More Waves: LED + Arduino + Glowforge

Continuing on the theme of waves I made last summer…

I just finished this dual wave piece. Mostly water edge acrylic with a sheet of blue mirror and some Baltic birch for the frame. It is symmetric with LED panels at each end. Scored some parallel contours on the edges to better capture the light. Videos and more images here.

A bit of planning ahead and willingness to “waste” some additional material resulted in a 2nd piece made from the “scraps”. Similar materials and green mirror vs blue mirror.


That’s very cool. Do you have a larger goal in mind here, or are these art pieces for their own sake?


Very cool! I love that the scrap one is such an odd little shape that my brain wants to make sense out of so I can’t look away :stuck_out_tongue: The original is much more soothing.


Those are really cool! Do you have an LED strip for each side of each layer? Did you run into memory issues with the Arduino to run so many? (Caveat, I haven’t messed with programmable RGB LEDs for several years and am out of the loop on what is currently available!)


A few // goals:

explore edge lit acrylic and LED patterns
make something interesting to look at
make art for my gallery show
use the raw material inventory on hand which included a ton of water edge acrylic
and in the case of the first one, make something that fits within the theme of the art show being run by the town hall. (that worked)


This is so cool!!




All of these have one or more LED matrices under the hood on each side. I have them behind a grid that isolates each row of the matrix so that the light directed at one piece of acrylic does not illuminate the ones on either side. Thus, the spacing of the layers is mostly dictated by the spacing of the LED matrix. which is 10 mm in this case. There is a bit of a mismatch between the spacing on the 2nd piece here and the matrix grid. This is mosly due to the lack of proper thickness material for washers. between layers. It seems to work anyway but with the motion of the light show somewhat blurred.

The number of LEDs used here is in the range of 64 (8 x 8) to 256 (16 x 16 or 32 x 8). For both of these new pieces, I am driving each side with the same output pin on the arduino. that keeps the count down which helps reduce the required memory and increases speed. In LED land, 256 is a relatively low number to manage. Some of my bigger LED pieces have 24,320 addressable pixels. That takes a brute of an arduino to push.

256 LEDs and the matrix library might be too much for a stock Uno. I am using the Adafruit trinket M0 for these which has gobs of room to manage the LEDs despite the tiny size. That processor is 3 volt logic so I need some extra electronics to manage the 5 volt logical needs of these LEDs.


So cool. I like it a lot!


Truly a piece of art!


Beautiful work!

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I cannot stop looking at this. The effects and colors are beautiful!


Fantastic! - the modern day lava lamp :crazy_face:



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