I really enjoyed playing NieR:Automata on Twitch, so of course I wanted to make something special to bring along to the photo shoot!
Designing, Cutting & Weeding
My offshoot creations usually wind up more laborious than intended, but I wanted to see just how precise my Cricut was, and if my theory-turned-practice would actually execute properly. I spent some time measuring the clear acrylic cubes I intended to cover, and from there designed the pattern according to several screenshots from the game that I was referencing.
Weeding is what you'd expect.. it's time consuming, annoying, and not very fun. But the end result makes it worthwhile.
Application, Lights & Clean-Up
In true spontaneous fashion, I decided to finish this prop prior to my departure for an event. For this reason, the "engineering" part of the lights was not given much time. Before transferring my vinyl designs, I wanted to make sure the cube was going to have a functioning light source. Some elastic thread, hot glue and sheer force of will later and I had a suspended knot of LEDs. During this process I was able to designate one side of the cube as the "box," which contained the LEDs, and the other half as the "lid," since it was the part you were removing to access the lights.
Once that was settled, I went on to transferring the vinyl from the sheet to each acrylic face, being sure to line up the edges properly along the way. A precision blade was used to trim the overhang as closely as possible, and clean up any slight mismatches that occurred.
Diffusion & Thoughts
I decided to add a layer of diffusion to the inner walls of the acrylic box, since you could see right through the larger recesses and spy the less-than-sightly LED knot in the middle.
This is was due in part to my failure to recognize the necessity of a "black-out" layer for the vinyl, since its design caused a semi-permeable light leak where the metallic fibers were lighter in value. Had I paused during the process to consider how everything would appear in the final stage, I may have been able to actually plan these things out a little better.
So here's that lesson to you: think it all the way through! Consider everything!
I decided after a handful of failed attempts with the scotch tape to rely on my lace front wig tape as the adhesive for my diffusion layer. I tacked a couple strips as "hidden" as possible along the design on the inside of the acrylic. Because the two pieces come apart in an almost C shape, I added some parts that would unfold over the seams while adding greater depth of diffusion inside.