N: how to make a multi-layered acrylic and LED sculpture with variable lighting levels

Picture of n: how to make a multi-layered acrylic and LED sculpture with variable lighting levels
Here you can find out how to make you very own n as made for the exhibition curated by art/design group Lapland.

More images can be seen at flickr

This exhibition runs from Wednesday 26 November - Friday 12 December 2008 inclusive, and had a private view on Tuesday 25 November. Each participant has been asked to make a letter each of the 'laplandscape' portion of the web address. On the website each letter will link to related web contributions from each participant. This instructable is our web exhibit for this exhibition.

This n is an art work and experimental and these instructions should be treated as such!

The n takes the form of 5 layers of laser cut acrylic, 3 of which have LEDs in them. The front panel has the outline of a letter n etched in it. 3 knobs control the LEDs and fade them between the ones inside and outside the outline of the n being on, on each layer.

There are no doubt simpler ways if wiring up the LEDs to do the same thing but, as all the exposed components etc are a big part of the aesthetic, we decided to do it this way.

Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Gathering parts

Picture of gathering parts
150 x LED's - Yellow
150 x carbon film resistors - 0.5W 68ohm 5%
6 x transistors
3 x 22k pots
3 x knobs
1 x arduino decimila
4 x stripboard
pin strip

5 x 3mm acrylic sheet 610mm x 610mm
small white cable ties
4 x 400mm M10 stud
38 x M10 nuts
4 x M10 dome nuts

1 x regulated power supplies 4.5volts 1400ma
1 x regulated power supplies 7.5 volts

super glue

Step 2: Gathering tools

Picture of gathering tools
soldering iron
damp sponge
solder sucker
tape measure or ruler
strip breaker
work surface
'steady eddie'

cable stripper (though I prefer just to use the snips)

joerice013 years ago

A video would be great

Agree, it will good with a video.
slight (author) 2 years ago
We're about to pull apart this piece and reconfigure it to be a LED 'fire' for use in an empty fireplace.

We'll post an instructable as soon as we have finished!
gaitskell4 years ago
If one doesn't have access to a laser cutter, can one get reasonable quality holes using conventional drill press/drill, or will this spoil the overall effect?
Superb instructable, especially for your first one! Crisp hi-res images, detailed explanations, clean code, you did a bang up job. Keep up the good work, I'm sure any future guides you create will be up to the same standard of quality.

Very pretty too =]
ziminov4 years ago
Wow. So easy!
alinke4 years ago
wow so cool, thanks for sharing and well documented. Would be nice to also to see a video of the n.
Wow, you're great! Congrats!
ongara_014 years ago
canida4 years ago
Ooh, pretty! Nice work, well documented!
Ngendrer4 years ago
yup that's art keep it up....
me5 years ago
woow that looks like a lot of work, nice results though
snowpenguin5 years ago