Making A Giant Illuminated Rubix Cube With Perspex Sheets
Leicestershire’s International Scout and Guide Camp at Charnwood is now well under way. The camp happens once every five years and attracts Scouts and Guides from all over the world. Every five years they pick a theme for the week, this year the theme is 'entertainment across the decades'. The main theme has been broken into sub-camps; the fabulous '50s, the swinging '60s, the smashing '70s, the epic '80s, the noisy '90s and the non stop '00s.

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Geoff Hampson, one of our company directors, was charged with designing and building something iconic from the epic '80s. There are many things that spring to mind when you think about the '80s but if you were at school during this period, as I was, then you undoubtedly have a lot of memories of the Rubix cube craze. Challenge accepted!

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The Design Stage:

The design stage was split into two distinct parts; the first was conducted over a pint in the local. Geoff and Dr. Simon Parr, one of the team running the 80's sub camp, talked over the idea and mapped out a rough plan on a piece of paper. Geoff then went home and fired up his PC to do the actual CAD design. 

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The Materials Used:

The frame was made of laser plywood with wooden batons in the corners to keep the structure rigid. The frosted acrylic sheets for the coloured squares were very kindly donated, free of charge, by Perspex Distribution.

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The Plywood sides were straightforward to make, a little bit of time on one of the Kitronik laser cutters and hey presto, done.


The Perspex sheets presented much more of a challenge. As Perspex Distribution kindly donated the sheets for free we didn't feel like pushing our luck by insisting on our usual sheets sizes so the perspex sheets were too large for our laser cutters to handle. A lot of scoring and cutting later and the Perspex sheets were cut to a more manageable size and put on the laser cutter.

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Lighting The Rubix Cube:

The internal lighting for the Rubix cube was provided by 20 Festoon lights. As you can see from the picture above, they look a little like large Christmas tree light's, each light resembling a golf ball in size and general shape. The lights can be used indoors or outside and provide plenty of light for the task in hand.

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All that remained to do was to hand paint the cube to provide the finishing touches, which sounds quite simple but also proved to be quite challenging. As you can see below, the end result looks quite effective. In the first of the pictures below there is a real Rubix cube sat on top of Geoff's creation so you can get an idea of the scale, click the image to see a larger version.
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