Arduino makes Star Trek’s Guardian of Forever come to life

Back in May maker Marcin Poblocki 3D printed the Guardian of Forever and, while it closely matched the version in the show, he wanted to make something more interactive.

To do this Poblocki opened up Fusion 360 and and spent an hour redesigning his print to make way for some electronics.

Firstly, space was made for three LEDs that would shine through the plastic. To make these blink an Arduino Nano was used and there’s even plans to add smoke effects later on.

The real draw here, however, is a 3.5” TFT screen that plays a slideshow of images from the show.

The original idea for the project was for the print to act as a stand for a phone, but a standalone screen was used instead to make the display a bit more permanent.

Printing and painting added seven more hours of work to the project, with the finished piece being 14 x 7 x 10 centimetres.

A small stand is included to house all the electronics and keep them out of the way, and there’s even a bit of detailing on it.

To make your own Guardian of Forever, you’ll need the files to print it, which are available from Thingiverse for free.

Aside from the Arduino, the screen, and the LEDs, you’ll need a 9V battery to power everything and a few more pieces to complete the circuit.

The full schematic and Arduino code have also been provided. The Nexion Editor is recommended to change the pictures in the slideshow, making it more authentic or adding in your own to create an electronic picture frame with a Star Trek theme.

You could even go outside the scope here and get video working on the screen, which would be a unique way to watch Star Trek if we ever saw one.

The last time we spoke to Poblocki, he had made a Bajoran Orb with magnetic levitation. And, if you look at his Thingiverse profile, you’ll see that he’s been very busy in the last few months with various Star Trek projects.

Even this Guardian of Forever is a springboard for future projects. We’ve been told that the plan right now is to use this screen for an Iconian gateway and PADDs, with some kind of swappable system between them.


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