Compact Light Table




About: Student in Industrial Design Engineerin :)

Hi guys :)

Not even a year ago I made this project with my father and for the LED Contest I thought it deserves to be an instructable. This is a foldable light table, which you can carry in a A2 sized folder (for example if you are a student in architecture) and live in a dormitory. I think it can be very useful.

I made only a few pictures while making it so I decided to recreate it in Fusion 360 so I can provide you drawings about the details, but there will shortcomings.

I hope you will like it :)

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Step 1: Drawings

First of all here are the drawings made in Fusion 360. If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask them :)

I uploaded the 3D file too!

As you can see the table made mostly from wood and aluminium plate, the light is provided by led stripes.

Step 2: Frame

For this you will need a hand milling machine, because theres more than one place where you need to reduce the thickness to make it perfectly foldable!

The question arises, if you can close it, what is the reason to make it openable? It is because, if you close it, the led stripes only shines trough small parts of the plexiglass, and after all the point is to get a contigous light surface.


- We used piano hinges to fasten the main frame with the aluminium plate

- For the aluminium parts, we used self-tapping screws, and the parts that hanged out had been cut off with grinder

Step 3: Opal Plexiglass

This is an important part.

First of all, we did not use glue on purpose. Sure, it would be nicer without screws but plexiglas is very fragile, we tought if it brakes, it is a lot easier to replace.

Second, the opal plexiglass is a good choice, because it breaks the light and it spares your eyes, with just a little loss in the lightpower.

Step 4: Led Stripes

This is the hard part, I don't have such much experience in this field but I tell you as much as I can.

We used 5m led stripes, and as you can see we made a plug for the adapter too (if it is plugged in, you cannot close it).

About the 3D modell, I am not sure the electricity parts are correctly remodelled, so you must pay attention to the negative and positive connections, and choosing the right adapter.

The led stripes we bought required a 12V (6.5A) adapter, and a plug transformer for the wiring. But it really depends on how strong led stripes you use, we asked for help in the store, it was the easiest way :)

Step 5: Ending

I hope I used the correct terms for everything and did not forget anything.

In the ending heres some picture about how strong it is, pdf versions of the drawings and the 3D model!

Thanks for reading ;)

First Time Author Contest 2018

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First Time Author Contest 2018

LED Contest 2017

Participated in the
LED Contest 2017

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    4 Discussions


    1 year ago

    Always wanted a light table when I was younger, before scanners & drafting software etc. Still tempted to build this.


    1 year ago

    This would also be useful for an animator/animation student.


    1 year ago

    A year ago made one with a old Sony bravia 32" LED tv. So much useful (i use to see my project, and have a clear glass that i can write on it!!!!) The only problem is make a power source that came 220v Ac to 21v DC with dimmer :"(


    1 year ago

    Neat. I would think it would REALLY be useful to someone that still does photography with film negatives & slides.