Pointilist Edge Lit Card With Auto On/Off Switch

Picture of Pointilist Edge Lit Card With Auto On/Off Switch

Several months back, I wanted to send a thank you card to the folks at instructables HQ for letting me hang out with them during Maker Faire.  I knew a store bought card just wouldn't do, so my mind immediately turned to the edge lit cards created by the nice people at evilmadscientist.com.

These cards are simple and fun to make, and I wanted to add my own touch to them--a pointillist drawing of my avatar and a pull switch arranged so the card is off when it's closed and turns on when it opens.

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Step 1: Gather Materials

Picture of Gather Materials

The card is made from:
  • Heavy cardstock
  • 2 LED's of whatever color you would like
  • 3v Button Cell (CR2032 or similar)
  • A small sheet of clear acrylic
  • Tape (I used electrical tape to go with my black cardstock and some clear tape)
  • A tiny bit of tin foil
  • Hot glue
  • Epoxy
  • Electrical tape
Tools used:
  • A sturdy, very sharp awl
  • Hot glue gun
  • Scissors

Step 2: The Image

Picture of The Image

My avatar is an upside down picture of the moon I took by carefully holding my camera up to the lens of my telescope.  I thought it would make an appropriate picture for this edge lit card. 

I wanted the bright areas of the moon to light up, and I didn't want to get confused while I was working (trying to remember to mark the light spots and ignore the dark would be hard for me), so I did a bit of computer work to alter the image for use as a template.  I opened my profile image in photoshop, made it black and white, then used a filter to make it negative.  Then I played with a variety of filters until I'd inverted the color and simplified it a bit (it was the charcoal filter that finally did the job).

Depending on what sort of image you would like to etch into the plastic, this technique will probably work well.  The final thing to do is print the image at whatever size you like, and cut it out.
Very nice. Good imagination . I like this whole concept
depotdevoid (author)  jasontilley713 years ago
This is 20x nicer than the constellations on a black lampshade I made long ago.
depotdevoid (author)  CatTrampoline3 years ago
tholopotami3 years ago
I like it!
depotdevoid (author)  tholopotami3 years ago
ChrysN3 years ago
Awesome, I like how that turned out!
depotdevoid (author)  ChrysN3 years ago
Thanks! About halfway through I started to get worried that it wouldn't turn out, but by the time I was done, it had really shaped up.
mikeasaurus3 years ago
Great build, Ian! There's no picture that can really capture the visual impact when viewed with your own eyes.
depotdevoid (author)  mikeasaurus3 years ago
Thanks Mike! I kinda felt the same way, which was one of the reasons I dragged my feet about posting this--I never felt the pictures did it justice.

I'm also glad to hear it made it there in working order!
Jayefuu3 years ago
Nice work! Good to see people doing stuff with acrylic without laser cutters :)
depotdevoid (author)  Jayefuu3 years ago
Thanks! It's a good medium that gets overlooked sometimes by those of us without vast laser resources.