Digital stained glass workshop - Post mortem

2 minute read

On September 22, 2019 I ran digital stained glass workshop at Maker Labs with six people. The workshop turned out great, and people made some awe-inspring designs.

What worked

  • I printed scaled down versions of the panel with the layout of the LEDs. People used these printouts to sketch their ideas on before moving to inkscape. It was useful to get the dimensions, style, right on paper first.
  • Everyone finished at different times, this allowed me to review and convert their images into VCarve (CNC software). If everyone completed at the same time there would have been a lot of waiting around.
  • The WLED web app worked great for people. They could play with the LEDs immediately and use their cell phone to configure it.
  • It took most people 2-3 hours to make their design. This aligned up well with the timeline of the workshop.
  • While I was cutting the designs on the CNC machine, the staff at maker labs was able to give the participates a tour of the workshop.

What didn’t work

  • Computer problems. Everyone brought their own computer but two of the six people couldn’t install inkscape. They ended up using the paper to make their design, then I converted it in inkscape afterwards.
  • Power supplies. Some of the power supplies used a coax style cabling instead of two wires. This means that I couldn’t use the screw down barrel jack with them. This also means that I didn’t have enough power supplies for everyone.
  • Cheatsheet needs to be clearer about the design requirements.
  • I needed a video of how the CNC cut out the sections. Some people found it hard to visualize from the images in the slides alone

Next time

  • Bigger, I feel like 9x9 inch box was limiting to a lot of the designs. 12x12 would have been a lot better. Maybe next time I won’t even include the box.

Material costs

Total Cost Qty Description
$15.90 $15.90 1 Optix Cracked Ice Clear Acrylic Lighting Panel - 23.75 Inch x 47.75 Inch
$21.85 $21.85 1 Owens Corning FOAMULAR C-200 Extruded Polystyrene Rigid Insulation - 24-inch x 96-inch x 1 Inch, Butt Edge
$153.60 $25.60 6 50pcs 12MM WS2811 Full Color T1515 Square Pixel LED Module Lighting String 5V 12V RGB Waterproof Addressable Digital
$60.00 $10.00 6 9”x9”x4” Shadow boxes. (Purchased from Maker Labs)
$40.08 $6.68 6 LOLIN D1 mini V3.1.0 - WEMOS WIFI Internet of Things development board based ESP8266 4MB MicroPython Nodemcu Arduino Compatible
$10.97 $10.97 1 Brand Standard 1.88-inch x 109 yd. Clear Packaging Tape
$12.00 $12.00 6 5v Power supplies (Recycled from TheHackery )
$3.00 $3.00 1 6x Male and Female power plug
$12.00 $2.00 6 6x Sqft of Polystyrene from Maker Labs

Total: $312.4 Material costs (per person $52.06 )


Source files

All the files that are used in this workshop are avalaible open source from this github repo



Leave a comment