Acrylic LED Display With Lasercut Switch

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About: I'm a social-worker, working with 12 - 23 year-olds. I used to be a printer. In 2018 I opened a small makerspace (www.imdib.nl) in my house, where I have lasercutters, 3d-printers, Arduino's, Mindstorms and ...

I've done an acrylic display before, but this time I wanted to integrate a switch in the design. I also switched to an acrylic base for this design.

It took me a lot of alterations to come up with a fool-proof, easy design. The final design looks so easy and obvious that it feels stupid that it took me so long to get here. (I think that this is a mark of good design)

Step 1: You Will Need

Materials:

  • Acrylic material 3 mm (1/8 inch)
  • a CR2025 battery
  • 5 mm LED

Tools:

  • Lasercutter (or makerspace)
  • Pliers

Step 2: Cut the Base

Use an opaque 3 mm acrylic material to cut the base from. (I used transparent because you can't see anything on the pictures when I use black)

  • Cut the base on the laser.
  • Clean the parts.
  • Sort out the parts that you will need.

I added both the Gravit Design files and the PDF's. (Gravit Design is a great program that used to be free. At this moment I'm not sure if it will still be a useful alternative for expensive software in the future.)

Step 3: Use the LED Bending Parts

Two parts with the LED drawing on them are not to create the base, but are there to help you bend the LED.

You can put the small part over the bigger part to give you some more substance to hold on to.

Step 4: Prepare the LED

  • Bend the legs of the LED outwards.
  • Bend the legs bag down over the small help-part with the drawing of the legs bending down on them.

The distance between the legs will now be 6 mm (1/4 inch)

Step 5: Bend the LED

  • Cut the short leg of the LED on the length of the upper, shorter part on the bigger help part.
  • Bend the tip of this leg slightly inwards over the just shorter part on the help part, next to the part where you cut it.
  • Cut the longer leg of the LED on the longest part of the help part.
  • Bend the longer leg 90 degrees inside on the part next to the part where you cut it.
  • Bend both legs 90 degrees to the left (when the long leg is towards you) over the middle part of the help part.

Step 6: Prepare the Foot

  • Put part 1 and 5 in the corresponding slots in the foot.

You can glue these parts if you want it to be more solid, but I didn't.

Step 7: Add the LED

The parts are mostly marked with numbers and letters.

  • Put part 4 on the table.
  • Push parts A, B, C and D in the corresponding holes (no problem if you mix them up)
  • Put the LED over the top of part 3 (this part has just the letters A and B on them)
  • Put the part with the LED on parts A and B.
  • Push the bottom part 3 on parts C and D.

Step 8: Add Battery and Switch

  • Put the buttons with 'on' and 'off' on it in their slots.
  • Put the battery in the slot.
  • Test if your battery works and is the right way around. (LEDs only work in one direction)
  • Push part 2 on the parts A, B, C and D.
  • Push the top on parts 2, 3 and 4.
  • Test the buttons again.

The switch works by simply pushing the battery from and against the positive lead of the LED.

Step 9: Finish the Base

  • Put the top with the battery in it on the bottom, between part 1 and 5.
  • Cut a display on the lasercutter.
  • Put the display in the base. (the displays are interchangeable)
  • Turn your dispay on!

Step 10: The Black Base

The display looks more distinct on the opaque black base.

Step 11: Cool Results

You can make different displays for different occasions.

Make it Glow Contest 2018

This is an entry in the
Make it Glow Contest 2018

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    2 Discussions

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    hubi

    12 days ago on Step 11

    I like that christmas tree. Since I do not have a CNC mill, I now try to design a similar foot for 3D Printing and cut and engrave the tree by hand

    1 reply
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    kenyerhubi

    Reply 12 days ago

    This are all simple forms, so you can probably easily design a 3D design in Tinkercad. Please show the result.