So these are the bits I’ve been waiting forever to get around to having machined. These will be used to mount the LED modules within the outer tube, a vast improvement from the old ways of epoxying them directly to support rods! I’ve included a few photos to show the idea from SketchUp to semi-finished product…

Read On…

This is the initial SketchUp model, used to sharpen up the idea of the shape needed. A hand drawn sketch is nice, but SketchUp lets you put things into real perspective with ease. It lets you easily check certain ideas, like the use of cuts for easy cable access, and the spacing of support rods in-between each module.

On the left, the first mock-up piece, carved from Acetal-C rod,with a high-speed flute cutter and a powerful Dremmel tool (Actually easier than I’d imagined, but not enjoyable!). Once I had this, I did a quick sketch with some dimensions and went over to a local CNC engineering firm. 2 days later, I picked up this lot.

In the middle, a side-profile of the machined piece, And on the right, the new piece with LED modules installed.

A close up of the semi-finished module, with LED module attached. The remaining work includes drilling the support rod mounting holes, and milling away the cable access slots.

I was slightly worried about the constant diameter of the tube itself, and the resultant fit of the LED support, but it’s actually a lot better than I’d hoped!