To make the physical Weather Grid itself, I used a X-Carve CNC from Inventables. I found a collection of weather icons in SVG format on the internet and imported them into Easel. Easel is Inventables online software they use to power their CNC. I’ve shared my project here:
I then cut the file out of hardboard. Plywood, hardwood, or HDPE would also work great.
Once my carve was complete, I used sandpaper and a craft knife to clean it up and remove the tabs. If you choose to use a hardwood or HDPE this might not be as necessary, but generally hardboard needs to be cleaned up after a carve.
Next you’ll need to insert the LCD into the hardboard. It will be a tight fit, and it might require you to sand the hardboard around the opening a little.
Now we need to cut the craft foam that we are using to diffuse the light. I cut the rectangles about a 1/4 to a 1/2 inch thick. It’s OK if they are not the exact same size since the icons vary in size also. Just try to keep them all approximately the same thickness.
Now we need to use masking tape to attach the foam diffusers to the back of the hardboard behind the icons. Find pieces that match the size of the icons and try to keep them from touching. The more space between the diffusers the less bleeding that you’ll have with adjacent icons.
Now we need to attach the LEDs. The LED spacing on my strip allowed for two LEDs per icon. Use masking tape to attach the LED strips to the back. Take care to keep to the pattern described in the “SetWeather” function in the Arduino sketch. If your LEDs layout differently, make sure to note the numbers of the LEDs so that you can adjust the Arduino sketch. Once your LEDs are attached, fill in the rest of the back with additional strips of masking tape.