Simple but effective edge lit sign base

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Simple but effective edge lit sign base

Postby Xxray » Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:41 am

I'm pretty geeked about this.
For weeks, I have been thinking of the best way to cheaply, but effectively and professionally, edge light plexi signs.
I was thinking of a Luminedge type design, where there is a plastic clip piece with a LED strip inside, and this clips on an edge. You plug it in, and you're good to go ,,,, But I had problems finding any of these edge "guards" at a reasonable price, and even with them, the signs are still without a base.
So I figured, why not just cut out the right sized slot in MDF, then cut out a base around it. This slot not only serves as a stand for the plexi sign, but is the perfect place to lay the LED strip as well. Once designed, they can easily be adjusted to accommodate any size. I do mostly 11" and 8" to keep it simple, I really like the looks, functionality and ease of fabricating these things.
I also do 1/2 and 1/4 designs, needless to say, its an easy matter to make the slot any size necessary. It is tough though finding LED strips that thin, I have some on the way only 6mm wide [one in the pic is 10mm].
This one is the first prototype base, I need to make it just a hair longer to accommodate a full 12" LED strip. They are designed that you can cut after every 3 LED's ,, I found out that if you try to cut just 1, the next 2 won't work - So this sign is a little dark towards the right, for that reason.

This is a sign I made for some MC buddies of mine. It is .5 plexi, 11x11". I painted the back of the plexi black, then etched the design, so the edge lit affect is dulled somewhat, but still looks mighty impressive in the dark.
I just had the LED's rigged up to a battery booster for testing, so my next and final step will be finding a source of plug in AC wall warts to power these, I want to avoid battery power.
Anyone know of a source for these ?
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Re: Simple but effective edge lit sign base

Postby Ms Wolffie » Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:17 am

Xxray wrote:I just had the LED's rigged up to a battery booster for testing, so my next and final step will be finding a source of plug in AC wall warts to power these, I want to avoid battery power.
Anyone know of a source for these ?


I have just bought a bunch of 12V transformers off eBay, they are pretty cheap and are sold both for 110V and 240V as we use in OZ.
I have also bought 8mm wide both multicolour and mono strips off eBay.
The dimmer and colour controls are pretty cheap there too.

Cheers
Wolffie
Cheers
Wolffie

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Re: Simple but effective edge lit sign base

Postby Xxray » Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:12 am

I did a cursory ebay search, didn't wade through the 1,000's of results, but didn't find anything that fits my needs.
Am trying to avoid having to order from Asia, but I just might have to.
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Re: Simple but effective edge lit sign base

Postby fretsman68 » Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:18 am

This video may be of help to you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Uo6C9TW0_8&feature=plcp

Just curious, but do you actually still use Cut2D even though you have Aspire? Just curious as to why? I'm thinking of upgrading to Aspire one day and I thought it had all Cut2D functions?

Thanks,
Dave
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Re: Simple but effective edge lit sign base

Postby Ms Wolffie » Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:35 am

Xxray wrote:I did a cursory ebay search, didn't wade through the 1,000's of results, but didn't find anything that fits my needs.
Am trying to avoid having to order from Asia, but I just might have to.


Even when you buy them locally, they are still made in China.
http://stores.ebay.com.au/E-whsle?_rdc=1

Cheers
Wolffie
Cheers
Wolffie

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Re: Simple but effective edge lit sign base

Postby Xxray » Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:18 pm

Wolffie wrote:
Xxray wrote:I did a cursory ebay search, didn't wade through the 1,000's of results, but didn't find anything that fits my needs.
Am trying to avoid having to order from Asia, but I just might have to.


Even when you buy them locally, they are still made in China.
http://stores.ebay.com.au/E-whsle?_rdc=1

Cheers
Wolffie


I'm well aware of origin, just looking to avoid importing and delays.

Nice video, I'll be looking to do more elaborate designs, right now my interest is cheap & simple.
I'm going on a job site soon where I will sell dozens, so alls I need is something functional, and reasonably professional looking, which they are. I'm going to do hammered and textured spray on finishes, should be easy and cheap to make, and look nice. Last year I sold a bunch with no lights or base at all, I just brought in a laser to shine on the edge to show how cool they look when lit, and they sold like hotcakes. I am, and work with, construction/fabrication professionals, so most of them have no problem rigging up their own lighting display solution - But it will be much better to offer a complete package.
I don't plan on much of a markup on the materials, just looking to cover my costs there, so thats why I can't have much $$ or labor into making them.
I have the LED strips, I have the bases designed, I'm stocking up on the signs themselves ,,, Last piece of the puzzle is the power supply.

I like using Cut 2D for its simplicity. You can of course do alot more with Aspire, but it shines with 3D, Vcarving and basic 3D designing and modification/combining existing 3D files. Not necessary at all for simple 2D designs like this ,,, So sometimes, fewer options are better. In theory, if all you plan on doing is simple 2D designs, then you don't need Aspire.
The 2D profile and pocket functions of both are almost identical, a few more fine tuning bells & whistles on Aspire, to be sure ,, But ones I generally do not need or use.
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Re: Simple but effective edge lit sign base

Postby fretsman68 » Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:49 pm

Xxray wrote:I like using Cut 2D for its simplicity. You can of course do alot more with Aspire, but it shines with 3D, Vcarving and basic 3D designing and modification/combining existing 3D files. Not necessary at all for simple 2D designs like this ,,, So sometimes, fewer options are better. In theory, if all you plan on doing is simple 2D designs, then you don't need Aspire.
The 2D profile and pocket functions of both are almost identical, a few more fine tuning bells & whistles on Aspire, to be sure ,, But ones I generally do not need or use.


Ah, I see, "to each their own" kind of thing, understood.

I have VCarve Pro and I've been playing with the Aspire tutorial as I am interested in 3D work in the future. I love the fact that it's all in one program so I doubt if after Aspire was purchased, that I would ever load up Cut2D or, in my case, VCarve Pro again :lol:

Thanks again, and good luck with the LED signs, I enjoy your work-
Dave
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