Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab
Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab

Iteration Assignment – Nick Desai

The previous project I was least happy with was the vinyl sticker assignment, where I had a lot of trouble with designing the pieces so they would be easy to put together, and with aligning the vinyl layers on top of each other. I had a couple ideas by the end for how to do that better, but ran out of time to re-do the sticker. For this assignment, I used my ideas for improving the design – printing a bottom guide layer to help with alignment, and using the clear transfer tape to more easily see what I was doing – as well as mixing in laser cut acrylic parts and a NeoPixel strip controlled by an Arduino.

Here’s the old sticker, in all its misaligned glory:


For the next iteration, I changed the design so that the sword would be entirely etched onto clear acrylic, and the sticker would sit on top of it. Using a guide layer and clear transfer tape, as well as a couple improvements to the grouping of layers to take advantage of the guide layer and reduce the number of fiddly bits I had to work with, I made the next version of the sticker, which has much better alignment:

After that, I bought some acrylic (since none of the scrap was quite big enough) and cut out the sword piece.

I also figured out how to use a NeoPixel strip – I had to solder wires onto the contacts at the edge of the LED strip, since the strip didn’t have wires built in. The first strip I tested was buggy (even after verifying the connections were good, it had issues displaying on some of the LEDs), but I got a replacement, which worked fine.

Putting the LEDs and the acrylic together:

I really liked the result here, with how the light caught the engraving on the acrylic.

To make the piece stand up on its own, I laser cut some base pieces and glued them together. I also changed the code to cycle quickly through the rainbow, since I liked the visual effect that gave.