The Hacksmith: Creating an Unbreakable Box with LED Lighting
This project was created by Engineering Superheroes of Hackmith Industries.
DO NOT ATTEMPT to Re-Create
Earlier this summer, YouTuber, JustDustin, visited Hacksmith Industries with a challenge to break a seemingly unbreakable box (technically an icosahedron, more commonly known as a D20 to Dungeon and Dragons fans). After several attempts to break the box with various Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) items like Mjolnir, Stormbreaker, and Iron Man’s plasma cutter, the Hacksmith finally defeated the box using their 4000-degree lightsaber.
This challenge inspired the Hacksmith team to design an unbreakable box of their own — one with shatterproof, see-through material, capable of withstanding incredible force. The Hacksmith aimed to make their box unlike anything they’ve seen before, so instead of building a standard box, they created a four-dimensional hypercube with LED light features. See how it was made in the video below!
How Does it Work?
One of the key challenges to building a see-through unbreakable box is choosing the right materials. After testing several different options, the team chose polycarbonate to construct the box panels. Polycarbonates are durable synthetic plastics used to make things like safety glasses and bulletproof glass. The brackets connecting the panels and creating the outer shape of the box are made from steel bars wrapped in stainless steel.
With the wall material selected, the next challenge was finding a strong enough shape to withstand great force but still have a hollow inside where they can store items. The Hacksmith chose a tesseract shape — not to be confused with the blue box from the MCU. A tesseract, also known as a hypercube, is a cube inside of a cube, connected by brackets. A tesseract is considered a 4D shape.
The neopixel LEDs come on a strip that is mounted around the inner cube. They are controlled by an ESP32 eval board, which allows the lighting sequences to be changed via WiFi or Bluetooth using a smartphone. A 12V LiPo battery powers them. Unfortunately, the box is so indestructible that there is no way to take the battery out for charging. Perhaps the next version of the unbreakable box will include ways to recharge the battery. What would you do to make the unbreakable box rechargeable? Comments below your rechargeable battery ideas!
Schematic and BOM
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Not every Hacksmith Industries project is from a movie, comic book, or video game. Some creations are more obscure, taking inspiration from ancient myths or puns. Check out more unique projects on Maker.io!
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