Color Changing Door Handles

This color changing door handle was made using a very simple manufacturing process. [Barmak] already had experience working with polyester resins when making passive component filled drawer pulls (he included a couple of pictures at the end of his post). The same process was used here except that instead making it from one solid chunk of clear resin he decided to use alternating layers of dyed resin.

The build begins with a mold made out of MDF. This material has a very smooth surface finish which will help with the final look of the door handle. Threaded rod is inserted through carefully placed holes in the side of the mold — these will serve as the mounting hardware when complete. He then pours thin coats of resin to build up the complete handle.

An RGB LED strip is incorporated in the side of the handle that will go toward the door. It seems like the wires to control the device pass through a hollow spacer surrounding the threaded rod. He makes some mention of using a 555 timer to control the colors, but there’s not much more information than that. Still, the reflected light is a unique feature if you’ve got a place in your home that needs to be spiced up.

Once you’re done, you can use any leftover resin to make your own project boxes.

22 thoughts on “Color Changing Door Handles

  1. Would be so awesome with a security system. I do however think the light is to bright against the door, would prefer the actual handle just glowing (maybe add that “pulsing glow” too?)

    Anyway, it’s a great door handle none of the less. Very cool compared to that standard crap you take for granted each and every day.

      1. It has been done and the commercial version is extremely expensive…like eyepopping expensive.

        But yeah a DIY version would be neat :) I’d just make it glow red if busy so it doesn’t use power glowing green most of the day.

  2. sweet, maybe alternating colors to let you know who’s home and who isn’t.
    Black (un-lit)for no one home, Blue for daddy’s home, Pink for Mommy, different color for each child…

  3. Might be nice for a lab/workshop. Green for nothing dangerous in progress, yellow for dangerous experiment under construction/takedown, and red for lasers/high voltage/etc. currently in use.

  4. would be great for a recording studio.

    Green – off air
    Red – on air
    Orange – commercial break(bathroom break)
    Purple – We jamming(listening to music or pre recorded audio)

    and so on.

  5. Playing with polyester resin is fun and little bit dangerous. You must use protective gear, work in a place with good fresh air flow and have a good water supply near by. Some countries may ask you special permission to transport and buy resin. Brazil is not one of those countries.

    I don’t know, but for some reason that last line made me laugh a bit.

  6. I’m thinking a 555 clocking a 3-bit binary counter to generate 000 through 111 with the appropriate capacitive driver attached would generate a nice effect. It would be like the “breathing” LED’s but would fade between 8 different colors. And you could build a ripple counter out of 555’s if you have a bunch ;-) I designed one of these with a decade counter so I know it works. To get infinite colors I think I would just buy a BlinkM or MaxM and wire that in with a program, especially if it needs to communicate specific colors at different times.

  7. did something small scale back in school like this. except we had to use sheets of plastic and layered them together then had to router out the holes for lights. Cool project, the resin layers seam like they would hold up much better then glued layers over time.

  8. Similar to jeicrash, at school we made key rings by gluing and clamping layers of acrylic scrap together, then cutting and polishing it. It looked exactly like this, but a lot smaller. The finished product was pretty much indestructible.

    With a bit of thought you could layer in a pocket in one of many ways, and it might be easier than mixing resin and waiting for it set.

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