How many times have you been temped to build your own custom display only give up because doing one digit was difficult and doing more would be crazy. Now you can try your hand a a seven segment display where each segment is admittedly difficult!
Debra, no second name given, over at Geek Mom Projects has built a stunning edge lit display. You have to see it to want to build it:
But before you get too enthusiastic:
"This build combines small dozens of small laser-cut acrylic pieces which fit together with very tight tolerances. It uses skinny (4mm wide) LED strips which must be soldered, bent, and then slotted in between those acrylic pieces. When assembling the parts you must be willing to force pieces into place, even though it feels like you are stressing the brittle acrylic. You must also be willing to remove and re-seat said pieces and LED strips when it turns out they *can’t* actually be forced into place. At some point during the assembly there is a strong likelihood that you will have to remove everything and re-solder your LED strip when you realize that forcing everything into place broke one of the wires away from your LED strip or created a short circuit."
Ok you have been warned - but:
"Most seven-segment displays are monochrome, so this edge-lit version adds visual interest by using the full color capabilities of cheap RGB LED strips to illuminate each digit and even each segment (or even half-segment) of the display in a different color. Embedding the clear acrylic segments in a larger acrylic frame allows you to see completely through the entire display, which another unique aspect of this project."