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Making translucent, glowing cubes. Best shell material choice?


I'm making eight, seamless 15 cm3 cubes that will be translucent and have a glossy finish.
They will be lit up (with LEDs, etc.) so the entire cube appears to glow, but there is a base side which will always be on the bottom (it doesn't have to be made of this material.)
Sturdiness is desired (they will be in transit at some point), as well as low cost.

The solutions I have in mind at this point are:
  • Frosted acrylic/perspex glued together
  • Some form of cloudy resin cast into a single-piece shell

I imagine that the resin would have a better overall appearance if it goes well, but it sounds expensive and complicated.
The perspex solution may have a less appealing end result due to the edges between each face.
Please suggest alternate solutions if you can think of some!

Thanks for your help.
TK.

Picture of Making translucent, glowing cubes. Best shell material choice?
mrandle5 months ago

There are lots of cool projects that use resin here on instructables. http://www.instructables.com/id/LED-Resin-Cubes/ is a good example.

The casting can be a bit finicky from what i've seen but seems easy enough to work with with great results.

Jack A Lopez5 months ago

If you can find clear acrylic sheet, what you call Perspex(r) or Plexiglas(r), also callled PMMA,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poly%28methyl_methacr...

clear acrylic sheet can be converted to translucent simply by rubbing it with sandpaper.

Also if the edges of your cube, made from glued together acrylic sheet, are imperfect, I think the solution to that is also to rub those edges with sandpaper.

I mean use a sanding block to grind down the high spots, and make the corners straight and square, and also make everything uniformly sanded and translucent-y.

I'm not sure if this sanding magic will work out exactly the way I imagine it, but this is what I suggest trying.

T-K (author)  Jack A Lopez5 months ago

Thanks for the suggestions, I'll try it with some scrap acrylic.

steveastrouk5 months ago

There are cloudy perspex, which would have the right appearance Look at "opal" perspex