Glowing Giant Puzzle Pieces

About: There are some things you should just never, never, do...

Giant interlocking glowing puzzle pieces were constructed from 2 inch thick styrofoam and were internally lighted with LEDs.

The pieces were made for a church function. Each piece was a different color and had a 'value word' written on it. The pieces served as individual table center pieces and were later gathered together and interlocked during the evening's presentation.

[This is a 'Photo Instructable' and not a 'Step-by-Step' so limited description - Click on the "9 More Images" link on the bottom right photo to display all photos then click on a photo and read the notes on each photo by hovering over the note box.]

The puzzle was designed by pulling a generic puzzle image off of the internet, manipulating it and then adding the text to it. The image was laser printed, then projected onto the foam with a small opaque projector and finally traced with a felt-tip pen.

The pieces were cut from the styrofoam sheet with a home-made hot wire cutter. The light sources were white LEDs cannibalized from another device and hot glued inside each piece on the side that would end up on the perimeter of the assembled puzzle. A pocket behind the LEDs for the battery pack (3 x AAA) was cut in the piece wall with a 'custom' soldering gun tip. The edge of the piece with the battery pack was covered with metallic silver duct tape to hold the batteries in place and give the finished puzzle a silver edge.

The colors of each piece came from colored tissue paper or white tissue paper with colored cellophane underneath. The words were laser printed on transparency film and attached with transparent tape. An image of a building was placed on the reverse of the puzzle so that the individual pieces fit together to complete the image on the reverse. The reverse image was also pulled from the internet but printed onto transparency film and projected onto heavy weight roll paper with a slide projector. The image was traced, followed up with heavy permanent marker.

The finished puzzle was 4 feet tall and 2 feet wide when assembled. The puzzle was double sided and flipped over during the presentation to reveal the image of a building on the reverse. All the pieces fit together to make a very glowing and memorable presentation for the evening.

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    2 Discussions

    Sorry for the slow reply. My cutter, without going into much detail, is basically a 4' length of thin gauge piano wire kept under tension on a wood frame by a heavy spring. The wire is connected to a cheap car battery charger set on the 12 volt, 10 amp setting; something similar to this:

    Of course you can look right here on Instructables: Not as fast cutting as mine, but might work.

    Hope that helps. Thanks for the interest in the project it was fun to make and made a big impression.