Homebrewed Shaped LED / Heart LED

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Introduction: Homebrewed Shaped LED / Heart LED

About: We are the Lichtbaendiger from germany. We are manufacturer of optical glasses. If you like to see what we do, you are welcome to visit our website.

LEDs comes in many designs and shapes. But you can also create your own. Here we show an example, a heart-shaped LED.

Of course you can also build individual letters or anything you like. We are pleased to hear of your ideas :-)

the Lichtbändiger from Germany

Step 1: Design

First make a design of the LED should look.

Therefor we create a design with Coreldraw.

Step 2: Heart Building

We cut out plywood hearts in various sizes with an cnc Laser.

Then we glue them together.

That is the shape of the LED.

Step 3: Wax

Now we dip the heart in wax for rounding the edges, and to get it better out of the silicon mould.

Step 4: Embed Form

For a filler in the silicon mold we glue a small sheet of wax on the bottom. On this you can place the heart while the wax is still soft.

Step 5: Silicone Fill

Now simply fill in one of the duplicating silicone. We use a harder two-component silicone, so that the silicone in shaping not tear so quickly.

Then it is for 15 minutes in a pressure pot. It also works without. But then you maybe have small blisters in the mold.

Step 6: Mold

When the silicone has cured, takes carefully the heart out of the silicone.

Then rinse with hot water and dry well. Then all the wax residue from the mold.

Now the mold for the LEDs is ready.

Step 7: Acrylic Fill

We have used a photo acrylic resin material. Is a little more expensive but faster and less complicated.

When filling make sure that the filling hole is not sealed, otherwise the air can not escape from the mold. Air bubbles in the LED do not look so beautiful.

Step 8: LED Prepare

The LED should be centered in the heart, so we put them through a piece of paper.

Then it is dipped into the liquid acrylic.

Step 9: Acrylic Cure

Now comes the acrylic to cure under a UV lamp.

After two minutes the acrylic is pretty tough. Only not under the paper. For this, take off the paper and harden it out for another two minutes.

Step 10: LED Shape and Remove Burrs

Now the heart-LED comes out of the mold. Usually you have some burrs. This is milled of and you can ground the surface.

Step 11: Surface Paint

We have painted the surface with an photo acrylic lacquer, hardened under an UV lamp.

But you can also polish the heart-LED, but it takes longer and is much more work.

Step 12: Checking

Now our heart-LED is ready.

Still connected to an battery and admire the result. It's waiting to be fitted in somewhere :-)

Have fun to recreate it

The Lichtbändiger from Germany

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    9 Comments

    where did you buy your acrylic resin? I did a google search and didn't really get any promising results

    3 replies

    I bought it here in Germany from "Dreve Dentamid GmbH". They ship also worldwide.
    It is an material for ear molds. Maybe you can google for "earmold" to buy it in your country.

    http://www.smooth-on.com/Urethane-Plastic-a/c5_1120_1156/index.html

    Its a plastic mold, but I think it amounts to the same thing

    Yes it looks good. But I think it is more toxic like the photoplast material.
    http://www.smooth-on.com/msds/files/Crystal_Clear_Series.pdf

    i was thinking of using epoxy resin, but what does epoxy NOT bond to?

    brilliant instructable, nice and clear and inspiring. i had never thought to use resin for this and as i'm now learning about led's and i already cast in resin i am very excited about the potential.

    Yes you don't need a pressure pot. Without, maybe some littlle bubbles could be in the mold. but there is no problem with them.

    But if you made it with simple silicone, you should chose one without UV protection. Because the UV light must come through the mold to the UV acryl. Or, you use two component acryl, but with that acryl you must use the pressure pot :-)

    I can think of scores of simpler ways to achieve the same result, none requiring a "Pressure Pot". Anyone else?

    Zappenfusen

    1 reply

    Maybe you should suggest some instead of coming off as overly critical. :)