my first major project on the glow forge was name tags/party favors made for my sons bar-mitzvah last month. Seeing as how all his class mates were the same age some of them had done some amazing parties! We were not quite in the same league as some of the others so I decided to make something unique for them myself.
My son’s party theme was “Science” because he is even more awesome than his father so we converted all the invited kids names into periodic table letters via the most excellent http://lmntology.com web site. I then re-created them in inkscape and created 1/4” acrylic etched names.
I designed and programmed and then ordered LOTS of an Arduino compatible board that would host an ATTiny85 chip to run a short length of adafruit neopixels under the acrylic to light it up.
Including the capacitance touch sensor library and a brass nail they changed their LED pattern every time you touched it, saving the current setting into EEPROM so that it would start back up in the same mode you turned it off as. When you ran through the 6 or 7 patterns I would run through them again but at a fraction of the brightness for nightlight or battery savings mode.
I started experimenting with makercase.com square boxes to store the batteries, circuit boards and LED’s but they were too boxy and I wasn’t happy with them. So I experimented with the “living hinge” macros in inkscape and managed to create a box I was happy with. Much more complicated to design, but easier to cut and put together. These looked great and satisfied me aesthetically where the others looked blocky and ugly.
fast forward 30 or 40 units later and an awful lot of hot glue to hold them together internally and I think we validated the purchase of the glowforge with this one project I no longer have to worry that the family thinks I overspent. These turned out fantastic and as much time as I spent on them getting anything made that was anywhere near as awesome for this many kids would have cost at least as much as the tools I used to make them, probably more, and they wouldn’t have been nearly as awesome
My Glowforge has been powered off for the last 2 weeks, but I’m sure new projects will find their way on to my todo list
Here’s some video of the neopixel displays as visible when the kids came into the venue and started looking for their nametags I received many kudos from the parents and kids, everybody loved them and they would not have been possible without the glowforge!
link didn’t seem to work to dropbox so here is the video from my own server: