Christmas Trees for Geeks
It’s that time of year again! Even though I’m a Geek, I can still enjoy Christmas as much as everyone else. But when it comes to decorations, I thought I would do something a little… geeky… this year.
For several years, Mrs. Geek has been involved in a Christmas Tree Festival in our village. Local schools, clubs and businesses all decorate trees and display them for the community. This year, I decided to contribute my own.
The nice thing about connectors is that there are plenty of colourful options. From test leads to medical-grade plastic connectors, manufacturers have used colour coding for decades to help prevent incorrect installation and assist with cable management.
When it comes to decorating a tree, my requirement was for colourful connectors that were small and light enough to prevent my tree from toppling over. For my first attempt (and I decided to get involved at the last moment) I decided to go with simple terminal blocks that are available in a variety of colours.
I re-used a tree that Mrs. Geek had lying around, originally intended to display photographs. I liked the different shape, and the built-in clips that made decoration easier.
I think you’ll agree that the tree looks different, and suitably adorned with a set of lights it glows nicely. However, there was something missing – every tree needs a star! I turned to my box of terminals and a hot glue gun for some help.
The end result is quite striking – I’m not sure my pictures do it justice!
For those of you who want to try something a little different, I recommend you take a look at the annual Christmas Tree competition from TraceParts. TraceParts has been delivering high-quality 3D models to engineers for over two decades, and for the last 13 years has run a competition that allows engineers to free their imagination.
The only rule is that the tree must be created using 3D models downloaded from TraceParts. As you can see from the image below, the standard of entry is very high, but as an exercise in getting to know your 3D design software, it is hard to beat!
I already have big plans for next year. My first attempt was a little minimal, but next year I am going to go all-out with a tree created from colourful DIN rail terminals. I’ll let you know how I get on…