So, a while back, I recreated one of the symbol of Seattle (the Car Wash Elephant sign) and needed to build a custom light base for it. (See original post here: Seattle Symbol - Made on a Glowforge - Glowforge Owners Forum)
Well, it took a while, but I took the suggestion of acquiring some UV Led Strip and finally got around to finish the project.
For the base, I used some thick transparent acrylic and thick black glossy acrylic (to support the original design which was quite heavy) and proceeded to build a box with proofgrade medium size matte black acrylic.
On the process side, I did the initial drawing in Illustrator and did a prototype in cardboard, mostly to make sure I had the dimensions right (and of course that prove to be wise). Also, it was good to have something I could try out, to figure how to position the 2 light strips (one illuminating the fluorescent part and one illuminating the front).
After the assembly using fast-set acrylic glue, some soldering and adjustments, and putting a piece of black felt underneath for stability, it was ready to be lit. In the end, a lot more effort and cost than buying a ready made base online (although I doubt that I would have found one adapted to the piece).
Here are some pictures of the components and final result. Definitively a fan of the fluorescent material and the finish of the Matte Black Acrylic with Shiny black one on top.
- It is good to proceed with prototyping first. It took 5 versions to adjust all the measurements.
- Gluing acrylic sucks. I tried several types of acrylic glue… I wish gluing acrylic would be easier.
- Not quite satisfied with the lighting from the front. Will need to experiment more (I used a piece of lenticular lens to fill the front slot to diffuse the light more but the impact was marginal).