Way back when I was starting this site, I figured out how to print an icosahedron, or d20, in pieces. Up until now, I haven’t had much motivation to use that model for much else. Until I came across these solar puck lights to add some color to my outdoor space. With that, I figured I’d add some geeky lawn lighting to my place.
This part was easy since I’m basically recreating what I did originally. A bit different scale, but same process. The main difference is that this time I need to split it into smaller pieces to actually fit on my printer. So, each triangle is now comprised of 3 sides that I’ll put together during assembly. Many hours of printing later, I have 60 of these pieces, to make 20 sides.
At the same time, I also need the faces to fill in the triangles. I used clear acrylic which I laser cut into appropriately sized equilateral triangles. You’ll need 19 of these since the base doesn’t need to be sealed.
First things first, remove any masking you have from the triangles and sand them with 400 grit sandpaper. What this is going to do is scuff up the surface so it acts to diffuse the light rather than just let you see through it. I only did one side of each panel, but I wish I’d done both. Using different grits will probably yield different results.
Ugh. This part sucked. Just like the original project, blue tape is the temporary binding method to secure things together. Unlike the original, this one is held together with a boat-load of hot glue, as it should be weather safe. I started by putting all the individual panels together. Three side pieces, one triangular panel, and a bunch of hot glue should give you one side.
Once you have all the sides, keep going. A little bit of blue tape to help hold edges together while you hot glue the panels at an angle. I batched this out by bonding two panels at a time to make diamond shapes pieces. Then two of those together, and repeating, until I had the whole thing assembled.
The surprising thing for me is that this whole thing was super flimsy until it was done. Once I attached the final side, it was suddenly so much more stable. Glad I didn’t give up halfway through, that’s for sure. Towards the end, I did find myself flexing the whole structure a bit to attach new sides, but this was really about removing the wiggle room that was making it feel so flimsy. Also, it’s gigantic, even compared to what I had in mind. But I needed to fit a relatively large light under it, so I guess I deserve it.
Geeky Lawn Lighting Achieved
With an assembled die, all that’s left is to set my geeky lawn lighting up outside. I took the puck light and the die outside at dusk and put them in place. They basically just sit on the ground but could be raised up with stakes if I change my mind. And that’s it. I’m considering a whole dice set to light up my lawn, but for now, this was a fun one-off project.
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