[vcf-midatlantic] The traces

Dan Roganti ragooman at gmail.com
Wed Mar 9 20:29:16 EST 2016

​I would suggest enhancing this 'mural' into something more photogenic.
This is​ going to be a museum, so make something which exudes a living
I help out doing this with our local Science center whenever they want to
make a new exhibit.
And that is, combining artwork, woodworking, electronics, etc, into a
"sculpture" to express an idea.
One of the examples, and this goes back to making theater stage
productions, is 2.5D artwork
Taking something is flat, eg only 2D, and give the illusion that it is 3D.
This will go along way to making a professional exhibit display.

Now, after getting the background painted, I would consider a way to
enhance the pcb traces.
To keep it simple and I would first dispense with the duct tape.
You can use very inexpensive, eg $1 per 8ft, 1"x 2" furring strips to
create the pcb traces.
All you need is a miter saw to cut the 45deg angles - maybe a tablesaw.
Because PCB traces just look cool when you have 45deg angles, that's why.
There should be somebody at Infoage who has one already.
And it doesn't take months to do this, cutting wood is very quick.
Make sure you pick out wood which is smooth, with few knots, chips, etc -
 so the paint is finish looks decent.
And paint it before you attach it to the wall - I suggest using a gloss
finish, not some drab matt finish.
You want the ceiling lights to accentuate the features, not some dreary
lump of wood stuck to the wall.
Just layout a diagram first with dimensions on where you want the traces to
flow on the wall.

As for the pictures, I surmised you had something in mind to represent the
Something at each end of the traces, so how about the most typical example
of technology.
Well, a "Computer chip", this is again where some creativity comes into
Then you can post each photo on top of that "computer chip" to represent
the history.
How can you make this very cheap and quick, but still look creative.
There's multiples ways, and all of it can be found at your local art store,
such as Michael's.
This is not rocket science, just some plain ol' artwork and patience, one
example is styrofoam.
You can also continue making this with wood too, just showing you options
here, and wood will last for years.
A black rectangular shape, with several, short, stumpy grey legs, make it
40pins long too, just like ol' 70s micros.
The shapes are in stock at the store, just cut them to length
And Hot Glue is not your friend here with styrofoam, should be
self-explanatory -- just use any inexpensive glue such as white glue or rtv
Just make it at home, let it dry overnight, and so you don't have to wait
another week to build it for the wall.
And so this doesn't take months to make either.

Now you need to be aware that  you cannot use just any paint on styrofoam
The safest is water based paint, acrylic and latex, any others will simply
cause a chemical reaction and melt.
And for this you want to use a semi-gloss paint this time.
Even though the paint will create a layer to fill in the pores, the glossy
finish will make this moot.
The ceiling lights always help accentuate the features, but you don't want
the wrong features to stand out.
just my $0.02


More information about the vcf-midatlantic mailing list