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Woodblock Art Answered

After seeing this https://www.instructables.com/id/Solid-Wood-Digital-Clock/, would it be possible to replicate this but light up just a solid image?

It would most likely require a CNC machine to pull off well, but if you took a piece 10cmx10cmx1cm of wood then milled out an image of something to 0.5m would it be possible to shine a LED through it to just bring up the outline while the rest of the wood is too dense/coated and you're just left with a image shining through wood.

I think you would be able to pull off some pretty cool artwork with it, but there's a few things that need to be considered; such a strength, the chance of it getting bumped is pretty low but with a thin diameter so the light can shine through it's probably quite fragile. Are there transparent fiberglass weaves/epoxy coatings that would add some strength while not ruining the effect? The other big thing I see is colors, would there be any limit factors with the different species of woods you can buy or is the main problem just getting a solid image lit up instead of just LED dots.



6 years ago

If you could get some time on a laser etching machine like an Epilog I think you could do it. I've seen a demo of an Epilog where they engrave digital pictures into the front side of wood and I know they can control how deep the cuts go.. I think you'd just have to engrave a reverse image of the picture you want on the back of the wood...then backlight it possibly with a diffuser to spread the light evenly.
Some maker/hacker spaces have such laser printers and allow members to use them or rent them on hourly basis.
I did some random googling and found a couple of examples
Guitar amp:
Found this on http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?198085-Laser-engraving-el-or-backlit-panels
(As a bonus there is an Instructable Challenge open on the Epilog printer so you have extra incentive to show us how your project works out !!


6 years ago

something akin to what you're talking about get's done every year by millions of people in October... http://www.mentalfloss.com/sites/default/legacy/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/440deathstar.jpg you know....everyone's favorite fall Irishman? jack o'lantern? a lot of "fine art" carvers do exactly what you're talking about doing with wood...with pumpkins. you carve ENOUGH of the pumpkin away to let light shine through where you want, and not through where you don't. with a bright enough light there shouldn't be a problem with achieving the same effect in wood. especially if you're using a CNC method. hand carving would make it more difficult but not impossible


6 years ago

I doubt you would be able to project an image through the wood. If your talking about carving the back side in such a way that the thickness of the wood creates shadows when the light shines through thus creating an image, similar to a shadow puppet, then yes. It would take quite at bit of experimenting to get things looking the way you want it but would be a great effect.