My original plan was to 3D print individual shadow boxes for each of the 118 chemical elements, mount LED’s in them, and make a truly insane periodic table of elements display….with real elements. Well, I’m still collecting elements, BUT, the 3D printed part is out for the time being. Something about six months of constant printing tying up my printer just didn’t sound appealing….
So….. I am folding a bit. While I might eventually do the 3D-printed display, I’m going to “cheat” a bit and start off with a pre-made shot glass display case. I found this case (https://amzn.to/36ZGjiF) that should turn out to be pretty much perfect. It just so turns out that the vials I bought to store my elements are just barely shorter than a shot glass and are a bit thinner which means I can store all of my samples in one with enough shelves pretty easily.
The display that I found has 12 shelves each capable of holding 12 shot glasses. Since my vials are thinner than a standard shot glass, I should EASILY be able to fit an entire row of the classical table on each shelf. With 12 shelves and 9 rows (counting the lanthanides and actinides as separate rows), that leaves me some extra space to put in electronics or other fun display pieces. I think I can still do the RGB LED bit like I planned before, but I’ll need to get actual dimensions from the inside of the cabinet to make sure.
A happy side effect of this is that it will end up saving me a bit of money compared to a fully printed model. Rough math found that it was going to take around 20 spools of PLA filament to print out every cube. At $20/spool, the whole project would cost $400 before the cost of electricity (and AC cooling in the summer). I already bought all of the aluminum extrusion to mount things, unfortunately, but I can still use that stock for other projects or even sell it online pretty easily.