Help me create my rave sign?

Hello. I am trying to build a custom structure to house my project I currently call the “Rave Sign”. It is a light up sign that shows a variety of images or scrolling text. It is basically eight Flexible 16x16 NeoPixel RGB LED Matrix (Flexible 16x16 NeoPixel RGB LED Matrix : ID 2547 : $94.95 : Adafruit Industries, Unique & fun DIY electronics and kits) controlled by a ESP8266 . I’d like to build a structure to hold the NeoPixel matrices and I like the idea of wrapping them around into a circle, so I created this with OnShape: Onshape

This is the first thing I’ve ever created in OnShape, so there are probably all sorts of issues with it, but the idea is to slide the NeoPixels into the slots on the outside and have the wires go through the holes towards the middle. In the center I would attach a broom stick or something similar to hold it up. I’m not really sure what type of material to make it out of, but something relatively light would be ideal.

I’m not currently a member of VHS, but I’m thinking of singing up so I can get this and other projects going again. Thanks.

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This sounds awesome! How big is that hub?

3d printing it might be a way to go, did you know that VHS has a borrow-a-printer program put on by some of the members? I’ve got it now and its absolutely amazing, makes it easy to print big stuff overnight.

Alternatively, you could laser-cut some thin baltic birch and bend it into a circle, or do a modification to your design and make it segmented.

Of course you could also laser lots of thin sheets of veneer and laminate them together. That would be pretty slick.

We’ve got a Vaccuform ( so you could maybe do 1/4th of the design as a positive buck and pull a form 4 times and join them together…

VHS also has some addressable LED strips for sale on a shelf near the e-waste, so instead of arrays, you could do a spiral of LEDs.

That’s just a few different ways I can see you achieving this; I bet there’s smarter minds that have cooler methods.

Thanks for all the info, Mike. It is 427 mm in diameter and 182 mm high. I was thinking 3D printing might be the way to go, but this might be too big for a 3D printer, so I might have to divide it into 4 sections and add tabs to it so that it snaps together. I’m also not entirely sure if what I have will work properly with a 3D printer or if it has to be designed in a certain way. The Vaccuform and the other ideas you have also look interesting, but I don’t know much about them either.


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The discovery of how to make it sounds pretty fun… have you been to the space yet? It might be worth checking out what we’ve got to see what might work.

I’d recommend doing whatever you can do to prototype it out quickly. If that’s hot glue and foamcore, or laser cutter thin plywood, or whatever it most easily accessible to you, that’s the way I’d go for version 0 and see what you learn from seeing the shape in-person.

Sounds great. Is there a particular time / date that would be best to visit the site? Is there any bit of scrap that I can scrounge?