go!