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Steampunk Vacuum Tube Display (USB)

Creation's quality: 5.0/5 (2 votes)
Evaluation of members on the printability, utility, level of detail, etc.

3D model description

USB Steampunk Tube Display
This small project brings together electronics, programming, 3D printing, and artistic painting / airbrushing to make something kinda cool you can put on your desk.

The device will detect sound and turn on an LED which illuminates the vacuum tube temporarily. Colours will shift over time. Place next to a music speaker for a neat light effect as you get the tube to dance to music.

See it in action on YouTube:

Bill of Materials

  • Qty 1 ($1 to $33) Vacuum Tube 8 Pin (does not need to be operational). Mine was burned out while designing, testing and a tube amplifier. I made this project to make use of an otherwise useless tube.

This is the tube I used, though this should work with just about any 8 pin vacuum tube after removing the plastic centre pin to allow light into the tube. The JJ tubes are much less expensive if you are looking to buy a new one just for this project.

Note: I also saw lots of old/used tubes for sale on eBay.


  • Qty 1 ($0.50 to $10) Sound detection breakout board (5V)



  • Qty 1 ($0.25 to $1) Addressable LED (aka: NeoPixel)


  • Qty 1 ($1 to $6) Arduino Nano (without headers)


  • Qty 4 ($0.25) Brass Knurled Inserts

  • Qty 12 ($2.50) M2x4mm Stainless Button Head Screw

  • Qty 4 ($0.04) 8mm Silicone Pad Self Adhesive Feet (Optional). This is not required, I had them in stock from a previous project.,searchweb201602_3_10065_10068_10130_10547_319_10059_10884_317_10548_10887_10696_321_322_10084_453_10083_454_10103_10618_10307_537_536,searchweb201603_50,ppcSwitch_0&algo_expid=5e771303-f5c0-4e70-ad89-fe2e78cea781-0&algo_pvid=5e771303-f5c0-4e70-ad89-fe2e78cea781

  • 3D file format: STL and ZIP
  • Publication date: 2019/04/22 at 10:15





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