Side lit frosted acrylic/perspex/polycarbonate ping pong tab

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crx091081gb
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Side lit frosted acrylic/perspex/polycarbonate ping pong tab

Post by crx091081gb »

Hi, I'm an installation artist and I'm trying to work out the feasibility of constructing a frosted perspex ping pong table with side mounted inward facing LEDS (I'm aiming for the same effect you see in posh bars).

I was aiming to use an existing fold up ping pong table frame, these use two panels (that I would replace with the frosted acrylic) and have two supports for each panel that run parallel to the length of the table a quarter of the width in on either side. I've uploaded a picture of the table I'm thinking of basing it round.

My question is what kind of acrylic should I be using and how thick should I make it?

I've heard that polycarbonate might be better for this as it's shatterproof (the piece is intended for use - it lights up and makes sound whenever the ball hits off it and in my experience with the prototype I noticed that children especially enjoyed hitting it so it will have to be reasonably resilient).

The edge of the table will probably feature some kind of aluminium coping to cover/heatsink the LEDS and give a smart finish, it would also ideally give some further degree of rigidity.

I'm also interested if anyone's had any experience with light diffusion through frosted acrylic as I've read various reports involving making the underside concave (though quite how this wil work with the supports is something I've yet to work out).

Here's a video of the less exciting wooden prototype that just bounces the light off the floor (skip nearer the end to see how it looked at night when the LEDS were more impressive).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7TbM9LhGwQ
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OnFirePhotography
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Re: Side lit frosted acrylic/perspex/polycarbonate ping pong

Post by OnFirePhotography »

polycarbonate would be better in terms of strength, non shattering and scratch resistance but as the edges cant be polished the light doesnt shine through the edge very well, where as perspex can be polished and does give a great effect( done it dozens of times for exhibitions) although one knock with a ping pong bat and the whole thing will chip or shatter.
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Re: Side lit frosted acrylic/perspex/polycarbonate ping pong

Post by crx091081gb »

I've been thinking about it and I think it's going to have to be polycarbonate probably mounted on another light defusing material perhaps recycled from an advertising lightbox. I think I'll have to ditch side lighting and backlight it.

What kind of poly carbonate thickness do you think would be adequate?
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Re: Side lit frosted acrylic/perspex/polycarbonate ping pong

Post by kellys_eye »

You won't get the full width of a ping pong table without intermediate supports which would cast shadows if it was edge-lit. Unless the covering was inordinately thick!

Back lit would be the way to go.

Might I suggest a board covered with half ping pong balls each holding an RGB LED with perspex laid over the top. The ping pong balls will support the top layer, diffuse the light and can be programmed like a giant 'icon'.
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Re: Side lit frosted acrylic/perspex/polycarbonate ping pong

Post by crx091081gb »

Ooh kellys_eye, that is a fun idea. You've set my mind racing....
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Re: Side lit frosted acrylic/perspex/polycarbonate ping pong

Post by kellys_eye »

My bill is in the post........ :mrgreen:
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