30 October 2008

My glowing cube thing

I made a strange piece of modern furniture with concrete and LEDs. The final product looks like this:

DemouldingIt lives

I built this by first constructing a mold out of MDF, and by embedding LEDs into the surface of the mold. The control/batteries are located behind a panel on the bottom, and all the wires are routed through the concrete:

View of the mold before pouringDemouldingWiring it up

The trickiest part of making the mold was creating a circular groove in which to seat the carboard tube. I used a router trick to do this. First, make a face plate for the router, featuring an offset bolt (the center). Bolt this your workpiece, and then route in a circle:

Making the mold -- Router TrickMaking the mold -- Router TrickMaking the mold -- Router trickMaking the mold -- Router trickMaking the mold - seating the tube

After all of my work, there are some imperfections. The concrete didn't fully flow into some of the narrower places. I think I could have avoided these problems by using a concrete vibrator, and by choosing concrete without gravel:


The electronics that drive this are very simple. I use a microcontroller to generate a PWM signal for each of the six channels. Each one drives a chain of LEDs through a transistor.

I detail the construction in photos on flickr.

MAKE:Princeton 2nd Meeting was cool

Recap available.

17 October 2008

MAKE:Princeton is a success

We had our first meeting of MAKE:Princeton on Wednesday, and it was a huge success! Turn out was good -- about 10 people. This was such a huge relieve---I had a terrible feeling no one would show up or even worse, a bunch of people would show up and expect me to entertain them.

Instead, the crowd was really great. Several people brought their own projects, and the variety and skill going into each project was phenomenal. I look forward to collaborating with these guys a lot in the future.

14 October 2008

MAKE:Princeton begins TOMORROW!

MAKE:Princeton coming soonThis is just to let my readers (perhaps reader) know that I am starting a MAKE group in Princeton, NJ, and out first meeting is tomorrow. Everyone is invited (yes, even non-students) to meet other local DIYers, inventors and artists.

You are encouraged to bring your creations for a show-and-tell (I say this with a straight face). We will also be discussing ways in which the group can encourage collaboration and resource sharing. Hopefully, everyone will come away from this having met someone new, and with the opportunity to build something that was previously beyond their reach.

MAKE:Princeton -- Launch Meeting
Wednesday, 15 October 2008, 7:00--9:00pm
At 039 East Pyne (on Princeton Campus)
See also: blog wiki group make at princeton dot edu

I look forward to meeting you!