RGB shoji lamp
This write-up is long overdue, but better now than not now.
I made a Japanese-style shoji lamp for my sister as a Christmas present. (Or at least that’s what they’re often called; I don’t know if it’s an authentic use of the word “shōji”.)
The frame is made of laser-cut wood, from a pattern based on the ones in this instructable. I “stained” it using this Minwax Express Color stuff, in Onyx, because I was in a hurry (though black paint probably would have looked about the same). To the back of the frames, I glued rice paper (washi). (It might not actually be made from rice.)
The lamp lights up in any color you want, including purple.
This is how you control it:
The buttons on the left select among different modes: cycling colors, solid color, flickering, and off. The sliders on the right allow you to choose the color of the solid and flickering modes by adjusting the intensity of the red, green, and blue light.
And this is how it looks inside:
That’s an RGB LED module in the middle, driven by a ShiftBar (both made by macetech). One of Pololu’s 12-channel Mini Maestro servo controllers on the right runs the whole show by reading the sliders and buttons and sending commands to the ShiftBar.
The cover for the buttons is made from a piece of acrylic with laser-etched markings. Each button has two slits cut on either side, forming a tab that flexes when pressed and activates the actual pushbutton underneath.
Putting this thing together was kind of an ordeal, requiring some pounding with a rubber mallet. Then I had to take it back apart, pack it up to take on a flight (fortunately airport security didn’t give me any trouble about it), and assemble it again before wrapping it up.
Here is a video of the whole thing in action:
And here is the Maestro settings file.
(Thanks to Sheila, Pololu’s graphic designer/photographer, for taking most of these pictures and making the video.)