1. If the bathroom sign is hang on the door and the door is open, I don't know which direction it points. Sometimes I can't even see the sign from certain angles.
2. I'm having a hard time recognizing some 2D signs which share the same meaning but look differently.
3. There are also directions that 2D signs are hard to represent.
To solve my problems, I decided to make this sign lamp that can easily change its pointing directions in a 3D space using basic soft circuitry.
1. Simple snap to change directions
2. Change dimension easily when needed
3. Point to directions that are not easily represented in 2D signs
Step 1: Preparation
Materials are listed below:
Scissor x 1
Ruler x 1
Glue x 1
Paper Cutter x 1 (optional)
Copper Tape x 1
Diffused LED x 4
Neodymium Magnet x 15: Amazon gives you 100, and the size is good.
3V Coin Battery x 2
Any Nonconductive Tape x 1: Separate layers of copper tape.
Soldering Kit x 1: Soldering makes connection tight. If you don't know how to do, you have to increase the contact area and make it solid.
Step 2: Make Paper Model
Decide what size you want this lamp to be. I made the base lamp and arrow lamp to be both 4cm x 4cm x 10cm. Be careful with calculating the size of the arrow. After drawing the basic shape, you also have to draw edges for glue.
After drawing, use paper cutter/scissor to cut it off and fold them the shape they are supposed to be. Remember not to glue them so quick before you decide the soft circuitry.
Step 3: Add Base Lamp Soft Circuitry
You can start from the base lamp, which is much easier. There are multiple ways to design the circuit, the drawings are just a demo of what I used for the lamp. The final look can be seen in the real lamp.
Some tips to pay attention:
1. Notice the +/- of LEDs and coin batteries. There will be one coin battery and two LEDs in each lamp.
2. After connecting the circuit, you can use nonconductive tape to fix the battery.
3. Soldering between copper tape and LEDs would largely improve the connection, so as the coin battery. If you don't know how to do that, tape it tight and increase the contact area.
4. The second image shows how to make the circuits of two lamps disconnected at the beginning but connected when attached.
Step 4: Add Arrow Lamp Soft Circuitry
1. The red area is the nonconductive tape that separates two layers of copper tape.
2. The position of copper tape outside is very important. Make sure when the base lamp and arrow lamp touch each other, their copper tape can perfectly help to bridge each other's gap.
3. Check the connection frequently. Use a length of copper tape to check the connection of each part of the circuit. You don't want to finish all circuit and find it doesn't work at all.
Step 5: Add Magnet
The red circles are where all magnets should go. I used glue to attach all magnets on paper.
NOTE: Make sure to firstly only glue base lamp magnets. Then glue arrow lamp magnets accordingly. Also, place the magnets where the copper tape/connection is. This will largely improve the connection. The red circles that are not near copper tape are for balance.
Step 6: Glue the Rest and Final Look
You might want to glue and build circuitry at the same time because some of the copper tape will pass across different sides of the arrow lamp.
Now enjoy your 3D sign lamp and put it anywhere you want!
You can even make it better by designing shadow shapes to put on the arrow. It could be a little person to indicate where the bathroom is or any lovely iconic character.