Streamlining and redesign
I know it's been a while since my last post (over a month now), and progress is going very slowly right now. But there has been at least some progress, even though I haven't been updating the blog.
I have been talking with a friend of mine (let's call him Todd) about how to make the wall faster, cheaper, easier, lighter, and better. We came up with quite a few different ideas about what to do.
One of the biggest changes that Todd suggested was making everything less custom. His suggestion for the pixel walls was to use lots of pieces, all the same size, and all just a single pixel side long. This is a shift from the current method, which involves cutting lengths of 1, 2, 3, etc (up to 8 for the wall as it exists right now). The assembly then becomes slightly different, as I need the help of one or more jigs that hold the pieces in place as they're glued together.
Another big change we identified that positively affects price (cheaper!) and weight (lighter!) was using foam board instead of plywood for the pixel divisions. Similar to a honeycomb, many pieces of the relatively-weak foam board reinforce each other and create a rigid whole.
I found 1/4" self-adhesive velcro online, so I won't have to deal with cutting many yards of that stuff any more. The only cuts I might have to do are the edging pieces, which are small in number compared to the rest.
We also talked about many different things to test with the small 20-pixel box I'm currently making. For example:
- Do 3-color LEDs work just as well (or better) than 3 discrete LEDs? (They're certainly cheaper)
- Does a completely reflective surface work better than a flat, semi-glossy, or glossy white surface?
- Are there better or easier mounting locations for the LEDs other than the center?
- Side mounting
- Vertical orientation mounted in the floor
- Angled into the bottom, for better diffusion
- Can electronics be hidden inside the pixels without adversely affecting the color distribution? How much before it does?