Giraffe Pen Cup

The latest 3d printing creation — a giraffe themed desk pen cup for my wife. A little late for Mother’s day due to us moving, but better late than never, right? I wanted to make something that can help her feel a little closer to our daughter, while still being a little practical, hence this desk cup pen holder thing. Why giraffe themed? She loves giraffes and that’s what our nursery is. And why not throw some 3d prints of our daughter Aurora’s footprints while we’re at it.

This project went together pretty quickly, most of the work being the 3d printing. I had a circuit playground express from Adafruit on hand and knew that’s the board I wanted to use (since it had the onboard Neopixels to add a nice glow). With that in mind, I started with some measurements and building the main pieces in Shape3D so I knew they’d fit correctly when working with real-world objects. Once the base mesh was done, It was over to MODO + Zbrush to create the main giraffe piece. The base mesh for the giraffe was done in MODO and sculpted in Zbrush, using the STL from Shapr3D as a guide so it would still all fit together correctly when printed. For the footprints, I took a picture of my Aurora’s footprints from the hospital and turned them into a grayscale alpha I could use it Zbrush. With it all done, it was off to the printer to be printed in Wood PLA, and a single piece in transparent so the glowing neopixels would show through.

The electronics were pretty basic on this, and you’ll find the code below. Done in circuit python, the neopixels glow yellow and pulse in brightness for a bit of effect. I also added some copper tape and a wire to use as a touch sensor so when you petted the back of the giraffe’s neck, the circuit playground express would play an audio file of my Aurora babbling. All in all, a bit of a tacky but heartfel little 3d printing + electronics project.