Generic Design for a Mini LED desktop sign

Here is a file I made in Inkscape. I took the design I made for my small LED sign and made it just a little bigger. Depending on your LED strip, you can do 7 or 8 LEDs in the trough if you use an LED strip that allows for individual cuts along the strip. I used two layers for the trough because this particular USB cord and connector was a little thicker than an a layer of the MDF plywood I used.

This would be a great project to learn how to solder on. It only takes two very small spots to connect the wires to the 5v. LED strip. So you would only need the cheapest of soldering irons and a little solder to make it work. USB cables are easy to repurpose. Usually it’s generally the red 5+ positive and black - ground and then you trim off the other two. It’s easy enough to test which wire goes where by touch them to the + and - of the strip and seeing what lights up.

So the cool thing about this is that I understand enough of how the Glowforge processes designs that I was able to work on this away from the Glowforge. I brought it home, loaded it and printed it without any problems. The reveal will come when my gift exchange designee posts it. This person will get to post in the Made on a Glowforge category. I’ll post the documentation of the build when that happens.

I’d like to use this as a discussion regarding how to prepare *.svg files. That is what I have been using since I have only Inkscape and GIMP to design in.

I have made several layers, each with its own color, each with its own process and material. You can keep the same design in the UI workspace and then just swap materials for the two kinds.

Any questions? Any comments? Any suggestions or corrections?

GenericLEDSign.svg (48 KB)


I want to get back with you on that other file @marmak3261, did you find another one you could use for those gifts? (I’m sorry we haven’t been able to get the AI based file to work sooner.)

If you still want to take a shot at getting it done, I can work with you on it Monday. I’m trying to get my other stuff wrapped up this weekend. (Literally! Chuckle!)



In fact I am working on it right now! Stay tuned for a video highlight!


Oh, a video! Did it actually work? (Or are you about to embarrass me horribly? Chuckle!):wink:


One thing that I would like to understand better is adjusting the width of the slot for your to-be-edge-lit acrylic for the material, as you did with yours in the other post.

New to lasers and to vector drawing as of my Glowforge pre-order.

What I would do in Inkscape is pick one of those rectangles, make sure the units are set to mm or inches, then change “H” to what I think it needs to be. After that, use “align and distribute” to re-center it vertically in the larger rectangle. Repeat for the other layer. Does that seem right?

If I wanted to enlarge or shrink the area for the LED strip, that would be a little more complicated. I think I would select the two points that make up the top inside line using “edit path by nodes” and the shift key, adjust positioning by adding a number to “Y” if I wanted it wider. Then, repeat for the two points on the bottom line subtracting the same number used rather than adding. I’d probably duplicate this rather than repeating for the second layer. Does this also seem right? Is there an easier way with some sort of mirroring magic or something?


Yes, it worked just fine.


You have the right idea about changing the design by typing in the dimensions of the object. That’s what I did. For the trough for the LED strip, I just grabbed the nodes and moved them a bit on the grid I have laid out. It doesn’t need to be perfect on the inside. In fact, the first slot was a little narrow on one end, so I had to open it up a bit with a second cut. It worked fine.

I am very pleased at how effective the alignment by camera is. I keep coming back to the prints and adding things all the time and it’s close enough. It really allows for using material efficiently.


I love hearing this. It’s totally what I expect, but it’s great to hear you say it. For me most of my uses will be artistic instead of prototyping, etc., so my need for extreme sub mm accuracy won’t be that great. At least most of the time.


Thanks so much for sharing your design with everyone, @marmak3261! I know it will be appreciated.


Just ordered some LED bases to try this myself…


Now to make a small modification for using these bad boys with it…


Ordered some of those too! Brilliant hardware.