[Caleb Kraft] Brings Us The Moon, On A Budget

As you might expect from one of our most illustrious alumni, [Caleb Kraft] is a rather creative fellow. Over the years he’s created some absolutely phenomenal projects using CNC routers, 3D printers, laser cutters, and all the other cool toys the modern hacker has access to. But for his latest project, a celebration of the full Moon, he challenged himself to go low-tech. The Moon is something that anyone on Earth can look up and enjoy, so it seemed only fitting that this project should be as accessible to others as possible.

[Caleb] started this project by looking for high-resolution images of the Moon, which was easy enough. He was even able to find sign shops that were more than happy to print a giant version for him. Unfortunately, the prices he was quoted were equally gargantuan. To really be something that anyone could do, this project needed to not only be easy, but as affordable as possible. But where do you get a giant picture of the Moon for cheap?

He eventually found a source for Moon shower curtains (we told you he was creative), which fit the bill perfectly. [Caleb] says they aren’t nearly as detailed as the original images he found, but unless you’ve got your face pressed up against it you’ll never notice anyway. To make the round frame, he used PEX tubing from the hardware store and simply stapled the curtain directly to the soft plastic. The hardest part of the whole project is arguably getting the curtain flat and taut on the PEX ring.

Technically you could stop now and have a pretty slick piece of art to hang on your wall, but [Caleb] took the idea a bit farther and put a strip of RGB LEDs along the inside of the ring. The shower curtain material does a decent enough job of diffusing the light of the LEDs to make it look pretty good, though there’s certainly some room for improvement if you want to get a more even effect over the entire surface. While you’re at it, you might as well add in some additional electronics so the lighting matches the current phase of the real-life Moon.

On the other hand, if you’re willing to settle for a far more diminutive version of Luna and don’t mind using those highfalutin hacker tools that [Caleb] decided to avoid for the good of mankind, we’ve got a project you might be interested in.

17 thoughts on “[Caleb Kraft] Brings Us The Moon, On A Budget

  1. I wonder how evenly an edge-light sand-blasted, sanded or otherwise roughed up piece of acrylic plastic would be across that area. Would be awesome to light it up from behind a diffusor with addressable LEDs so you could vary the light throughout the months to match the real thing.

    Pretty cool project, would love to make something like that for my Son’s room.

  2. I found a large LED lit cracked screen TV and removed the LCD and was left with a super uniform white light. It took a bit of sleuthing to make it stay on, three 3.3 volt lines when there is only 5 volts on the power and light board. The 3.3v comes from the video CPU board which I want to discard. Take one or more apart and get ideas for light diffusion. The LED’s inside are mushroom cap shaped and throw most of their light out sideways and are in rows across the space. This arrangement could be broken up and combined into the larger round form factor.

    The older way would be to edge light plexiglass and have frosted spots in greater density where the light fades due to distance from the lights. Well this was the way it was done in a nearly new 22 inch monitor that I got due to a fall. There is only one strip on LED’s on one side, so it’s light has to go across the wide screen. It had the vary-dots. I cut it down to make an under shelf light strip to pour high quality light onto the bench.

    Keep children away form flat screens, a friend just had it happen. So I will be making another light panel. It’s like a north facing window on a sunny day, except downunda. Signage on one is a great advert possibility.

  3. Cool but it should be on the ceiling, maybe powered from a light socket. And if you hand it from the ceiling it would even bow down slightly to give a more 3D effect.

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