Build in Progress Sign

Build in Progress Sign

by blamb | updated May 23, 2014

We wanted to create something that highlights the Build in Progress website and what better way to do that than to make the logo!



Brainstorming and sketching began. The box design was deemed better than the rotating B, out of simplicityas well as looks. The box method also allows for the area behind the B to be color, which can be used to make the blue background that's on the logo.

Once this design was decided upon, materials were gathered:

  • Soldering Iron
  • Solder
  • Tape
  • Ruler
  • A box
  • X-acto Knife
  • Thread and Needle
  • Wires
  • Blue LEDs

May 22, 2014 at 3:18 PM
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I only wanted to have the open facing part of the box, so tha the B and the lights would be visible, so I cut the top cover of the box off. This cut off part could also be used to make the B shape, assuming you make it so that the white side of the cardboard is facing out.

I had made a traced out version of the b that I wanted to use. I would then apply this onto the cardboard top from the cover. I had cut the outline of the shape onto the cardboard. From there I had finished cutting out the b and cleaned off the edges and made it look more crisp. 

Everything was going well until I realized that I had cut the shape on the wrong side of the cardboard. This resulted in the white part of the cardboard showing a d instead of a b. This was a mistake on my part, though it's not infixable. 

May 22, 2014 at 3:59 PM
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I decided to keep the cardboard cut out of the b from before. I figured it shouldn't take too long of a fix to make the brown side of it white. I simply took the cutout, from the white paper, and used it as a mask on the b and just taped it on. It was a simply enough fix and it's not noticeable from a first glance.

May 22, 2014 at 4:26 PM
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There are a lot of LEGOS in the LEGO Lifelong Kindergarden and so I was thinking if that could be used to make the b. I tried it out and though, the colors are off, the main idea was still there. 

May 22, 2014 at 4:31 PM
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I got a print out of the logo and compared the cardboard and LEGO b to the b on the logo. I decided I would go with the cardboard b since it is thinner and can't be more accurately made to look like the logo's b. Cardboard is also a lighter material than LEGO and so it would create less of a strain for however I plan to attach the b to the box.

May 22, 2014 at 4:35 PM
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I decided to mark off what height levels I would want the LEDs and the cardboard b. I look and LED and a cell battery and found where it would created the best and most optimal light on the box. I determined that it was about 1.75 inches from the bottom of the box.

I then used that measurement to determine that the b would be well placed at 7/8 inches above that line. At this height the b doesn't interfere with the light from the LEDs. The LEDs also do a good job at highlighting the b and acting as the background, much like the blue in the logo does.

May 22, 2014 at 4:47 PM
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I changed the original design of the box from having an arbitrary number of LED lights to only 6. After doing some rough estimates of the size of the LED beam I saw that you could completely light up the box with just 6 LEDs, 2 along each of the sides and 1 along the top and bottom. 

I gathered the LEDs and began getting them in place of where I would want them, according to the diagram. I made it so that the positive Leds were all on the same side (as seen in the 4th picture). I did this to make it easier to solder and keep track of the LED and wires when it comes to connecting them.

May 22, 2014 at 4:52 PM
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It took me a while to decide where I would want the Arduino placed. I wanted it in a location that was easy to access for the battery and USB port so that it could be reprogrammed however you would want it. I also wanted to make the position easier for the input and output pins so that it will be easier when it comes to soldering the wires together.

I determined that the top right corner of the box was best. This allows for easy USB and batter plugging in as well as an easier way for the input and output pins to be organized. This is because I could bend all of the positive leads of the LEDs to be either towards the top or bottom of the box. This would then allow me to have all positive on the top of the box and the opposite lead on the opposite side of the box. 

May 22, 2014 at 5:01 PM
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Since I now knew where the Arduino would be placed, I tried to arrange which pins would go with which LEDs based on how far away each was from the Arduino.

As seen in the picture I assigned:

  • the bottom left LED (BL_led) to input/output pin 8
  • the top left LED (TL_led) to pin 9
  • the top  LED (T_led) to pin 10
  • the top right LED (TR_led) to pin 11
  • the bottom right LED (BR_led) to pin 12
  • and the bottom LED (B_led) to pin 13

Now that that was figured out I just had to get some wire and bend the pins to make it easier for when I go to solder. I bent all of the positive leads towards the input/output pins (near the top of the box) and the negative leads towards the ground pins (near the bottom of the box).

May 22, 2014 at 5:05 PM
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The wire I am using is made up of many thinner wires and when put all together is still very thing. Both of these factors make it difficult to place inside of the input/output slots of the Arduino. To fix this you can add a thin layer of solder along the wire that's going in to the input/output ports. This will thicken the wire and keep the thinner wires together,

From there I soldered the positive leads of the LEDs to the wire that goes to their assigned port. I started with the positive leads because It would consume the most amount of wires since every LED needs its own wire that goes all the way to the Arduino. 

After soldering all the positive leads to their wires, I worked on the negative ones. I decided to connect 3 LEDs to each of the grounds on that side of the Arduino board. The difficulty of this step arose from there needing to be 3 wires connected for most of the connections. This wasn't that hard to overcome once it was seen that the wires could be twisted together to act as if it were one wire. Once this is soldered on the connection works perfectly fine. 

I ran a quick test to make sure all the connections were done correctly and it worked for the most part. 

May 22, 2014 at 5:17 PM
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For the b I wanted to have it suspended in the air to give the impression that the blue background completely surrounds the letter. 

To do this I decided to use thread and hold up the letter with string tension. I used a needle to make the necessary holes to get the thread through the box as well as through the letter so that a knot could be tied. I taped the end of the thread after tying the knot so that I could still easily adjust the sting length and tension. I slowly worked my way around to all four sides of the letter and taped down the stings after finding the right amount of tension to make the b float where I wanted it to.

I only used 4 pieces of white string because I felt that if I used anymore the  strings might be too easily noticed when the LED lights are turned on. 

May 22, 2014 at 6:10 PM
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I wrote a quick code in the Arduino environment to light up the box. It just sets all the LEDs as outputs and then turns them on. It makes it have the solid background, as in the logo. It has a pretty good effect!

Design Files
May 22, 2014 at 6:33 PM
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I decided that the solid blue background was good but I wanted to see what else I could have it do to be more interesting. 

I changed the coding so that it would:

  • turn on for 1 second
  • turn off for half a second
  • turn on for 1 second
  • turn off for half a second
  • then turn each LED on starting with the bottom left LED and going around clockwise.

This would then loop around and repeat forever.

I think this makes the sign a bit more interesting and makes it cooler!

Design Files
May 22, 2014 at 6:43 PM
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