Introduction: Illuminated Plexiglass Sign


Welcome to my first instructable! I've always wanted to make an illuminated plexiglass sign with my own name on it, so now is the right time to do it!

You'll see the finished product above.

Step 1: Making Decisions & Getting Materials and Machines

Yep, we start with the hardest part. Making decisions.

So I want to build something that looks good, although it is still a prototype. After some fast sketches I came up with the design you see above.

The materials I'll be using are:

1. LEDs

2. Arduino

3. Wiring and resistors

4. Wood

5. Wood glue and staples (for the staple gun)

6. Plexiglass

7. ABS plastic (for 3d printing)

The machines I'll be using are:

1. Laser cutter (to engrave the plexiglass)

2. 3D-printer.

3. Staple gun

4. Circular saw

5. More wood machines to make life easier.

Step 2: Building the Base!

So in this step we will look at the base we are going to build.

It will be quite difficult if you don't know how to build stuff with wood so you might need some help. (My father helped me a little bit with the bigger machines ;) )

So as you can see from my sketches I wanted a triangle set up, from which I can just simply slide the plexiglass sign in.

I cut my plexiglass the exact size I wanted it. After that, I cut some wooden planks the exact same size.

After those small steps I decided to bring out the big guns, the staple gun!

Keep in mind that a staple gun is dangerous!

So, I used wood glue to glue the parts together. After that I send some staples into the wood for extra protection.

In the last picture you can see the end result of the platform, with the groove in it for the plexiglass to stand on!

It will be important to actually cut through the wood so the LEDs can shine from under the plexiglass!

Step 3: Design & Engrave the Plexiglass Sign!

We have come to the actual fun part!

We can now come up with a design that we want to engrave in our plexiglass.

It will be important to design this in Illustrator so the laser cutter can easily use the file.

It will also be important to set it up with the right size. So, when you are creating a new document keep in mind that you will need the size of you plexiglass sign!

I wanted to be freaking original and creative so I came up of placing ... MY OWN NAME on the sign! DAMN, WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT THAT?

You need to know that when you made a little groove for you plexiglass to sit in, you'll need to put your design a little higher than in the middle or else you might not see the bottom of your design when it sits in your wooden base!

When you engrave your plexiglass be sure that the settings for your laser cutter are correct. If not, get some help!

Step 4: Arduino Magic

In this step some Arduino magic will happen. I will create a circuit with the help of the arduino. I will place the LED script at the bottom of this step.

From the pictures you can see how I made my electrical circuit so you can do the exact same as I did!

//I used 2 LED's because I noticed that mine were pretty weak, so instead of stressing and figuring something out, I will just use 2 weak LED's so my teacher can see that I know how an electrical circuit works.

int led1 = 1;

int led2 = 2;

void setup() {

pinMode (1, OUTPUT);

pinMode (2, OUTPUT);


void loop() {

digitalWrite(led1, 1);

digitalWrite(led2, 1);


Step 5: Personalise Time!

Because I really want to learn how 3D-printing works I decided that I wanted my own name on the base.

I used an online program called 'Tinkercad' to design my own name and then I exported the file as a STL file.

I used an UP! 3d-printer and it took 1 hour to complete this design!

Step 6: Putting It All Together!

So in this final step I decided to put everything together! I did not want to glue the plexiglass to the wood because I want to be able to switch plexiglass signs so I can show different names! (Like my YouTube name... ;) )

I glued the 3d letters to the base, put the plexiglass in the base, put the arduino with lights inside and I made something completely awesome!

I also did some finishing touches like the little thingys on the bottom so it the wood would not scratch the table. I also placed a magnet to open and close the little door!

I'm sorry if these steps are quite fast or the text is not really informative, but I think that pictures say more than 1000 words so I try to keep it as short as possible!