That sign is a bit of a curious case. I’ve tried with a bigger fluoro behind it, which seems to work well (rather than the dinky LED strip there at the moment). Front lighting will also work, just need waterproof lights. One issue with the current sign is the letters aren’t overly clear, and even when lit well are somewhat hard to read.

Who wants to make a new, bigger, readable sign?

I’d love to do edge lit acrylic using a full sheet for each letter, but thats a hella expensive sign, haha.

Perhaps we could go for something a bit cheaper? Most LCD TV’s have a white polycarbonate diffuser in them the same size as the screen. If we could grab a heap of big dead LCD’s there’s our material source. Laser cutter mightn’t like that much however.

I’ve been thinking about this too. Build a 400mW diode laser without the collimating lens (giving you a 30 degree spread). Fire the laser through a black and white microfilm of the HSBNE logo and you’ve got a projected sign. Make the microfilm into a windmill and you’ve got a spinning logo sign. Zoom by moving the laser. A focus lens is unnecessary with a true point light source.

Making the microfilm is very easy. Just print out a negative of the logo, photograph it with a disposable camera, and trim down the negative (now a positive) after developing.

I really, really, really don’t think we should be installing hacked-together high-powered lasers around the space as permanent infrastructure (or even just for a temporary art display). Even if you’re doing it completely safely, properly & by the book. I think it’s a very bad idea.


I have often thought the HSBNE sign on top of the blacksmithing area facing the road needs to be lit from the front rather than backlit…

Also to consider with a laser is how bright it’ll end up being. If we have a little 30mW laser, flooding a wall like 2x1m at least, it’s going to be pretty dim. Projected signs also eliminate any chance of seeing it during the day.

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Well, here’s a start. 50" LED LCD TV with a smashed screen, screen removed. Not going to make a super big sign but it’s bright and dimmable! We can either paint it (not great if it ever needs to be changed) or string up a letter/word infront of it, making a sign similar to what’s over the front door.


Maybe we could do it as a negative and have the letters light up and just block the rest. Laser cut ply will do the trick

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That sounds like a good way to do it. If using the font from the logo we’ll have a bit of space above/below for something else, maybe the logo or an OPEN NIGHT part.

The panel has two backlight sections, split horizontally, which would allow individual control if needed.

Hi everyone,

We’re aiming to complete a huge HSBNE sign for the upcoming launch party in February. It’s a collaborative effort and we’d love as many people on board to contribute as possible so we have a sign that is truly representative of our diverse membership.

Project objective

Provide a visually appealing marker that will announce our presence to the general public, represent our diverse membership and encourage interest in the organisation.

Project outcome

Build a huge sign (approx. 3.5m x 0.7m) that will be approx. 2m off the ground and situated at the corner of the fence as you turn into the driveway leading to HSBNE. We will use the CNC machine to cut wooden letters that spell H.S.B.N.E (with a .org included on the E.). Each letter represents a particular cause/s within the space:

H – Electronics
S – Welding & Fabrication, Machine Shop & Blacksmithing
B – Creatorium, & Science Lab
N – Woodworking
E – Digital Fabrication: 3D Printing & Laser Cutting

Each letter will be decorated by cause members during workshops held throughout February. Letters will be illuminated by solar powered LED strip lighting.

I have done up a mini model of the letters (see photo below). This is my interpretation only – the final sign will look completely different as it’s a joint effort!!!

A few points to keep in mind when brainstorming/ decorating your letter. Your letter must:

  • Create a cohesive look once all letters are placed together
  • Stick with the branding of the space ie. Decorative elements should not obscure the silhouette of HSBNE font
  • Portray your chosen cause to the general public eg. Through choice of materials, skills used etc. Think of it as a sales pitch to newcomers on how awesome the space is and what they can do here
  • Be able to withstand the elements and being outdoors, permanently!

Apart from that, you can be as creative as you like! I will be purchasing screws and glue to assist with securing items onto your letters.

Can’t wait to see what people come up with!


Here is our proposed schedule for the workshops. I have taken the liberty of putting cause leaders’ names next to their letter. I am guessing Digital Fabrication means 3D printing etc but correct me if I’m wrong.

Hopefully the dates listed are suitable for most cause leaders. If there are any major problems please let me know.


Would it still be worth putting up a smaller backlit sign on the building in place of the current one, as proposed above? We’ve got plenty of material to use now.

I’m a bit skeptical with lighting the big sign with LED strip. I think some floodlighting on it would be best, LED’s around the edges etc. won’t light the whole thing up properly during the night. There is a conduit and cable running out to that concrete pad we could use/extend or run another for 240v.

I would also like the see the Current sign on top of the Blacksmithing area 'Updated" so if you can continue with your idea that would be cool :slight_smile:

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I totally agree with you on flood lighting Beau. We already have the LED tubes that Nog donated, but flood lighting the sign would be far more visible at night. I’m still liking the idea of using the LED tubes for the fence line cause the parking is so far off the road.

I’ll see what I can do with some LED light things I’ve got, they need drivers but they might do the job.

Just thought I’d check and see if @merseyless and @Don_McGuinness were wanting to run their Letter Decorating workshops this Sunday? I have scheduled it in for 2pm but it would probably be worth letting people know for sure whether it will be going ahead. You have the letters now so the power is yours! : )

Also, @Boo your letter B is in the creatorium space if you haven’t seen it already. Feel free to start getting creative

Just thought I’d share a quick pickie of the metal S @rut4ger and co have been working on for the sign. It’s looking good!!!


Putting a call out to all members - we really need some help with picking up the metal rods to make the frame for the sign, preferably in the next couple of days. Is there anyone with a trailer/ute that can transport 6m lengths? The metal place is about 5mins down the road from HSBNE. It would just be a matter of purchasing materials and transporting it to the space. Anyone who can help please get in touch with @rut4ger