This week I have laser cut and constructed my shadow bird panels. These panels will be sitting behind the glass of the window and will have the Neopixels and sensors placed behind them. At the start I thought I would cut my birds out of a white acrylic, but after looking at how much the white acrylic stood out against the glass; I was unsatisfied with this effect.
I wanted another panel which was a little more subtle and more suited to the large airy windows. I then investigated a couple of different techniques to make the transparent acrylic more cloudy. This was to make sure that the wires were unable to be seen through the acrylic. These techniques included using sand paper to create scratches in the surface, sand blasting the acrylic to create a more frosted look, a combination of the two and placing a thin layer of a sticker substance to give it that color. After testing was completed with my sample pieces seen below, I decided to go with the frosted sand blasted look.
After spending many hours sandblasting the acrylic, I finally ended up with this result.
After realizing that I could not get this acrylic much darker, I decided to double layer this acrylic. I felt that this would end up producing an even pattern and would create a really interesting effect. After another round of sand blasting and laser cutting, I then was able to combine the two to create the effect seen below.
And here is the two pieces in the window. I really like the 3D effect that can be created when the pieces are held in a specific spot. I also have tested these with the wires and they cannot be seen through it. I am really happy with these pieces as they took me a while but I think the results are really great.
I also spent time testing the arduino with my soldering work. My sensors and neopixels all work which is a great sign.
I have also realized after placing the panels into the space, that I will have to split up shadow birds even further. This is due to the space and wiring within the room. I cannot have wires within the room running from one side to the other.
The first part of the shadow birds, has one photocell, one of the panels and 6 neopixels with 3 on each bird. The second part of the shadow birds will have the other two photo cells with the other panel and 2 other 3D acrylic cut birds sitting on the side of the room. This panel will have only one neopixel per bird and 3 neopixels for each of the 3D birds. By the end of the week, I will have either the shadow Birds complete minus the 3D birds or very close to finished.