So I made a thing for my girlfriend’s(soon to be wife heh) and my Gender Reveal Party. The point of it being it allowed our friends to “cast a vote” on what they thought the gender of the baby was AND a nifty way to reveal it. This was made using my K40 running on a Smoothieboard 4xC and using Lightburn and Inkscape. It turned out to be a huge hit!
Items used were:
-3mm birch plywood, bought off Amazon
-3mm acrylic, just some scrap I had.
-4-lead wire typically used for stepper motors, sourced off of Wish.com
-SK6812 RGBW LED chips (the white part actually made it a bit more dificult)
-Generic pushbutton, latching. Got off of Wish.com
-Generic female DC jack
-1000uF 35v Capacitor on power input to prevent fluctuation of LEDs. Had a spare lying around.
-220ohm resistors on the 2 data lines for the LEDs
-Arduino Nano with BOB, sourced off of Wish.com
-heat shrink for any exposed connections
-Misc. wood screws to close the back
and plenty of patience!
I started by cutting the main words(top piece), and cutting the letters out for “boy” and “girl”. I also cut these letters out of acrylic and glued them in to their wooden counterpart. I also cut out the gaps with acrylic for more light to shine through. I then cut an offset piece for the edge lighting effect approx. 4mm wide. The 4 small diamonds in the “vote area” also have small acrylic lenses glued in. On the back I affixed the neopixels with hot glue one by one, bending the wires appropriately. To build up the thickness to accomodate the Nano I used the same size inward offset from the edge to increase the thickness. Final count of all layers is 11 layers (9 base + top, plus the vote layer/acrylic bezel and words layer).
The purpose of the code is to run the “rainbow” code indefinitely until the button is toggled, then to change the pixels to the appropriate color (blue for boy, yellow for girl). I was going to have it flash like 3 times alternating from yellow to blue and then choose, however I couldn’t get the code working the way that I want. Therefore it just locks them blue until the button it unlatched from the pressed position. BTW yes, im having a BOY!!!(soo excited!!) the code used was by no means a work of art, rather a cannibalism of a portion of the “adafruit neopixels” strandtest code with an “if”, “then”, “else” loop and a button trigger. Nothing fancy.
To make it mobile I ran it off a cheap free single cell battery pack I had lying around paired with a USB to DC jack wire salvaged from an old USB fan I scrapped a while back. This I zip-tied to a stand I had lying around and viola! The round tokens I engraved letters on for Boy or Girl, which were depressed into the cutouts simulating a “vote” once all votes were cast, button was pressed to reveal the result. Foil was added to reflect the light out, the tee part helps the center glow better.
All in all I am happy with the result, albeit I would have changed a few things in the end( better code, more of a finale, etc). Everyone was thoroughly surprised that I made this from scratch and didn’t use any examples from the internet, which of course made my day!
I would change a few things if I did it again, like making it less “bubbly” on the edges so the glue-up is easier, perhaps use a different LED without white to allow FastLED to be used instead of the Neopixel library, router the edges a bit smoother, etc.
Many of my friends have suggested that I sell these on Etsy, what do you all think of it? Never have sold any of my works, really just make things for my own sense of accomplishment and to further my abilities as a maker. what do you think, would you buy it? Pictures attached.