So here’s my budget UV curing box (or in this case, Jar) project.
- One roll of Duct tape or similar tape (a mostly-used-up roll would be enough, so at most a dollar or so worth of tape)
- One suitably sized clear lexan/glass/acrylic container (I bought this one at Bed, Bath & Beyond for $19)
- One string of near-UV blue 405nm 12V LEDs (I bought this one at a local electronics supply store for $20)
- One roll of Reynold’s Wrap or other shiny metallic foil (cost would be pennies if I hadn’t “liberated” some from my Wife’s supply in the Kitchen)
- One 12V power supply (had lying around but a suitable one can be bought at a place like Radio Shack for less than $10).
Start by tacking one end of the LED string to the bottom of the jar and then spiral the string around the jar as many times as it takes to use up the entire string of LEDs. Keep the tension fairly high as you wrap the LEDs and make sure the LEDs face inward. Don’t worry about spacing between wraps, once you’ve wrapped the entire LED string and tacked the other end down you can slide the wraps up/down to space them fairly evenly.
Then, tear off a sheet of foil sufficient to wrap once around the outside of the jar.
Wrap said foil around outside of jar (shiny side in). Use more Duct Tape to hold things down as you go (it helps to tear off a bunch of smaller pieces you can use, before you actually start wrapping things).
Then, because Aluminum Foil isn’t very “robust”, wrap the entire thing in some additional Duct Tape
Then, put some Foil in the lid, too.
Then, attach a 12V power supply and turn it on (at 24 Watts, this LED string needs 2A, I’m using an old 12V Switching Supply I had laying around, but any 12V supply capable of 2 Amps would work, which includes many wall-wart type supplies).
Ooooh! See inside! I can imagine they have something at CERN that looks like this when it’s powered up…
And a picture of a part getting all UV irradiated and fluorescing to show there’s a good amount of light hitting all surfaces. Looks like it’s in a psychedelic scanning electron microscope. Cool!
The part came out looking to be completely cured after about an hour, though I didn’t do any careful timing I suspect it would have been fine with less time.
The label from the bag of LEDs
And the label from the container/jar, which you can see is more than enough for the build volume of the Form1!