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 ( http://kaleidographtoy.com/ ) 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 ( http://kaleidographtoy.com/opart )
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
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 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 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