Working model of the Trinity Buoy Wharf Lighthouse
When Dave shared his Raspberry Pi Zero–powered model of the Trinity Buoy Wharf Lighthouse on Reddit, we fell a little bit in love.
Hello from the Trinity Buoy Wharf Lighthouse
Dave was getting married inside London’s only lighthouse, situated at Trinity Buoy Wharf across the water from the O2 Arena.
The Trinity Buoy Wharf lighthouse sits at the confluence of the River Thames (the big ol’ river running through London) and Bow Creek, a tidal estuary of the River Lea (the river Adele sings about in her song River Lea*!). When the wharf was closed in 1988, the lighthouse was put out of commission.
Dave is wonderful, and so are his lighthouses
On Reddit, Dave goes by the username Lame_Dave, but considering how wonderful and thoughtful his project for his lighthouse wedding is, we hereby rename him Wonderful_Thoughtful_Dave. Don’t put yourself down, Dave. You’re brilliant!
“I knew I wanted to make something involving electronics and 3D printing,” explains Wonderful_Thoughtful_Dave in an imgur post. “So I decided to make working model lighthouses as the table centrepieces.”
Designing and building ten tabletop lighthouses
Dave designed the 3D model in Autodesk 123D, with a plethora of photographs of the lighthouse as reference points. And many hours later, he began 3D printing ten lighthouse shells using his Prusa MK2.5.
With Samsung 18650 batteries and a 18650 shield for power, Dave hooked up Raspberry Pi Zeros to 6×2 LCD displays, LEDs, and stepper motors. With these components, each lighthouse to gives off a rather lovely light while also showing table number and meal status to guests. Neat!
The final result is beautiful and would look at home anywhere from a model town to a toy shop, or indeed the entrance of the Trinity Buoy Wharf Lighthouse itself.
We love how Dave put different maker skills to use here, from 3D design and printing, to constructing and coding. Hopefully, we’ll see more projects from him in the future!
Remaking classic landmarks
Here in the UK, people have a thing for iconic buildings. And at Pi Towers, we adore it when you recreate historic landmarks like this with the help of our humble board.
Why not try creating your own reimagining, such as the Project Arthur ISS tracker, a papercraft and Pi build that pays homage to Arthur, the first satellite dish at the Cornish Goonhilly Earth Satellite Station?
Or come up with something completely new! We’d love to see, say, a working model of London’s Tower Bridge, or a light-up King’s College Chapel. Whatever landmark makes your day, why not build a scale model using your maker skills and electronics?
*Sadly, we are unable to share the song for copyright issues, so here is the Adele edition of Carpool Karaoke instead.
I joined Trinity House Lighthouse Service 11th Oct 1971 as an electrician. Trinity Wharf, Blackwall was my base until it closed resulting in being transferred to Harwich Essex. I left in 2005 after serving 33+ years.
When i joined I had the impression that the lighthouse there was for trains of lighthouse keepers and was not operational.