Snowden Immortalized As Bond Villain In Edge-Lit Acrylic Poster


[Wilywyrm] needed to come up with a final project for art class that commented on a social issue. Healthcare, schmealthcare, he said, and busted out this movie poster about the NSA spying scandal instead.

The circuit uses three extended-duty astable 555 timers to control the brightness of the 5050 RGB common-anode LED strips that run up the sides of the 24″ x 12″ x 1/4″ acrylic panels. Each of the three panels was laser-engraved at 600 DPI on an Epilog laser engraver and features a different aspect of the poster. There’s one for Snowden, one for Daniel Craig, and one for the text.

[Wilywyrm] tied the color channels together in the first panel to output white light. He used red for the second panel and blue for the third. A complete list of parts with build notes is available on his Google Drive. [Wilywyrm]’s notes include improvement ideas, like making all the RGB strips color-adjustable with more 555s or a microcontroller and timers.

Perhaps [Wilywyrm] could get into the clear whiteboard business after college.

12 thoughts on “Snowden Immortalized As Bond Villain In Edge-Lit Acrylic Poster

    1. You’re not. When I walked into the storeroom to get resistors, the guy on duty suggested using something besides a 555 (I think he said schmitt triggers, and even warned me about pin 7 shorting), but I have a tube of them and they were all I knew how to use, so I went with them. Now that I have time to look into it, these triggers are so much simpler. Probably should’ve used them, would have cut down on parts too.

    2. I make oscillators out of what’s available as in uncommitted gates or
      parts that fits my requirement. I think I have only used the 555 timers
      a handful of times in the last 10 years.

      Interesting part I have used: TI’s TPS2811, Dual 2A (peak) MOSFET gate
      driver with 40V regulator and hysteresis (aka schmitt trigger).
      I used that to generate low duty cycle pulses to drive a MOSFET in a
      fast transient loads (50A/us) for testing power supplies.

  1. Great job! (though, “not a hack!” ;)

    Suggestions for improvements (some impractical):
    1. More of a margin around the edges, which would help when you…
    2. Reduce/eliminate the light leaks
    3. AR coating on the PMMA (to reduce/eliminate the “infinity mirror” effect)

    For #3, you might try contacting Ben Krasnow ;)

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