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.

1 comment:

Reilly said...

very cool. great idea.