So here goes my first writeup.

I settled on building a Valentines Gift for my wife this year. Not really sure where the inspiration came from.

Specs:

Edge lit Acrylic

8 AA batteries w/ 4pc holders

1 rocker switch

1 12v Red LED strip from Autozone.

First Step:

Make the mask in your favorite photo editor.

So, I kinda skipped photographing the in-between steps.

Here is the final result:

The how:

I started by printing and gluing my paper mask to the protective cover of the acrylic sheet.

The really tedious part was actually cutting out the mask with an exacto knife. Not the nice swiveling kind either.

The lettering in the center was ‘ghetto blasted’ with a compressed air nozzle, a bic pen tube, and a styrofoam cup full of ceramic dust. It was messy, but served its purpose.

The outline was ‘engraved’ through the full line width with a modified electric toothbrush.

As for cutting it out, I got close with a band saw at work. The finishing ‘cut’ was made with a wood burning attachment on a soldering iron at full temp. I was pretty impressed with the outcome of that one. The soldering iron was easily hot enough to smear the acrylic edge to a nice smooth finish.

The wiring of the whole thing is pretty boring. Just 2 (4AA) battery packs wired in series with a rocker switch, all connected to the LED strip. The battery packs are velcro’d to the inside of the box. The LED strip is glued to the base of the heart with some hot glue and super glue. Hot glue to fill the really big gaps, and the super glue to actually hold it.

Before you ask, the LED strip has built in current limiting resistors.

They even come with a handy demo battery.

Mostly, this is just something I have never seen anybody do by hand before, in this scenario.

Thanks for checking it out.

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