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Thread: Numbering cubes

  1. #1
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    Numbering cubes

    I wanted to use small cubes to number objects in a case, but found that they are difficult to come by or are very expensive, so I looked into making some in-house. I found that McMaster-Carr sells clear acrylic cubes, and I have a vinyl cutter, so I didn't think it would be too difficult.

    First, I created an illustrator file to place the numbers as a batch, rather than doing individual cubes. I needed 30, so I made a file with two rows of fifteen numbers, as shown. these were then cut in black vinyl.

    Number file.jpg

    Then, I made a simple jig to hold the cubes together. The sizes were not quite exact, so it took a little rearranging and shimming to get reasonably even rows:
    Setup jig.jpg

    Then, I premasked the numbers...
    Cut numbers.jpg

    And then taped the numbers to align with the rows of blocks. Due to variations in size, I only placed a few columns at a time, to help keep things centered:
    Application.jpg

    The finished product. A little off-centered toward the right end, but fixable, and way less money than buying pre-made. ($50 materials/30 minutes labor)
    Done.jpg-

    These are large (1" cubes) due to our audience demographic, but the same principle could be used for 1/2" cubes. Let me know how you have solved this.

    Cheers!

    Jim

  2. #2
    PACCIN Advisory Committee Member T. Ashley McGrew's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
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    Jim,

    Very cool solution! I especially like the illustrated step-by-step you provide. The way the demographics are going in general bigger cubes are probably the way to go for most institutions. Thanks for the contribution!

    Ashley
    T. Ashley McGrew
    PACCIN Advisory Committee member

  3. #3
    Member Jamie Hascall's Avatar
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    Seattle, WA
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    We just used a similar cube numbering in our latest show and had a situation where the white numbers were vanishing in the background case color being transmitted through the cube. Our graphic designer Monica Meehan designed an inverted T form and had them cut out of black vinyl. By applying the vinyl to the bottom, back, and sides (think wrapping the arms of the T up each face) she now had beautiful black cubes and the numbering stood out.

    Jamie

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