Acrylic Kaleido-Toy
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Joined Dec 7, '15 

I saw an awesome “toy” online that I though about getting, and also thought would be great for our nephews for Christmas. It’s called Kaleidograph ( ) which is a modern take on ages old kaleidoscopic art devices. They are multiple sheets of colored or patterned paper with symmetric shapes cut out, allowing you to stack them in a paper holder to create billions of kaleidoscopic designs. I particularly love their OpArt version ( )

Anyway, I showed my wife and she said “Paper? No. You know George and James will destroy those.” She’s absolutely correct, so it looks like I’ll only be buying myself a set :wink:

But I said to myself “I bet I could make a version for them out of acrylic, and use all sorts of fancy acrylics at that!”

So I did!

These are way sturdier than paper sheets in the hands of 3-4 year olds, and have the added bonus of being able to use them as tracing toys (thanks to a friend pointing out her son would do that with them).

I designed the holder and the plates in Fusion 360, with the sides of the holder being made up of layers of thin edge slices. The plates are 5 inches across with a 5.5 inch wide holder. I made all corners rounded at least 2mm to have no sharp edges, and hand-sanded the wood edges to be smooth as well. I made the holder out of :proofgrade: draftboard painted black as a test instead of black acrylic; I prefer the mix of textures between the wood and acrylic.

While this one is just a prototype, I’ll be making the final plates (with some different designs) out of a rainbow assortment of frosted, iridescent, and mirror acrylics from Inventables, along with :proofgrade: clear frosted. I’ll probably keep the holder draftboard, but might go with an unfinished hardwood for the front and back layers.

I’m also working on a version with JUST clear acrylic plates, with each one having different engraved or scored patterns, and perhaps LEDs in the holder to edge light them… I’ll keep you posted :wink:

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