Intro: You Are So Loved
I would like to explain how I built the picture above. I help out at Factory Two (a Makerspace) and also work at the University of Michigan - Flint where I work with my partner running the machine shop. I wanted to make a gift for my granddaughter (she wasn't born yet). Anyway, her mom (my daughter) wanted to do her room up in Harry Potter stuff. She said will you make me a light switch cover. So the first thing to do was to find a light switch that I liked. I found the Lumos Nox switch plate by Googling the switch plate and finding a picture of what I wanted. I used only the words and drew up the switch plate in Fusion 360. I grabbed the lightning bolts that are on the side and put them together with the drawing of the switch plate.
For the "You are so loved lighted picture" I found the image by looking at Harry Potter you are so loved in the google and choosing images. There are a lot of images out there but the easiest way is to bring it into an image editing program and making all that you want to cut black and white and then cutting it on the laser cutter. We have a 40 watt laser.
You are going to want to reverse the image so that the front of the picture is printed backwards. You will want to keep the plastic cover on the acrylic so that the acrylic is not scratched during printing.
To make the laser raster you should follow what the factory settings are for your laser. To make a cut you take the line width down to as close to zero as possible. Your image is going to be rastered.
I used acrylic from Home Depot that is 1/4" thick. The laser rastered the image and cut a very nice edge and I did not need to polish it at all.
Step 1: Building the Base Block
I purchased some LED lights from the internet (they are pretty cheap). You are also going to need a power source to run them. The lights that I purchased used a 12 volt power supply. I have a tendency to keep all of the power supplies that I get from things that get thrown away and so I used these for the power supply. Take a look at the LED's and you will find that they are only able to be cut at certain places. I made my light bar 8" so with this information you will want to have them before you laser cut your picture. One other thing that is important is that LED's are light emitting diodes. Diodes will only power up in one direction. If you touch the leads from the power supply to the lights and they don't light up switch them around and it should work. You can now put a clear finish on the bottom of the LED rail.
After you have the length of the base that you need you can build one up in your workshop. I used cherry wood I had laying around. It turned out nice. Put a finish on it and then let it dry.
When it is all done you can put this together and shine the light through the picture and impress your family and friends.