A boy scout has chosen to put in a new playground on the church campus for his eagle scout project. It entails lots of brush clearing, digging, concrete work, mulch spreading and other physical labor. Included in the project is securing funding. I thought that we could make some edge lit acrylic signs and sell them to raise funds. We put out 100 order sheets and they were gone in two weeks, plus some more that we added on, plus a few custom designs. I have a massive supply of 1/4" cast acrylic that works so well for these signs.
They are all handmade from parts that are laser cut, engraved, 3D printed, or hand soldered for the LEDs and the USB cables. I donated about $100 worth of materials for the project. $25 a sign.
There are four choices of base color: blue, red, green, purple. Four choices of a veneer top: walnut, cherry, maple and birch (this one I got from Inventables). They can choose from four different sayings.
Lots of bases. I used the cheapest luan that I could find at the hardware store. It works great with a veneer top.
Here is how the base looks before assemble. The scouts learned some hot glue skills, soldering skills, 3D printing, and gluing, and most importantly, the chore of weeding text engraved in acrylic. This project did prompt me to buy a one of the new USB connected solder pens from Sains Mart. Very nice to have.
The design uses a bit of wood that you have to glue together so the base top and bottom snap into the PLA collar. This is the glue up.
For one off simplicity you could just make a top and bottom piece of proograde plywood and engrave a margine around each that would snap into the collar. I’ve done that before. Engraving time is a bit long though, so it’s faster just to cut an inner piece that fits into the plastic collar.
Didn’t need so many red bases printed. Almost half of the orders were for blue. I used translucent PLA from MakerGeeks, a filament company located in Springfield, MO. They have have some great filament and good deals. Unfortunately I needed more blue and they are out of stock now. Making do with a non-translucent blue that works fine. Not quite as bright in the base.
I took the opportunity to install theVelocity Painting app. It is one of the most amazing 3D printing add ons. Did have to spend an evening trying to figure out how to use it, but once I did, it worked well.
Milk jug for scale.
Francis tied with 1 Corinthians.
If you like purple, this filament is perfect for you.
We should have one more evening of assembly and then we can deliver.
I’ve learned a lot from this project. One: simplify. Just pick one design and make it. I could have sold 100 blue, prayer of St. Francis with a walnut top. It would have been a lot easier to manage parts inventory. Lesson learned. Two: I am stuck with this project for a while. Folks are yammering that we need some more order forms for a second production run. Three: I much prefer doing one distinct project and then move on to something else. This is a real act of charity. Not sure how folks manage this for making a living. I’d need a couple more Glowforges I think.