Top 5 Constraints – Functional Wall Art Final Project

1.Rustic, Yet Modern Aesthetic:

  • One major constraint for my final project is trying to maintain the rustic, yet modern “look”/aesthetic to my final product. I want the wooden cutout of the flatiron mountain range to look realistic, yet minimal. This is hard to describe, but the image below is an excellent example of what I want my final product to emulate and look like! It captures exactly what I am trying to accomplish except that the artist and manufacturer utilized Aluminum rather than wood.

2. Woodworking Skills:

  • Another constraint on this project is my ability to woodwork efficiently and accurately. I have had experience with basic woodworking in the past, but nothing the to level and extent required to emulate the image above, since that is what I want my final product to look like overall. My plan at the moment to create the cutout, is to acquire a piece of “rough draft” wood to practice on before transiting to my final, high quality wood that I want to make the cutout of (Still TBD on which type of wood I want to use). This way I don’t mess up on the final product and ensure that I have some practice before making the final cuts. The plan to create the shape with the wood, is to simply draw the cutout outline onto the wood, and then using a handheld jigsaw, cut out the rough shapes and finish it all off with a sand job to smooth out all the unnecessary rough edges.

3. Time:

  • Time is crucial to this project. This is something I need to work on currently to ensure that I don’t fall behind with this project. I suspect that cutting the wood outline out will take multiple hours, and even longer to properly sand and stain the wood too before it is complete. The addition of the LED light strips with Bluetooth capability should be relatively easy after my initial research into the component. However, considering that my schedule is already hectic enough, finding the time to get into the wood shop to cutout the flatiron mountain range will prove to be the most challenging part of this project.

4. Size:

  • The overall size of this piece will be constrained to roughly 10 inches tall by 48 inches wide. I decided on this size, because it is the dimensions used by the artist for the product portrayed in the image above, and because as shown in the image, it allows for a large enough final product with enough detail to fully realize what the mountain range is trying to convey.

5. LED Light Strip Size and Connectivity:

  • The LED light strip is by far the easiest part of this project (theoretically). However, it still provides some constraints to the project, in that I want the LED light strip to be easily attachable to the back side of the wooden mountain range cutout. Along with this requirement, the LED light strip also needs to have Bluetooth capability so that the user (my little brother) can change the color on demand to the type of music he is listening too. Both of these are easily achievable based off of my initial research into the component. However, the one aspect of this component that I need to due further research on is if I want the LED light strip to be connected to the wall outlet or if it can be run off of batteries for an extended amount of time. This requires some more research, but I suspect it won’t be that challenging to find a functioning LED light strip to be run off of batteries to ensure that the lights are hidden behind the wooden cutout entirely.

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Rhys Rueffert
    March 8, 2020 8:34 pm


    I like the idea for this project a lot. Have you considered using a cnc machine or laser cutter? This would largely remove the woodworking skill constraint. Additionally, have you considered what kind of wood/stain to use? I’m curious what kind you will use to match your aesthetic. Look forward to seeing your final project, and if you need help lasercutting let me know!

  • Patrick Bodine-Ellison
    March 4, 2020 9:09 pm

    Hi Austin,
    You mention wood working skills being a significant constraint for you on this project. I don’t know what your background is but this sort of art lends itself extremely well to digital fabrication like laser cutting or CNC router work. This could ensure that your lines are extremely accurate and you will end up with a final piece extremely similar to what you design in the computer. If you want to go down a digital fabrication route let me know and I would be glad to provide some assistance!


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