LED Throwie Laser Glasses


NYE UV LED laser glasses (final version)

This project was an adventure to say the least. The ideation was much longer than typically allow. Inspiration came from:

v1LED throwie laser glasses v3.2.2LED laser glasses (thing:5405)

Truth be told I did complete something cool, but it was only the beginning. It was Christmas day. I was on server watch for my company (we doubled our traffic that day). I had my folks in town. What better place to entertain them while maintaining vigilance then at @crashspacela ?  This first pair of glasses made a great demo of the power of open hardware and our tools at crashspace. I designed and lased out the pair while we were skyping with far away friends.

kittyinternal reflection is sweeeeeeetkelly

I already knew I’d be iterating on the design to add LEDs similarly to how Bkubicek had, but my folk were hungry and we had Xmas dinner to attend to. After I safely put my folks to bed that night I went out dancing with some friends and blacklights. Immediately start discovering other necessary improvements that were sorely needed. The wire joints broke. They didn’t stay on ones face. The florescent orange acrylic turns kinda green in a nice mercury vapor black light. Even given this initially failed first attempt people loved it.

roboa clip for a throwie switchme_wShariAndLaserGlasses

On sunday, I was back at the space designing the LED holding portion and a new joint. The joint proved very weak, so I opted for thicker acrylic.  The local plastic shop was again open on Monday, so I grabbed some 1/4 inch florescent red. At this point I realized I lacked any UV LEDs and started begging everyone I knew to scrounge some up. I started taking stock in all the other parts I’d need to complete a single pair to figure how many I could make. At this point we had plenty of flashing and orange LEDs on hand, so I knew in the worst case it wouldn’t be an issue. My limiting part turned out to be the CR2032 batteries of which each pair requires two. I could grab some at radio shack or whereever, but the cost online is about 90% less so didn’t feel like rewarding the locals for their gouging. Luckily I happen to have 16 of these so 8 pairs were possible. Definitely enough for a sizable NYE crew.

Tuesday I was back in the lab design the LED holder with the 1/4 inch acrylic, tuning the battery placement, adding an option gusset, and adding a hole for a strap. This makes em a little more like goggles. I came out with the lased parts for single pair pretty close to final.

Wednesday I was working on sourcing LEDs and straps and figuring how to best tie a strap conveniently.On a trip to the $99 cent store where there was rumored to be some sweet day-glo glasses straps. The straps didn’t work at all, but in my searching I found these little plastic clips. I’m clueless as to what for they’re originally intended. They make a nice battery clip and switch. Bonus! Again I brought out a pair to show and pass around. Again they broke. I decided then to thicken the arm piece to completely enclose the battery.

Thursday, I lased parts for all 8 pairs and on the way out of the space I found someone had left me UV LEDs. I love my hackspace! I had to help with the decorations for a NYE event, so ran off to that. I brought along enough parts to complete a single pair and it took a lot longer to assemble than I’d hoped. I again found an opportunity to gift a pair and road test. Success! no breakage. Given that it took a while to assembly I was up that night tying the knots, force fitting LEDs, and taping batteries in place. Good times!


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    • i thought i was telling people how to make ’em by including vector files on thingiverse. any specifics i could be clearer on? or photos missing that might make this a more complete tutorial?

      regardless, i’d be happy to teach a class if you want to help promote. im planning to bundle a couple as kits for our store.

      thanks, matt

  1. the LED can come in any color you have. I made them with orange, pink, purple, and only a couple pairs with the UV LEDs. It turns out the super dangerous LEDs are quite expensive as well.

    make some and share your photos!

    thanks, matt

  2. Pingback: Crash Space » Blog Archive » TONIGHT! e-textiles show & tell

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