Introduction: Edge Lit Declaration of Independence!

The video shows an overview of the build. You'll still need a few things in order to replicate this. I've included various files in the next steps.

Step 1: Teensy


I used a Teensy 2.0 for this project. The LED strip I used was an older Adafruit RGB LED strip based on the HL1606 chip. This strip is individually addressable.

The Teensy's 5V and GND pins are wired directly to the LED strip's 5V and GND pins. I didn't use the SI pad on the LED strip.

The LED Data pad is connected to Teensy pin B2
The LED Clock pad is connected to Teensy pin B1
The LED Latch pad is connected to Teensy pin D1

The whole thing is powered by the USB connection on the Teensy. This is possible because I'm only using 6 LEDs which will not draw enough current to overload the USB port.


I've attached my Teensy code to this step. There are some functions commented out. Feel free to re-enable them if you'd like to use those animations.

The code requires Adafruit's HL1606 Arduino library. The code is also based on one of Adafruit's examples, with some extra animations built in.

Step 2: Laser Etching

How you etch the actual file onto the acrylic will depend on what laser cutter you have, what software you use, etc. You can download a pre-made vector graphics (SVG) file of the Declaration of Independence from Wikipedia.

I used 1/4" thick clear Acrylic from Home Depot. The Declaration image was reversed horizontally and etched into the back of the Acrylic. This way, the front stays nice and smooth.

Step 3: Base

The video does a good job of explaining how the base was constructed. I worked with what I had available in the short amount of time I had to complete this project. There are many ways you could build the same thing. I chose to use wood since it was available and easy to work with.

The vacuum forming step was not essential but it did make the final product look much nicer.

Epilog Challenge VI

Participated in the
Epilog Challenge VI