The Light Box

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For those interested in seeing how I brought this beauty to be, here is the link for my instructables:

This project has been incredibly challenging and in my opinion was doomed from the beginning. The box itself took me 7 attempts to get right and I must say I am really extactic with the result ! I learned a lot in the process and would like to thank my Mentor David Thonis for his efforts to show me the way when all was lost.

Apart from the box, I faced electronic challenges of all sorts and sizes and ended up with my project failing in the evening before the final presentation, blowing up the audio from my macbook pro. This was due to the constant failure of the first pixel, which first caused me a three week headache and then failed me again and again on the final evening. The MSGEQ7 chip is also extremely sensitive and I worked my way through two of them throughout the project.

However, I can say that although this has all occurred, I am looking forward to pursuing this project further. I intend to add bluetooth to allow the music to play wirelessly, add an op amp to level out the music to ensure the lighting is correct, playing with filters and fast fourier transforms to create more elegant, futuristic displays, adding a external power supply and revolutionizing the shape. Additionally, I intend to investigate the scene more, learn and interact with more artists and will consider developing a new kind of music performance with this technology.

This project has been a roller coaster from start to finish and I don’t doubt it will remain to be so until I perfect its art. However, nonetheless I l am greatful for the journey and pleased with the outcome. I look forward to sharing the future project with Becky and the SVAPoD class in the upcoming year.

Final Project Ideas (Oscar de la Hera Gomez)

Evening Ladies and Gents !

This is going to be a hell of a class and for those that are reading in, check out the rest. Some great concepts ! Today’s blog post is a dive into the ideas that were generated for the final project for SVA’s ProductsOfDesign Making Studio Class. Here we go !

I personally found the conception of the ideas for this project rather difficult. I wanted to create something useful, that I would use and want and that would have an impact as well as serve as a good instructable. So after a range of brainstorms into fields, from football to culture to travel, I placed my eyes on my computer and realised the answer was right in front of my eyes… Music.

The following concepts were generated with the idea of creating a system that would register the BPM produced by the music playing and create a light show in reaction to these elements. The way of achieving this was yet not clear and after further research it was decided that I would use an MSGEQ7 chip to separate the music into frequencies and react to these relatively. Below are the three concepts that were generated!

Please note that the components that are believed to be required for each concept are demonstrated in the drawing below.

Concepto Numero Uno : El Brazalete

‘El Brazalete’ was generated with the vision of delivering a neat wearable to the party people around the world. A neat, slim bracelet that would light up in reaction to the music through an LED strip, giving a subtle power to the holder.


Concepto Numero Dos : La Cupula

‘La Cupula’  is a small desk accessory that would sit on your desk and would change colours according to the music that was played. Additionally, ‘La Cupula’ would include a IR sensor that would activate a programmed light effect by maintained your hand on the IR sensor for a period of time.


Concepto Numero Tres : ‘El Obelisko’

‘El Obelisko’ is the third and final concept for the final project and consists of a acrylic pyramid that would be covered by a series of 3D printed elements creating a pattern on the outside of the pyramid. Then, using a series of LED lights and an MSGEQ7 chip in combination with an audio input, the pyramid would light up and react in reaction to the music.


Final Chosen Concept: The Obelisk (The Pyramid in Drawing)

Game on !


Light Slide (Oscar de la Hera Gomez)

Greetings !

Todays project concept was to create an innovative switch that activates when a ball passes by it. This idea was originally inspired by the following video, which incentivised me to create an electronic musical ball slide, which would activate when the ball would hit the step, causing the step to light up.

The initial project sketches for the musical slide are shown below and involved a series of components which would act as support for the slide. LED strips would be placed in a smaller inner piece, which would be activated via Arduino when the infrared sensors would be triggered. This inner piece was split into two parts to ensure that it could be supported by the inner structure. Additionally,  the components that would hold this inner piece would include a small hole at the bottom of the frame, to allow the wires to go through, with the intention of cloaking the majority of the design.



The components were then designed in Illustrator to the measurements from the sketches and were laser cut to ensure maximum accuracy. The results of this process is shown below !


The next stage of the process was the most challenging of all. How would I bend the plastic to ensure that it would match the laser cut curve ? Although I admit that I should have first bent the plastic and then laser cut the curve, I must say that this experience was extremely rewarding and satisfying. The process shown below demonstrates how the curve was achieved and is the result of four attempts !

The ‘centerpiece’ was place between a jig in such a way that the curve start point would match the edge of the jig. The piece was duct taped to the jig to ensure that little movement would occur.

Placing the Center Piece

The pipe was the attached to the jig and was placed in such a way that the centreline matches the line drawn of on the on the centrepiece. The piece was then heated up until it began to bend and was then adjusted very slowly, applying pressure from ‘centreline’-up to ensure a perfect bend.

Heating the centrepiece

For those attempting to replicate this process, please be patient. One must heat up and cool down the component various times to ensure a perfect curve. The result of this process is shown below.

That curve.

And as promised, the curves matches the bend !


Aligned to perfection.

It was at this point that I had to redesign the slide as the initial components would not allow the infrared components to sit at the right points. So I decided to scrap the inner components and go for a hollow design. Additionally, due to budget issues I decided to use big LEDs instead of LED strips as they would not require an alternate 12 V power source and could run of my computer power. Finally, due to losing my code in the last second I could not include the musical effect when the lights were triggered.

The next step involved putting all the pieces together. This was done using a duct tape to hold the piece at the right place and a glue gun to stick the parts together.

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The components were then soldered to wires and were taped onto the holes to ensure that I could reuse the components at a later date. The LEDs where then also soldered onto wires and taped on off the sensors to allow them to hang off in the air, in the middle of the design, allowing maximum illumination.

Soldering the LEDs

Here is the final result!

Dutch Twilight Cushion

The ‘Dutch Twilight Cushion’ is a plush night-light designed to represent ‘Oranje’, Holland’s national football team and is aimed at combating children’s fear of the dark by providing a dim, comforting, source of light when the child hugs the cushion during their sleep. Alternatively, it serves the purpose of demonstrating a child’s support for Oranje, if the child is watching them play on a TV.

According to research by the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center and The Childrens hospital of Philadelphia, the amount of light that penetrates a child’s eyelids during sleep affects their eye growth and refractive development and can result in a child developing myopia (nearsightedness). On the other hand, the Cleveland clinic suggests that a night-light can be fundamental in reassuring a child in the dark. Thus, in the light of this research, the ‘Dutch Twilight Cushion’ was designed to provide a dim, comforting, source of light that would wrap around a child’s body, whilst greatly reducing the light radiation around a child’s face.

The design, which was entirely hand sown, is composed of a small, elastic, orange fabric, which is stuffed with poly-fill. The electronics that drive the system are found within the poly-fill and consists of ten LEDs, two 3V CR2032 Duracell batteries and a momentary switch. These electronic can be broken down into three components: a power source, a light source and a momentary switch; which are soldered together, integrating the momentary switch between the negative ends of the power source and light source.

Images of the process and final image can be found  below:



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Plush NightLlight Concept Sketches (Oscar de la Hera Gomez)

After brainstorming a series of ideas from the Santiago Bernabeu, through to Lightsabers and finally Atlas. I decided upon the following three ideas: 070, España and a Real Madrid Nightlight. Please note that all the night lights include a LCD clock display.


070 – The area code of The Hague (Netherlands) is a combination of digits that has always meant a lot to me and thus I designed this nightlight to have these three numbers in the three colours that represent the (sexiest) away kit of the dutch national team – Orange and Black – two colours that fit the area code nicely. To this I would laser cut delasign in an designed font as well as Den Haag as well as a series of names around the base, as a reminder of my roots. Finally, the design would die down as the sun rises and would include an on/off switch (maintained press) that would allow it to turn on as well as to change LED mode (single press).


España – Inspired by the original logo by Joan Miro would be a nightlight that would be mounted on a wooden base, which would have the same features described above. The discs, arc and star would be made out of acrylic/plexiglass and would be covered in a fabric to make it soft as well as to resemble the colour demonstrated in the images. These colours would represent Spain and the base would represent the cities that mean the most to me. Finally, as demonstrated in the image, these discs, arcs and star would be mounted on poles that would allow the nightlight to rotate, causing a ‘Gyro-scopic’ style motion.


Real Madrid Nightlight – The Real Madrid nightlight is inspired by a investment banking ‘tombstone’ and the logo that sits on the Santiago Bernabeu (the front of the stadium). This ‘tombstone’ would be made of glass/acrylic and sit onto of a prism that would cause the light to flash out in all directions. The Real Madrid logo, the number 11 as well as a series of features would be engraved onto the ‘tombstone’ using laser cutting and would sit on a plastic base that would be covered in a fabric. The nightlight would carry the same features described in the above two, with the difference that the tap of the on switch would cause the LEDs to flash from one side to another and would include a custom jingle that could be heard when pressing a button found on the base of the nightlight.

I look forward to making one of these !