Main Content

This is part three in my ongoing “Anything Worth Doing is Worth Overdoing” series.

When I moved into my current home, I decided that I the sign out front that has my house number on it, which was chosen by my mother in the 80s, just had to be replaced. That’s where this started.

My first intelligent thoughts about the design all included backlighting. As I began building the sign and testing theories, more crazy ideas came about, and more ideas needed to be tested. Before I was done, I ended up designing and building a custom WiFi controller for the lights, writing software for that controller, writing a mobile app to control the lights, getting the app released on app stores, burning through an entire spool of 3D printer filament in one non-stop session, and building four distinct signs.

Of course, you don’t need to do anything that complicated. I’m going to show you everything I did so that you can decide if there’s a style of sign you prefer and want to try to make for yourself. You can also replicate the things I did if you are properly equipped. If you like the signs and want your own, but don’t want to build them, or if you want to read about how I got into sign making, check out my blog article. (appideas blog article)

I will be referencing my previous two Instructables throughout this one. They contain all of the technical details of how I made the electronics for the signs. There are other ways to make the signs without needing to go through my previous Instructables. I will point them out along the way. Here are links:

Part 1: Custom PCBs on a CNC Router
Part 2: WiFi LED Light Strip Controller
I used a CNC router to make these signs. I did that because I lack discernible woodworking skills, despite the fact that I’m fully equipped in that department. I am, however, very good at commanding robots to do things with dangerous tools. If you have a CNC router, I have included the files I used in case you want to replicate anything I’ve made. If you don’t have a CNC router, you’ll either need some woodworking skills that I can’t teach you, or you’ll need to be able to apply these ideas to materials with which you know how to work. The principles remain the same.

I use a 3D printer in the making of two of the signs. I’m not sure how you can replicate the results without one. If you can achieve that level of precision manually, you’re truly awesome. I’m significantly less awesome, and I need a 3D printer to do the work for me (or maybe not - see below). The other two signs can be made without a CNC router or 3D printer, assuming you have appropriate woodworking skills and know how to use a hardware store.

All of the 3D printer and CNC router files were designed and created in Fusion 360. The Fusion 360 files are provided in case you want to modify them or need to generate tool paths and gcode. STL files are available for 3D printing.”

Link to article

Related Content