I stopped by Tap Plastic to get some Acrylic. I bought 4ft x 4ft piece cut in half so that I can fit it into my laser cutter. I have time scheduled on Tuesday to use the cutter, so I'm ready.
Since I still had a couple of the test pieces left, I glued one piece together and fit it into the 2" ID tube that I'm using to house the wand. The fit is damn near perfect and when I have two circular supports to keep it from tipping, the pieces will glide in well.
But, I want the end pieces that fit in the top and bottom to have a little bit of a friction fit so things stay in place, so I cut some scraps of vinyl to add a tiny bit of tacky surface as well as a little extra width. It worked well enough to keep it in. I'll see how it works once everything is all together.
I haven't had time to go pick up a new sheet of acrylic and print out the remaining parts for the pixelwand. I'm on hold until I get to the store. The latest design is available on bitbucket. This design is based on 4.5mm thick acrylic and seems to be the right mix of lightweight and durable.
Because my lasercutter seems to cut at a bevel (still not sure why), the holes have a little bit of play in them. I'm not sure if normal acrylic cement will work (the really liquidy kind) or if I'll have to use an acrylic paste (more like school glue). I have a test piece that I've been waiting for a dry day to try cementing together.
After lots of trial an error, I think I have a design that works and will go together properly. I only have a few of the parts cut right now because I keep running out of acrylic, but what I have is looking promising:
One thing I've discovered about the laser cutter is that the cuts are beveled, not perfectly vertical, so I absolutely have to glue them together even though i was hoping to get away with just press fitting them together.
Does anyone have that experience or is our laser cutter just out of whack?
I didn't have the laser close enough to my acrylic and so it didn't cut all the way through and I ended up breaking it in half while trying to press the piece out of it. Luckily there were some scraps of plywood that I thought were the right width, but were slightly larger than 1/8", so they don't fit together, but I did get to make sure that the leds were spaced properly, and it appears perfect!
I'm going to head to TAP plastic this weekend to get more acrylic, and the tube that this will all fit into, so that I can try again, with the laser at the right height.