Stars for Project Blacklight


Blacklight is a hacking challenge, but also falls into the category of an ARG (augmented reality game) where participants have to hack into networks and servers, crack ciphers and uncover hidden messages to investigate a secretive organization. 


Projeckt Blacklight approached me and asked me to create objects for the challenge. The goal was to encode a message with a series of blinks in the form of the logo. Based on the logo, I developed a three-dimensional shape and submitted it to my customers for approval.

After the customer had accepted the design, I checked what kind of electronics fit into the limited space on the inside of the form. The choice fell on an Adafruit Trinket with Backpack and a LiPo battery. Together with the customer I decided to make the form 20% bigger and a little deeper, so that the installation of the electronics is easier.

The three-dimensional form is optimized for printing on a liquid resin printer, such as the devices of the manufacturer Formlabs. Since I don’t have such a device, I ordered the parts via the platform (10$ voucher with this link)

After a few days I got the ordered parts and painted them with a varnish for model making. Since I didn’t know which varnish works best on the resin, I followed the recommendation of Formlabs.

The stars with primer. On the lower right a star is unpainted.

The painted stars before and after sanding

The parts were given two coats of primer and then three coats of black paint. On the upper side of the parts an embossed bead in form of the logo had been worked in by me. The purpose of this raised pattern was that it could be ground down without touching the rest of the painted surface. This enabled me to selectively remove the covering paint layer, so that the light from the LEDs in the interior could only penetrate through the sanded areas.

After sanding, the parts were thoroughly cleaned and then varnished with a coat of clear varnish.

The whole project was also documented on video.