Light-effect Gift Card Design With Chibitronics

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Introduction: Light-effect Gift Card Design With Chibitronics

This instructable is created as part of the Instructables Build Night with Chibitronics at the Taipei Hackerspace.

From the package we have received for the build night it looks like Chibitronics very much focuses on light (LEDs) as output, thus we tried building something around that, but in such a way that does not necessarily look like a circuit at first sight.

This design is suitable for a gift card or a postcard where an image has suitable points lighting up in some pattern.

Step 1: Electronics

The circuit is contained in the inner section of the card, and the light is smoothed out by filtering through the paper.

Start off by taking a piece of suitable paper (e.g. an A4 printer paper folded into two), and lay out the circuit for the lights. Here it's a pretty simple LED circuit using the effects kit "twinkle" effect.

To place the lights, think of what image you'll want to draw on the front page later!

The wiring is copper tape or aluminium foil held down by a double-sided sticky tape. The battery is also held by double-sided sticky tape but only on one side, so the battery can be removed from the circuit with relatively little effort (hence it's placement near the corner of the card too).

Turn on the circuit, fold the paper over and see how it looks. Mark the location of the lights very gently on the front side, take off the battery, and fold the card out.

Step 2:

Draw your image on the front of the card. Or better yet, give it to someone else to draw it, and see what do they come up with!

Finally add the battery back, secure the front page to the back with more double-sided sticky tapes (be carefuly do not completely enclose the battery so you can remove it for storage!). Then enjoy!

Possible improvements:

* cutouts for lights if needed more sharpness
* more blurring by adding more paper layers or other material between the LED and front
* changing colours of white LEDs by pieces of filters such as colored plastics
* Programmable patterns (by ATTINY module)
* More designs! Such as:
-> night sky
-> cityscape
-> airport landing strip
-> world map with cities
-> ....

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5 Comments

you should try and make a jumbo card

you should try and make a jumbo card

you should try and make a jumbo card

Hey, you could also use black lights and draw highlighter over it and it will glow!

1 reply

In principle yes (and it would look great!), though for that you need something else than Chibitronics for the Black Light / UV LEDs. E.g. something like this with your own circuit: http://www.mouser.tw/new/vishaysemiconductors/vishay-VLMU3100/ (I haven't tried, just a guess)