Andrew's Christmas Tree (Credit: Andrew Duscher)

Representatives of companies all around Hutchinson arrived at Interfaith Housing, a charity that’s main goal is to supply the community with housing assistance.  It was early in the morning on Nov. 23. The charity event that was going on was a Christmas tree building event. Basically what happened is the volunteers came in with Christmas tree they built in advance, and they auctioned off the trees for charity money.  Andrew Duscher, a programmer at Data Center Incorporated, was one of these volunteers. He was representing DCI.  

Duscher’s Christmas tree was technology-based because he’s a programmer at DCI.  The tree has multiple sequences of lights that flash multiple colors. The entire process is pretty long, but it is great to watch.

Duscher says that he made his tree from a normal, plastic tree and an LED strip, which was controlled by an Arduino board.  An Arduino is a common circuit board used as a central control unit. He programmed the board for the LEDs to do the cycle of lights.  After that, he 3D printed a container for the board to conceal it. He says that there was one problem with the whole project. When he was first 3D printing the case, it didn’t fit properly for it was too small.

Duscher worked weekends to get this project done.  He had been doing it for about 2 months. He has never programmed LEDs before either or done any soldering on a circuit board before.  After that he had to figure out how to use a 3D modeler so he could 3D print the case. Duscher says he’s proud of the end result, and it was worth the countless hours he spent on it.