On a recent trip to IKEA, I saw the "Dioder" LED set for about $25 and I got inspired to make my own LED light box at TechShop. All together, I saved over $100 by making my own and I had a lot of fun making it!
This is a great project for artists, designers, and photographers! It only took a few hours and it's something I will use a lot.
I made this at TechShop!
Step 1: Materials/Tools/Equipment
- "Dioder" LED set from Ikea.
- 24" x 24" Sheet metal (Steel)
- 1/4" translucent acrylic sheet
- Something to make electrical connections (solder, electrical tape, solderless connectors, etc.)
- Powder coat or paint
- FlowJet waterjet cutter (You could also use the various shears in the metal shop at TechShop)
- Sheet metal bending brake
- Spot Welder (or something else for joining sheet metal)
- Laser Cutter (or table saw for cutting acrylic)
- Powder coat gun and oven
- AutoDesk Inventor 2012
- Soldering Iron
Step 2: Design the box
When I was satisfied with the design, I exported the flat pattern as a DXF, which I used to run the FlowJet.
(This photo shows an early version of the DXF opened in Corel Draw.)
Step 3: Cut the sheet metal
No FlowJet? You could also print your drawing full size and cut the profile out using the shears, punches, and corner notcher, etc. in the Metal Shop, but FlowJet is so much faster.
Step 4: Bend
Step 5: Spot weld corners
Step 6: Paint!
Notice that I also drilled a hole for the wire to pass through. I could have included it in the cut file, but I forgot.
Step 7: Install LEDs
Step 8: Cut acrylic and slide it into place.
Slide the acrylic into place. No hardware is needed here, it fits tightly between the edges of the metal box.
Step 9: Plug it in and enjoy
Optional: Run around and tell everyone "Hey, look what I just made."