There are probably tons of Arc reactor props made around the web and yet here is another one. I decided to make this instructable since I managed to take photos of what I was doing. The project came about when I was asked to build something from scrap to serve as a backlighting for microscopes. I was fortunate enough to have access to a CO2 laser cutter which made the project so much easier. Anyways, I want to share how I made the light for my DIY arc reactor. So here we go.
Step 1: Creating the Backlight.
To build the backlight I just laser cut an acrylic sheet 3" in diameter and made shallow cuts on one side. I made about 100 lines towards the center. The CO2 laser I was working on was quite old already my settings for the shallow cuts made was 20% power and 50% speed. This setting made the cut deep enough for the light to refract.
Step 2: Wiring Up the LED's
Didn't have much LED's to work with. Luckily, I found sidelight LED's work best, since they are thinner. The photo above uses toplight LEDs. Simply place the LED's around the acrylic. Distribute them as evenly as possible, I was lazy and was just doing a prototype when I took the photo. I wired them up in parallel, take special notice on LED orientation when gluing them on the side of the acrylic.
Step 3: Get Something Shiny!
I laser cut a pretty simple pattern and gutted an old broken 2.5" hdd. I took out the motor and the disk. Also took the washers and a few screws. The copper wire was from an old electrical cord. Secure using instant glue or hot glue. I prefer instant glue since it dries faster.
Step 4: Cover Up the Wiring.
Using an empty kapton tape spool, I placed the assembly inside the spool and secured using hot glue. The LED's were wired without resistors and powered by 2 AA batteries.
Step 5: Place in Chest and Turn It On.
The LED was bright enough to be seen through thick fabric. Enjoy.