Full build on how to make a Breath of the Wild Resin "Stained Glass" Panels With RGB LED Light Box!
Files and video included
Laser Cut Portion
1/4 Inch Red Oak Plywood - Any hardware store that sells oak
Step 1: Find Your Inspiration!
One day I was wasting time in an airport on Pinterest and stumbled upon one of these panels. I was instantly interested. I followed the link to Sarcastic Sketches on Tumblr and I instantly wanted to make resin panels out of them. My plan was to make five 4×6 inch panels and create a light box for them to sit in. What then unfolded was a messy, month-long ordeal that turned out really cool.
Step 2: Trace the Artwork and Prep Files for Laser Cutting
After finding the images on Pinterest, I took them into my iPad and traced them in a thickness that would be good for my laser cutter. I would prefer to do this all in Inkscape but due to the images themselves, it was way simpler to just trace them all with an apple pencil in the app called Sketchbook. In that app, I was able to export them as a .PSD allowing them to be converted to an .SVG very easily.
Step 3: Laser Cut the Pieces
For a link to the SVG files to import to a laser cutter or to an editor to customize for your own setup - Click here
For the Glowforge, I changed each panel to be a different color to allow myself to move them individually throughout the online interface. Use your own method per your laser cutter. Attached are the .SVG Files.
Step 4: Poke Out a Metric Ton of Tiny Pieces and Remove Acrylic Masking
The panels were all cut on 1/8 inch black acrylic. This acrylic comes with a plastic mask on it. Each panel needed to be poked to get rid of loose pieces and unmasked. This process can take forever. Especially when you try to make them three different times with three different methods.
Step 5: Prep Pieces for Resin Pour - Three Different Methods
I went through a bit of trial and error with this project.
I attached the panel to the TuckTape with hot glue around the ends and some super glue in the middle spots to really secure it to the board. I really needed to use more super glue in the middle because I had a huge issue with resin bleed. While it looks cool in the photo, when lit up you can see colors in places they are not supposed to be.
It was from here I had the idea to try again but this time paint the panels with a mix of Modpodge and paints. I recut all the panels and filled them with resin and Ghost green Black Diamond Pigment to give a slight hazy look.
I used a watered down Modpodge mixture and paints to try to help hide the brush strokes. In the end this also turned into a failure because the paints were still too thick and when you shine lights through you cannot see the colors very well. The panels though did turn our really cool, but still not the desired effect of a light box I am looking for.
I started again from scratch, this time with a bit more of a plan. The first pour failed because of resin bleed. Second time failed because painting was not the right option.
- Apply a thin layer of clear resin about 1/16 inch thick. I did this JUST to seal the edges to the work surface.
- Color by color mix resin cups one at a time and fill the spaces where those colors should be. It was helpful to have a photo of the original image up while doing this. This step is the bulk of the project. I would do about two colors a night and then let them sit for 8 hours. I also highly recommend wearing a face mask because the fumes from being right next to the resin can get strong. This color by color step worked very well. The colors showed up like I want them too, they are just a bit light. If i were to do this again I would have used way more pigment powder.
- AFTER EVERY POUR watch for bubbles. Have a heat gun ready and blow them away as needed
Step 6: Apply Clear Coat of Resin
I added a top coat of Resin mixed with Ghost Satin Green from Black Diamond Pigments. This added the slight overlay color that looks hazy and really cool. This layer was to make sure all the voids were filled completely. Use the heat gun and check back often to make sure it's drying evenly. This is a thin overlay and some spots can dry faster than others. Keep your eyes open and move resin with a popsicle stick as needed. I cannot stress this enough....a heat gun is your best friend with this. I used it constantly and still had bubbles because I walked away too soon.
Step 7: Mock Up a Box Out of Foam Core Then Laser Cut the Wood Pieces
We knew we wanted the panels to rest against the frame so we mocked the design out on foam core then took those exact pieces into Inkscape.
- Draw up a quick design
- Build a frame out of hot glue and foam core until you get the desired shape
- take the entire thing apart and measure each piece.
- Draw the shapes to the right measure ments into what ever software you use to mock up laser designs. in our case we used inkscape. We took into account that our material was 1/4 inch thick and worked from there.
- Send the files to the laser cutter. From the video and the photos, you can see that everything was in two pieces(Left and right). This is because of the size of our laser cutter. The box needed to be 25 inches long and our laser cutters bed size is 20inches. Cutting it in half and gluing it together allowed us to still used the glowforge for the box creation.
The frame was made out of Red Oak 1/4inch stain grade plywood.
Step 8: Assemble and Stain the Box
Before assembling the box, we cleaned the laser cut char marks off the pieces with Fast Orange soap and an old toothbrush.
To assemble the box quickly and simply, we used superglue and hot glue. This box is simple and does not need to hold much. There was no need too over-engineer a box with hinges and joints because the glue would be enough. The lights are connected to our smart home system and are basic LED RGB WIFI lights. We secured it in place with hot glue and drilled a hole for the power.
When the box was done I stained it in an American oak shade and applied a coat of water-based polyurethane.
Step 9: Plug in the Power and Display!
I am very proud of how amazing this build came out. Breath of the Wild truly is my favorite game and I cannot wait for the sequel to come out. It is awesome having this thing on display in my living room. Definitely a conversation piece and proof that if you keep trying you will make something cool!
Participated in the
Colors of the Rainbow Contest