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This is a LED picture frame I made during my junior year of college. I never used a laser cutter before I came to SIUC and once I did I've always been thinking of things I could make with it.  This piece I made consists of 1/4" plywood, 1/8" acylic, and wiring components. The 8x10 inch acrylic is interchangeable so I can switch it out with one that has a different design engraved into it.  When the LED's are on, they emphazize the engraving marks on the acrylic panel, causing the engraved image to stand out.  The lights are powered by a 9-volt battery and connected to 3 separate switches.  If only one switch is on, the colors will be either red, green, or blue, but if two switches are turned on together, the colors will blend causing it to be 3 different colors.  If all three switches are on the color will be white.  See the images below for more information.

Project 1


This image shows the front side of the picture frame without the front panel on it.  From here you can see where the wiring and battery compartments are located.  There were 3 holes created on  the top portion of the back panel to allow it to hang on the wall.

The LED's face the center of the frame so the light appears brighter.  On each side of the LED strip there are two pieces of wood that act as a guide for the acrylic panel and backdrop color.  The backdrop I used was a dark gray piece of construction paper. Both the acylic and backdrop can slide through openings in the top portion of the frame.

Since the LED's are powered by a 9-volt battery, I created a battery compartment that could be accessed from the back side of the picture frame. The lights can be on continuously for approxiamately a week until the battery dies.  

Built 5/20/13 @ 5:23 pm

Updated 1/16/15 @ 3:43 pm

This is a desk organizer I made during my senior year at SIUC.  Like the picture frame above, it consists of LED's, acrylic, and 1/4" plywood. This piece offers plenty of compartments for supplies, a small drawer in front, and two areas to place drinks. The acylic panel with text on it can slide out and a new one take its place.   All the LED's are powered by one 9-volt battery, but are split in the middle.  The left side is controlled by 3 switches as well is the right side.  

Project 2


Everything but the back panel was put together first. Once all of that was done, all of the LED's and wiring were put in place. 'SIU' was engraved on the front of the desk organizer as well as the acrylic circles that used as coasters for drinks.

Wiring connected to the battery and switches

The areas designed to set drinks are clear so the light can shine up around the glass. There is an acrylic panel under the first layer of plywood and then an epoxy resin was poured on top of it.  This would seal any gaps to stop liquid from leaking through.  

Closer view of the wiring connection on the switches.  

The back side is mostly open to allow space for the LED's and wiring. There is a compartment for the battery that can be accessed from a hinged door on the back panel.  This image also shows the 3 switches on both sides. 

Testing the lighting before the back panel is attached.

Glass full of water set on top of the coaster.  The LED lights shine through the entire glass.

I had epoxy resin left over, so I filled the bottom of the drawer with pennies and epoxied over them.

I 3D modeled the entire thing in AutoCAD first to make sure all the pieces would fit together.

Built 8/8/13 @ 10:08 pm

Updated 1/16/15 @ 4:35 pm

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