Step 8: Field test the Lite Brite

Picture of Field test the Lite Brite
Giant Lite Brite v1.0 (not shown in this Instructable) was field tested at Yuri's Night at the Nasa Aims Research Center in California It fared pretty well there where it got steady use, but only for one day, and by only a couple hundred people. By the end of the event some of the foam (only v2.0 used rubber) was coming away from the acrylic front and so some slight modifications were made in order to improve performance for the Maker Faire.

Before the Maker Faire, Mitch and I added on some small nuts, bolts and wide washers to mechanically hold the rubber in place. This was done before the event right outside the exhibit hall in a moment of haste and didn't really do much to help the rubber stay in place since it was so elastic. I can't recommend this as a solid method for holding the rubber in place, but at the time, it was all we could do.

Although the Lite Brite provided hours of fun entertainment for people attending the fair, its rubber backing suffered quite a bit from all the use and came completely off in many spots.

Plans are in the works to waterjet a permanent solution: a steel sheet bolted directly behind the santoprene that holds all the sheets of rubber in place. The sheet will be thin gauge steel that is cut using the same file that the front panel of acrylic was cut with. Except for one change - the steel rubber backing plate will have just a slightly larger hole diameter then the black acrylic to allow for the santoprene tabs to fold back easily when a peg is pushed through.

Updates to this Instructable will follow once the sheet is fabricated.
deaker5 years ago
If you could get the laser to cut each slot at a slight angle there would be no light getting through the cross slot. This may not be a problem anyway. Great Instuctable, great toy.
noahw (author)  deaker5 years ago
The laser beam itself has a kerf.  I'd say that it's only about 1/64", but it's still very much there and lets a very small amount of light through.  Cutting at a slight angle would be pretty cool to see if you could miter the joint and reduce the kerf, but since the laser beam head is fixed on that axis, I don't think that it's in the cards using this method.