Intro: Acrylic Rainbow Flowers
I made a bouquet of flowers out of acrylic. It cycles slowly through the color of the rainbow over time. Just a nice example what you can do with the basic tools of the Fab Lab Aachen - 3D printer, laser cutter and PCB mill.
The blossoms are laser cutted out of 2mm acrylic and bend for a more threedimensional shape. 4 mm acrylic bars cutted in different length and are bent for a more organic shape.
A 3D printed plant pot (The Rose Flower Pot from Thingiverse) hides battery pack (3 AAA cells) and the LEDs (three WS2812B) and a micro controller (on a small milled PCB).
Step 1: Lasercutting and Bending
First find a nice vector graphic of blossoms (rather simple, and with pronounced petals for simple bending) and a bunch of them out of 2mm acrylic (the blossom should have between 20mm and 25mm diameter).
Acrylic rods are laser cutted at different length, heated up over the hot air gun and bent in different angles.
Since the rods are used as a light conductor I need a diffusor such that the light shines through the petals and not just through the middle. Therefore i took white tape and made small circles with a perforator which are then glued on the middle of the blossom.
After adding the diffusor I heated each blossom with a hot air gun and
bent the the petals by forming it over some roughly spheric object. Which took a while because it's a bunch of blossoms :-)
Step 2: Glueing and Testing
First the rods are arranged within a 6mm piece of acrylic, where the corresponding holes for the rods are laser cutted in a hexagonal pattern. Thereafter the blossoms are glued on top of each rod.
Time for a first test: Just put it on top of a light. Seems to work :-)
Step 3: 3D-Printing and Wiring
I resized the before mentioned plant pot corresponding to the hexagonal structure of the rod holder. I made an extra bottom structure for the battery and the controller. Smooting with a lathe is of course comple overacting, but hey, why not :-)
3 WS2812B are soldered together with silver wire in a triangle glued with hot glue at the bottom of the plant pot. The plant pot and bottom structure is then glued together.