Introduction: Mini Acrylic Panel Night Light

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Build a night light with custom engraved acrylic panel using your laser and a screwdriver.

This is a make717 project designed for community maker faires. When bought in bulk, the components cost less than $1.50 per unit. Project can be built in about ten minutes, depending on the speed of your laser.

Designed by MDIM for make717.

Step 1: Acquire the Components

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You will need a night light from Dollar Tree, SKU 196860. These can be bought by the case for group projects.

The 1/4" (6.35mm) thick acrylic panel is small, and can be made out of scrap. Ask at your local glass shop, or buy a box of scrap off the internet. Make sure you're getting Acrylic, not Lexan!

Step 2: Laser Your Panel

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Using the included file, cut your acylic panel.

Add engraving to the panel.

Some tips:

  • Use Illustrator or Inkscape to add a logo or design to the panel.
  • If your laser can do it, engrave first and then cut the outline without moving the panel. That will keep everything lined up the way you intended. Cut on the green line.
  • At our maker space, the Full Spectrum Laser will engrave then cut.
    • Our settings:
      • 10% power/100% speed for engraving
      • 75% power/30% speed for cutting. You may need a second pass to cut 1/4" acylic.
  • You may be able to cut and engrave on your Carvey. Keep the engraving shallow, so that the acrylic does not break from internal stresses.

Step 3: Remove the Screw From the Night Light

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There is one screw on the back of the nightlight. Remove it with a Phillips screwdriver.

Step 4: Open the Night Light and Discard the Bobble

Picture of Open the Night Light and Discard the Bobble

Gently pry the back off the night light. If you rotate it toward the sticker on the bottom, the sticker will stay intact.

Discard or recycle whatever tasteless bobble is installed - the photo shows a sailboat, but there are other designs.

Step 5: ​Organize Your Parts

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Because we are working from the back, put your acrylic panel face down.

Step 6: Install the Panel

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The notches in the panel fit the edges of the case. You really can't mess this up.

Step 7: Close It Up

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Swing the back of the night back into place, easing it over the notches in the panel.

Tighten the screw using a philliips screwdriver.

Step 8: Test It!

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Plug in your new night light and enjoy.

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