Frame Assemble

Join the two frames. Align the pegs and press to join the top part to the frame. 

Add a drop of hot glue to the inside of the corners to adhere together.

NeoPixel Strip Preparation

Measure a low density strip (30 pixels per meter skinny pixels) to 65 pixels long. 

Trim off the included connector on the NeoPixel strips and then remove the sheathing from the strip.

Measure a 120mm long silicone ribbon cable and solder to the pads on the strip. 

Attach Strip to Frame

Pass the ribbon wire through the hole on the corner of the frame. 

Lay the strip around the inside of the frame with the LEDs facing towards the center of the frame. 

Trace the square around the inside of the frame and then continue lining the strip along the opposite square of the frame.

Attach Strip to Frame

Use hot glue to adhere the strip to the frame. Add small drop of hot glue to the middle length of the strip, on the solder pads as shown.

Use a can of compressed air if you would like to speed up the dry time of the hot glue.

Prep strip "branches"

Trim off the excess strip. We should have 18 pixels left.

Cut the remaining strip into three strips so each strip is now 6 pixels long. These will attach to the last three sections of the frame.

Solder 20mm long silicone ribbon cables to each strip.

Tin Strip back

The three smaller strips connect to the back of the main strip. 

Gently pull back the strip and tin the backs of the pads. 

Double check the connections on the pads a properly aligned and then solder together.

Flex "branch" strip

Carefully flex the strip towards the inside of the frame and adhere with a drop of hot glue to the frame.

Repeat with the other two strips. 

Solder the ItsyBitsy

Solder the +5v power connection on the NeoPixel strip to the VHI pad on the ItsyBitsy.

Solder the Din connection the strip to the 5! pad on the ItsyBitsy.

Solder the GND connection on the strip to the G pad on the ItsyBitsy. 

Test the strip to make sure all of the connections light up. 

Trace template

Use a marker to trace our template outlines to the acrylic sheet. 

Take note: the top and bottom templates are for the sections of the frame that are connected together in the first step.

Score acrylic

Use a scoring tool or a hobby knife to score the acrylic. 

Be careful in scoring the acrylic to avoid cutting yourself.

Acrylic Panel Template

Download the PDF and print it out on an 8.5in x 11in sheet of paper. The document is sized for 8in x 10in. The acrylic panels on the four sides are 89mm x 89mm. The top and bottom panels are 88mm – slightly smaller to accommodate for the orientation of the 3D printed surfaces.

Measure out the square panels with a ruler to verify the scaling was printed correctly.

Snap apart cuts

Carefully snap apart the acrylic along the scored sections to break them into panels.

Cut back plastic

Make sure to cut the back film to fully separate each acrylic panel.

Top and bottom panels

Test the top and bottom panels to ensure they properly fit into the frame. 

Peel film

Use gloves to keep the acrylic free of finger prints and smudges.

Remove the protective film on both sides. Note the blue film has two films on top of each other.


Test panels

Place the panels on two sides and turn on the LED strip to test the tunnel effect.

Warped panels

The panels may warp, so we'll want to make sure that they produce the proper tunneling effect.

Concave vs. Convex

We found laying the panels Concave on the frame produced the best tunneling effect on the frame, so make sure to test before gluing the panels to the frame.


Attach the Acrylic Panels

With the panels tested, we can add drops of hot glue to each corner of the frame and fit each panel to adhere to the frame.

Be careful not to ooze any hot glue over the panels, as it's difficult to remove. 

Glue Base

The lid is adhered to the frame. The lid then snap fits onto the base.

Apply hot glue around the hole and around the silicone cable. 

Align the slit on the lid over the cable and press over the glue to adhere.

Mount the ItsyBitsy

Align the ItsyBitsy to the USB port opening on the case and press fit between the walls at an angle. 

Coil the wires into the empty areas around the base and snap fit the base to the lid.

USB Port

Plug in a USB cable and battery to complete!

This guide was first published on Jan 14, 2020. It was last updated on Nov 28, 2023.

This page (Assemble) was last updated on Jan 13, 2020.

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