It’s been a while since I posted here… I’ve been more than a little busy with my day job and haven’t had as much time as I’d like to have fun with lasers. Fortunately, I got to take a Glowforge home this weekend to try some projects out!
I was working in my newly constructed darkroom on Sunday lamenting the fact that holding negatives up to the light isn’t a great way to see detail. I got a new 6x7 camera and it is absolutely amazing but there’s a strange light leak that I’ve been trying to debug for a while.
So I did what any reasonable person would do and looked on Amazon for lightboxes. There weren’t any that I really liked and I wasn’t about to spend a ton of money on a glorified light bulb and diffuser. Lasers to the rescue!
Here’s what I started out with:
Trusty calipers to measure small things, a ruler to measure big things, some test negatives, and a cheap de-clamped lightbulb socket with LED bulb from Home Depot.
The star of this show is 1/4" diffused acrylic. We don’t have any Proofgrade samples of this yet, so I got a few sheets from TAP Plastics - I believe this was Sign Lighting White 40%.
Here it is doing what diffused acrylic does best.
And here’s my workstation for the day.
The actual design was incredibly straightforward - 7 layers of 1/4" plywood (3 to sandwich the bulb holder and 4 as spacers), 1 layer of 1/4" diffused acrylic, two film holders, and some legs to hold everything together.
I don’t have a ton of in-process shots. Everything worked the first time and it was a wonderfully boring process. It’s pretty cool having used this software on day 1 and comparing that to what it’s like now, a complete world of difference. Even materials that weren’t in the Proofgrade catalog were straightforward to get up and running consistently with not much fussing.
Here’s the final result! I’d estimate this took me about 3 hours from starting the design to a finished working product. It’s not the most beautiful thing in the world, but it’s perfect for my needs.
Bonus Glowforge in 6x7 negative glory! Still working on my film processing so please forgive the smudges