Using a series of etched acrylic panes, the “Lixie” display can show numbers in the style of a Nixie tube.
Nixie tubes are beautiful pieces of display hardware that are no longer in production, and are becoming harder and harder to find. They also generally require relatively high DC voltages to operate, making them difficult and potentially dangerous. Connor Nishijima, however, has come up with an alternative called the Lixie.
This laser-cut item employs etched panes of acrylic to reflect the light from WS2812B LEDs as required, revealing digits 0-9. Since the LEDs are RGB, different colors can be selected as desired.
Edge-lighting panes of acrylic etched with a design has been done for decades, but they’ve always been static information like an “EXIT” sign. If you stack multiple panes of acrylic (each with a unique design) and light them individually, you can change what design the user sees! This makes edge-lighting perfect for a numeric display! And since I love the look of Nixies, we’ll emulate the typography as well. At the end of the day, what I’ve made is a beautiful over-sized numeric display using WS2812Bs and a laser cut digit assembly!
You can find more about this “modernized Nixie tube” on Hackaday.io.