Introduction: DIY NANOLEAF - No 3D Printer
Hii Tech Lovers in this Instructable I'm going to show you how to make Arora Nanoleaf No power tools use & you can customize those panels. I have made 9 Panels, total 54 Neo pixel LEDs. Total cost under $20 (Indian ₹1500)
Nanoleaf light panels, formerly known as Nanoleaf Aurora light panels, have been around for a while now. These are triangular lighting panels which connect together in a variety of customization ways. The result of which is a personal lighting experience which fits neatly into your home and own personal style.
MATERIALS REQUIRED -
1. Acrylic Sheet ( I have used 4mm acrylic)
2. Vinyl Wrap ( Matt Black & White )
3. A4 Photo paper for Backing (I have used White Vinyl)
4. 2mm thick Sunboard (foam board)
5. ARGB WS2812b LED Strip & Controller
6. Male & Female Header strip
7. 3 core wire
8. 3mm thick Light Defuser Sheet
1. Acrylic Scoring knife (or Hacksaw)
2. Cutting knife
3. Strong Glue
4. Soldering Iron & Wire
5. Double Sided Tape (Foam & Commercial Purpose )
6. Ruler and Marker
Buying Links -
ARGB LED - https://amzn.to/3kcIeXT(INDIA)
Step 1: Making Basic Structure
- Take a sheet of Sunboard (foamboard). This will serve as a structure for the Nanoleaf panels.
- Draw the shape of an Equilateral Triangle with sides 24cm each. Use Set-Squares / Try Squares for better accuracy.
- Cut the triangle shape using a utility knife.
- Cut the corners as shown in the pictures. (I did this at approx. 3cm)
- Now we need a 1cm width strip of Sunboard. To do this first mark 1cm using a ruler.
- Cut this 1cm strip using a utility knife or Exacto knife.
- Make 3 such strips for all 3 sides.
- Place them beside the triangles with corners placed. Mark the point of contact between the center and corner piece on the strips.
- Cut the strip to the right length.
- Now remove the bottom part of the strip in such a way that the centerpiece can be fixed on to it. (Look at the video or attach pics to understand this better). Remove the same thickness as that of your Sunboard base.
- Repeat for all 3 sides.
- Now use Flex Quick (Superglue) to attach this to the base plate.
- Congrats on finishing the structure for your first Panel.
- Make 8 (or more) such pieces for 9 such panels.
Step 2: Cutting the Acrylic Diffuser
- Fetch your sheet of acrylic.
- place the triangle from the previous step on top of the acrylic sheet.
- Make the necessary markings.
- Scare the acrylic using an acrylic knife or scoring knife. You may also use a band saw.
- Cut the corners of the acrylic sheet to match the cuttings on the base plate.
- Make 8 (or more) such pieces for 9 such panels.
Step 3: Knurling the Diffuser Sheet
This step is optional but it provides a better overall end result. What you basically need to do is score multiple criss crossed lines on the acrylic either by using a scoring knife or any other sharp object. The video will give a more clear explaination.
Step 4: Finshing Off the Edges.
Sand down the entire structure and the diffuser using a 100 grid sandpaper first, then proceed to more fine sanding with a 200 or 220 grit sandpaper. Spend a good amount of time in this step to get a perfect result. Another alternative to sanding is scratching the surface with a sharp knife.
Step 5: Attaching the ARGB LED's
- Cut 3 segments of 2 LED's each from a strip of WS2812b LED strip. these strips are also called Neopixel LEDs.
- These LED's have 3 pins. namely, VCC(+5 Volt), DATA_IN (Goes to Your Controller), GND (0 Volt).
- Cut 4 segments of 3 core wire of equal length.
- These wires will be attached to Data In to LED_1, LED_1 to LED_2, LED_2 to LED_3, LED_3 to Data Out.
Step 6: Reflector Backing
- Take the white Vinyl wrap.
- Cover one side of the acrylic diffuser with white vinyl.
- Use a hard plastic card to apply it evenly on the surface. Any air bubbles trapped will be visible, so be careful.
- Trip the edges with a utility knife.
Step 7: Fixing the LEDs Permanently
- Cut 3 small pieces of 1cm wide Sunboard strip. (the length should be equal to the length of the triangle corner pieces.)
- Remove the adhesive backing of the LEDs and fix them onto the Sunboard Strips.
- Solder the 3 wires.
These wires will be attached to Data In to LED_1, LED_1 to LED_2, LED_2 to LED_3, LED_3 to Data Out.
These LED's have 3 pins. namely, VCC(+5 Volt), DATA_IN (Goes to Your Controller), GND (0 Volt).
- place these LED pieces as shown in the picture.
- Apply Superglue to make this placement permanent.
- Manage the internal wires using small pieces of double-sided tape.
- Route the DATA_IN and DATA_OUT wires behind the Nanoleaf Panels.
Step 8: Light Defuser (Top Surface)
NOTE: This is a frost white laminate sheet used as a diffuser for the top surface to give an even and glossy look to the Nanoleaf's.
- It is very similar to cutting acrylic, just a lot easier to do.
- First, place the triangles on top of the diffuser sheet and mark the edges.
- Use a scissor to cut this shape out of the laminate sheet.
- Use black vinyl to cover the LEDs at the corner so that light does not bleed through.
- Use white vinyl on top of it to give it the classic Nanoleaf look.
- Trim off the excess,
- Use a dab of superglue to fix this top surface to the previously prepared Sunboard Structure,
Step 9: Daisy Chaining All the Panels
- Cut segments of 3 pin Male and Female Headers (Berg Strip)
- Solder the 3pin Male Header Connector to all the DATA_IN bus of all Nanoleaf Panels.
- Careful: Maintain the VCC DATA GND order of the wire.
Solder the 3pin Female Header Connector to all the DATA_OUT bus of all Nanoleaf Panels.
- Note: It is suggested to use Heatshrink tubing to isolate these wires.
- Now you may connect DATA_IN of Panel 1 to DATA_OUT of Panel 2. This is Daisy Chaining.
Step 10: Wall Mounting
Make 9 or more such panels. Choose your favorite Design Layout (You may use the Nanoleaf official app to search your favorite design). Daisy chain all these panels together to form your desired shape Use pieces of VHB Tabe to attach them to the wall. Use a controller to power this setup up. I am using Bluetooth control over the mobile controller that I purchased.
Step 11: Final
YEAH!! It's Finally Complete. Enjoy these 20$ Nanoleafs and make your PC Setup stand out on a budget.
Watch Youtube Video - DIY NANOLEAF