Week 4 : Enclosure

This week of Fabrication’s enclosure, I chose to use acrylic with standoffs as the enclosure of my LED light panel for photo shooting. I learnt from the experience of making it with trials and errors, and figuring out the sizes of nuts and screws for the standoffs was hard. If I could buy more time and notice the errors earlier, I could make a better enclosure.

Preparation: 

  • Acrylic 12×12
  • Standoffs + nuts + screws
  • Laser cut
  • Arduino
  • Breadboard
  • jump wires
  • battery holder + battery
  • Solder
  • LED light strips
  • scissors
  • glue gun
Step 1: Using laser cut for acrylic enclosure

I used adobe illustrator to laser cut 3 panels for enclosure in the first plan, and using standoffs to build up the panel. Unfortunately, I realized I measured the holes wrong by using the diameter of the standoffs. To fix this problem, I used glue gun to narrow down the size of the hole, to let the screws and nuts to fit in and won’t fall off.

Step 2 : Applying the LED light strips onto the acrylic

I taped the LED light strips onto the panel, and then use soldering to solder the wires in parallel circuit.

Step 3: Connecting the LED to Arduino and breadboard

I have connected the Arduino to the battery and connected with breadboard that has a switch (potentiometer). The switch would turn on and off the LED in different levels of light too. As I realized this enclosure is not portable and there is insufficient space for the wires of Arduino and breadboard to fit in the tight space with 1″ standoffs.

Step 4: Refine the design

I refine my design by laser cut several pieces to stick at the bottom, left and right side to hold the electric components. A hole is designated for the switch to go through, my first switch works and somehow it does not work after soldering. So when I switch to another switch, the switch is bigger than the previous one. It was too late after I stick the side panels and screw in the standoffs, so the switch doesn’t fit now. I added an additional standoffs to create 2″ standoffs space for putting in the components. Even though the process included lots of trials and errors, I have made the effort to make it portable LED panel which is great for photo shooting.

Advice for myself: 

  • measure the holes correctly for the standoffs
  • learn how to buy nuts, screws and standoffs from mccarter (too many sizes and lengths to figure it out…)
  • should have test out the size of Arduino, breadboard, extruding wires and outlets.
  • should have use stack acrylic for exact size for breadboards and Arduino
  • make dividers?
  • should cut small holes at first, if not, bigger holes are unable to fix?
  • make a metal sheet at the bottom to slide through the camera flash holder slot

One Response

  1. Nice work, I like that you used standoffs. Please be more specific about your difficulties ordering them.

    Instead of using hot glue to make the holes smaller, you could have used washers between the acrylic panels.

    How is the Arduino, switch, and batteries attached to the enclosure?

    What do you mean “make dividers”?

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