After trying out various designs over the last couple of months (check out my other Instructables), I finally came up with this one. Inspired by the Led Earring instructable, I ended up using magnets to hold a coin cell battery and act as contacts for the LED. The cool part is that the battery actually serves as a switch - slide it up to turn on the light, push it down to turn it off. And as a bonus - you do not need a screwdriver to pull out the battery (as opposed to SMD battery holders).

I made about 15 such pendants and gifted them in the last Burning Man (2013). It was a blast :)

Short warning - I did not have direct access to a laser cutter at the time, so this design is not perfect. You'll need to make small adjustments to the parts you cut, so make some extra parts. Just in case.

Also, note that the pendant is asymmetrical.So make sure you align all the parts properly before cutting and gluing. I guess next time I should add "up" and "down" engravings on the pieces themselves.


And again:

Changing colors:

Step 1: Materials

You'll need the following:
  • 5mm slow flashing LED. Or a fast flashing LED, it's up to you
  • 3mm Plywood sheet
  • 1mm clear or "frosty" acrylic. 1.5 and 2mm should be OK too - as you'll see later on, we make several layers anyway
  • CR2032 battery
  • Two M2 (or is it 2M ) screws, 16mm long
  • One 1/4" x 1/8" x 1/8" Block Neodymium Magnet N45 (or stronger)
  • Two 3mm x 5mm Cylinder Neodymium Rare Earth Magnets N45 (or stronger)
  • 400 grit sandpaper (to make clear acrylic look "frosty")
  • Epoxy glue
  • Superglue with a small tip 
  • Optional - conductive glue (you'll see why)
If you decide to go for different magnets (for example, the slightly smaller 6x6x3mm block magnet), don't forget to change to the design accordingly.

Below you can find the design as DXF and as PDF files. Make sure you used the right material for each file.
Files are now also available in SVG format.
<p>Hey! I recently designed my own LED acrylic pendant and was planning on making about 100 as Playa gifts this year! So I'm curious how many you ended up making? I came across one of them at the AZ regional Saguaro Man where a Burner named Sparticus was wearing it. I was intrigued by your battery design and was literally telling a buddy today at the Maker Lab about trying to possibly change mine up to emulate your switch design. Small friggin world. One thing you may want to think about instead of super glue is acrylic solvent cement. It doesn't actually glue it, it melts it together!</p><p>Link to a early version of mine. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIreMQkA4dQ </p><p>They open a bit easier than in the video! LOL.</p>
<p>I ended up making about 20-30 for each burn (Burning Man 2013 &amp; 2014, and Midburn 2014). It's a LOT of work to glue everything together, and every year I promise myself to never make more of them :-) </p><p>One day I will improve the design and make it more simple to put together. Now that I'm back in the university and there is a crazy maker space in the basement it might actually happen.</p><p>Thanks for the tip on the acrylic solvent cement. I just didn't have one around and the super glue did a good job. </p><p>Cool design. Etching the shape on a red acrylic simplifies everything. If you keep the same design (the Man burns in 78 days!), consider replacing the battery piece with pylwood - it's more flexible. </p>
<p>So I pretty much have the prototype built. The top left piece 3/16&quot; clear acrylic and the other two are 1/8&quot; red acrylic. Found all the batteries at the best price at Apex Magnets. I bought the wrong square battery size and the conductive glue is tough to find, but I think it will work well! Managed to get it down to three pieces total. Going to fine tune the holes and start the hateful job of gluing! :) Thanks....</p>
<p>Looks great! are you going to 5mm or 3mm LEDs?</p><p>You'll might want to cut off some material from the center piece to reduce its weight. </p><p>Don't forget to upload photos when you're done :)</p>
<p>5mm. It is no heavier than the old pendant I made. I bought the conductive glue, but it really didn't seem to work at all. :(</p>
<p>The conductive glue is usually not much of a glue. That's why i place a drop, let it dry and then cover the connection with epoxy do it doesn't move anywhere. </p>
<p>Yup. I am actually thinking about epoxing the LED in place and letting the magnets hold the LED leads in place. I noticed on the first two I made, one LED was dimmer than the other because if the conductive glue breaks a little, it lessons the connectivity. Very happy with the final product! Thanks so much for the brilliant inspiration on the battery switch!</p>
<p>If you have some time to try out something else, you can try mixing metal or graphite power with epoxy and see whether it's strong (and conductive) enough. I am planning to try this myself in a couple of weeks</p>
<p>I will have to make my first Instructable! Here is the process in one picture...<br>Basically I (carefully) super glued the magnets into the clear, and then the red, bent the led to fit and snip the ends, clamp together, run the acrylic solvent (carefully) down the sides with the needle bottle , wait 3 minutes and ta da!</p>
<p>be very careful with super glue - make sure it doesn't &quot;coat&quot; your magnet (making it non-conductive). </p>
<p>I literally use a toothpick to coat the inside of the holes. Place the clear acrylic part on top of two playing cards (each side) and press the magnet (you should make sure both magnets are facing the same direction!) through the hole to the table. The playing cards allow the magnet to go through the acrylic slightly further than flush so the battery can make contact. I am thinking about changing the design to a side contact (like the top square magnet) as there is a bit of failure rate on the round ones, and because the battery wobbles a bit, OCD types like myself have the habit of pushing it flat - breaking the glue and making the battery loose contact with the magnets!</p>
<p>It looks so awesome! Great idea!</p>
<p>I made it. using your design i was able to make the perfect gift for my 9 year old cousin. thanks </p>
It looks great!
<p>Really beautiful work. I'd like to try to make something similar and will &quot;borrow&quot; your templates to start the project ;) Thanks! May I ask where you found your magnets BTW?</p>
<p>BTW in 2002 I made something similar, only with EL wire, and handed out 20 of them at the Burn. I'm sure you'd agree that the best part of making these kinds of projects is giving them away :)</p>
<p>EL wire pendants? nice! I was thinking of that at some point. Do you have a photo?</p><p>For the second batch of pendants that i'm making for this year, I ended up ordering the following magnets:</p><p>* <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CX3AVII/ref=oh_details_o04_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1" rel="nofollow">http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CX3AVII/ref=oh...</a></p><p>* <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001KUOKPA/ref=oh_details_o05_s00_i01?ie=UTF8&psc=1" rel="nofollow">http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001KUOKPA/ref=oh...</a></p><p>Make sure you enlarge the holes, as these magnets are slightly larger than the ones on my original files. I strongly recommend that you get the round hole right before you cut the whole batch (it's more difficult to work with acrylic..). </p><p>Another tip - glue the LEDs to the acrylic part using epoxy glue. Then place a drop of conductive glue on the connection of each LED terminal and magnet. Let it dry. Then place some epoxy glue on top. It take a lot of work, but it's worth it. It will make the whole thing much stronger.</p><p>Are you coming to the Playa this year?</p>
<p>Do you happen to have updated sketches with the hole sizes changed? Would save me some editing time if you do :) So many projects, so little time left.... Just learning the art of vector design &amp; laser cutting!</p>
<p>Heya Oren, sorry I missed the notification on this &amp; just saw the comment now.<br><br>Here's a picture of the pendants I made. (It's funny how janky projects look when the lights are on ;) ) They were made with double-bright EL wire so they really glow well at night. I do everything with LEDs now but back then I learned a lot about how to bend EL to your will... superglue is your friend!<br><br>Yep, I'll be back again on the playa again -- haven't missed one since I started. Thanks again for the inspiring project :)</p>
<p>It feels really wonderful to see the happy looks on people's face and knowing you and your projects is making them happy when they got the stuff.</p>
<p>Hey Oren! I've made about 20 of these already and I just wanted to say thank you so much for creating such an amazing playa gift! They're absolutely incredible and I can't wait to hand them out at the burn this year. Thank you thank you thank you!!!</p>
<p>Thanks, I'm happy to hear that. I'm till working on my batch for this year :) If you happen to see someone walking around wearing this hat, come and say hi!</p>
<p>Nice job and I am trying to make one using the sketch you provided. But the dxf file of plywood is wrong, actually it's acrylic again. We would be really glad if you could upload the right dxf file of plywood.Thanks~^_^ </p>
<p>I just double-checked... the files are OK. Try to download again</p>
<p>Thank you. It seems there some problems continually popping up on my CAD. I made some modifies and now trying to make some prototype. Your brilliant work is perfect for being modified to be a part of something else which I long to make and your ideas really helps.Thank you so much~~ </p>
<p>Thanks :) send me a link when it's ready</p>
<p>No problem, the plywood parts are still on the way. I designed some of my own patterns hoping to make some difference. And I end up with the idea that your design is perfect for this pendant. However some problem that I haven't expected occurred and I got some other issues to deal with, seems it's gonna be a long wait. Thank you~</p>
I've been struggling to figure out how to use your DXF files to laser cut. I only know about using SVG or EPS in 2D vector drawing programs to send to the laser cutter. When I open the DXF file in those programs they want to rescale and the 1:1 looks way too big, unless that is really how big the pendant is. There are no dimensions mentioned in your Instructable. Also, how large of a piece of acrylic or wood is needed to cut the pattern? I really want to make this!!
Actually, I never used the laser cut myself :) I sent them to a friend who had an access to a laser cutter and he requested DXF files. The files were originally created with Adobe Illustrator. <br> <br>If anyone has recommendations on what's the best way of exporting the files - please share, and I will update the Instructable.
I think you can export as SVG file from Adobe Illustrator.
Done. Let me know if it's ok
That should work. Excellent! Thanks!
really well done, good job.
Would it be possible to place the drawings in a more 'universal' format than the dxf file format? <br>I, and I suppose most of us, do not have a CAD program installed and I have no need to install such a program either. Looked up some viewers, but they are either 'big' or don't work properly without having to install other software. I don't want to mess up my PC. <br>But I would very much like to see your drawings, so I can have a better look into the structure of things. I tried Irfanview with a plugin, but all I got was the filename... :/ <br>Maybe you could use PostScript or even just png of jpg. <br>Thanks in advance.
As far as I know, dxf is the universal format for vector graphics. Converting it to an image prevents you from changing the scale. I was going to suggest that you use http://inkscape.org/ , which is a lightweight, free software to open/view it, but for some reason it doesn't work well with these files. Weird. <br> <br>Anyway, just in case, i'm adding a PDF version.
Thank you very much. At least now I have something as a guide for determining the measurements. <br>Normally Irfanview should show the files by using the plugin, but it didn't work this time. No idea why.
This is awesome. I really like it. <br>It's way cool and yet so simple. Massive thumbs up for this! <br>I'm going to make this myself. Maybe I'll try some other shapes.
Ingenious, liked!
Brilliant use of technology, and beautiful design.
thank you :)
I hope your embrace project is going well. :) ciao!
Nice job!
This would be cool with an ingress logo. Awesome idea! Good work!!
Could I buy one off you :D
Sorry, only got one left and I'm keeping it :)
Very nice and simple / Muy bonito y sencillo
thank for your sharing!
Very nice! I ll makeit! Ilike it!

About This Instructable


576 favorites


More by OrenLederman: Eye-Fi to Bluetooth bridge: direct wireless print with an Eye-Fi, Polariod Pogo and an Android phone Glowing laser cut pendant with magnetic battery holder Glowing Sugru pendant (for Burning Man 2013)
Add instructable to: