awesome led edge-lit desktop nameplate - polycarbonate sheet cut to size
It's hard for you to go to the office with a table top without a nameplate.
This DIY project turns the classic carved vinyl nameplate into a high-tech artwork.
This is the perfect way to spice up anyone's desk at home or at work.
The concept of this project is simple;
Engrave a name on a piece of transparent plastic sheet and shine on the edge of the plastic.
Letters and edges are vividly illuminated when the transparent material remains completely transparent.
To add color, use a multi-color rgb led with the micro controller.
This combination can achieve hundreds of different colors.
Just press the button to convert the workpiece from red, green, blue, and anything in between to blue.
This instruction requires basic knowledge of wood processing, hand tools, electronics, programming and welding. Materials:1 -
Polyester plate-10. 75in x 2in x 0. 25in-
Local plastic suppliers, $31-
24 in x 5 oak board. 5in x 0. 25in -menards, $3. 311 -
Wood glue, 4 fl. oz -menards, $3. 8816 -
Rgb led with diffusion lens-sparkfun. com, $1. 99ea32 -
Resistance-100 Ohm, 1/4 W, 5%jameco. com, $0. 02ea16 -
Resistance-180 Ohm, 1/4 W, 5%jameco. com, $0. 02ea1 -
1 K Ohm, 1/4 W, 5%, resistance-jameco. com, $0. 02ea1 -
560 Ohm, 1/4 W, 5%, resistance-jameco. com, $0. 02ea1 -0.
47 uF single capacitor-jameco. com, $0. 12ea1 -
PICAXE8 pin micro controller-sparkfun. com, $2. 951 -
PICAXE 8-pin prototype kit-sparkfun. com, $3. 951 -
Picaxe usb programming cable-sparkfun. com, $25. 951 -
Darlington driver 8-
Channel uln803 DIP-sparkfun. com, $1. 951 -
18-pin DIP socket ,-sparkfun. com, $1. 501 -
Mini button switch-sparkfun. com, $0. 351 -2.
1mm DC power jack, male-jameco. com, $1. 491 -
Broken Head-Straight -sparkfun. com, $1. 501 -
Rocker switch, DPST, ON-OFF, Black -jameco. com, $1. 491 -
Broken Head-Right Angle -sparkfun. com, $1. 951 -
Wall adapter power supply, 5VDC 1A-sparkfun. com, $5. 954 -
417-hole multi-function PC board-Radioshack, $1.
99e22awgsolid jumper in various colors-jameco. com, $6. 95/100ft5 -
4-hex socket screws40 x 1/4in -mcmaster. com, $7. 50 (100)
Tool: Silk StripperSide CutterNeedle nose PliersDremel high
High-speed rotating ToolDremel engraving BitNeedle file SetSandpaper (600/800 grit)
Utility KnifeMini ViseDigital multimeter third hand tool soldering iron/station drill 3/32 drill Bit3/32 hex drive cursor calibration metal rule small stick clampssaw computer so it is important to design this element first. 1)
Using a text editor or CAD software, changes in font and size can be realized immediately.
Note: Any font or handwritten style can be used.
I designed my own font in CAD software, each character is about 0. 7in wide and 1. 13 intall and 0.
The spacing between each character is 05in. 2)
Measure the total height and width.
Record the maximum height and maximum total width of the string you have laid out. 3)
Calculate the size of the polycarbonate board.
Allows a small border around the text.
The top and sides of the text are about 0. 25in-0.
5 in border is usually appropriate.
The bottom border should be larger to allow the light emitted by the LED to spread out. A border of 0. 5in-0.
75 in is suitable.
Add the border size to the text size in the previous step.
There are several different ways to do the carving of polyester.
The best option for yourself is to use Dremel high-
A high-speed rotary tool with some kind of carved drill bit. 1)
Cut pc board.
The size specified in the previous step.
In my case, this is 2in. x 10. 75in. 2)
The profile of the transmission graphic.
This can also be achieved in several different ways.
First, put the graphics under clear paper and hand the graphics freely to the paper.
Second, using Grafix Rub-onz sheets (
Hobby Lobby or Dick Blick)
Transfer the image to the top of the pc. 3)
Use dremel to grind materials in the text you create.
Remember that the area where the material is removed or worn will glow in the light of the LED.
Try not to grind slots with rectangular cross lines
Enter part of the worksheet.
Groove with half groove
The cross section of the circle or triangle will pass the maximum light. 4)Clean edges.
Remove any burrs or melted polycarbonate from the paper.
The second slightly novel way to carve it is to use a CNC machine.
CNC machine is the fastest and most accurate method of engraving, but requires CNC knowledge, high cost and limited availability.
I chose the lettering machine.
Since then, I have the knowledge and availability of the machine, which is the option to choose the fastest and highest quality.
There are dual uses for polishing edges.
The polished top and side edges are aesthetically pleasing and, on the other hand, the polished bottom edge will allow the LED to transmit more light. 1)Sand edges.
Starting from 220, the use of gradually fine sandpaper ends at about 600.
To get the best results, complete with 800 sandpaper.
Be careful not to wear the front or back of the paper with sandpaper and try to keep it perpendicular to the edges of the front and back. 2)Clean edges.
Wipe it gently with a wet towel and dry it. 3)
Heat the edges until they are cleared.
Use a concentrated heat source to heat the edge of the polycarbonate to a high gloss.
The heat source can be a hot gun, a lighter or a mini torch.
You can do that!
Take the time to work slowly along the edge close enough to barely melt the paper.
The LED circuit consists of three micro-controller switch circuits: one for red, one for green and one for blue.
Each LED has four different leads: red, green, blue and ground.
Each color lead is connected to the respective loop through a current limiting resistor parallel to other leads of the same color type.
The ground leads are all connected together. 1)
Determine how many LEDs are needed.
The spacing of high-brightness rgb led must be about 0. 5in-0.
The center is 75 minutes apart.
Divide by a number in a given range by the total length of polycarbonate (10. 75 / 0. 7 = 15. 36).
In this case, 16 LEDs are used. 2)
Determine the power supply voltage
5VDC is a good number because the micro-controller can run 5VDC without the need for a voltage converter. 3)
Determine the desired resistor value.
Check the data sheet of the LED for forward voltage, Vf, and maximum forward current (If ).
The resistance value is determined by the following equation: R = (Vs – Vf)/ IfRed -> Vf=2.
0 V @ If = 20 mA => R = 150 OhmGreen-> Vf=3.
2 V @ If = 20 mA => R = 90 OhmBlue-> Vf=3.
2 V @ If = 20 mA => R = 90 OhmNote: the calculated resistance is the required resistance to keep the LED at 20 mA of the forward current.
Keep in mind that exceeding the maximum rated current will significantly reduce the life of the LED.
Also, keep in mind that the tolerance for ordinary resistors is 5%.
To avoid accidentally exceeding the rated maximum current, select a common value resistor greater than 5% of the calculated minimum resistance.
I chose a resistance of 100 ohms to replace the resistance of 90 ohms and an 80 ohm resistor to replace the resistance of 15 ohms. 4)
Determine the rated power of the resistor.
The resistor has a maximum allowable power Pmax rating.
If you exceed this level, the resistance will result in permanent damage and will inevitably fail.
The maximum power consumed per resistor is as follows: if 2100 Ohm @ 20 mA => P = 40 mw 20 mA Ohm @ 1/4 => P = 72 mw, then Pmax = R x both are below 1/4 W so W5)
Determine the total power consumed in each loop and the total current in the circuit.
The sum of the total power will determine the current rating required for the power supply.
In addition, the micro-controller can only provide 20 mA of the current per pin;
Therefore, the use of the Darlington driver IC allows the micro-controller output to control the high current load.
The IC has a maximum rated current of 500 mA per channel.
X of LED [(Vf x If)+ (R x If^2)]P(red)= 16 x [(2V)(20mA)+ (180Ohm)(20mA)^2]= 1. 792W