Even with the help of a few test pieces, it was not a surprise that the first full sized prints of a Glow Flow flexible diffuser panel and associated rigid support rib still required a few final adjustments. But once done, I printed out a set of three ribs, three panels, and assembled them together. Each of the ribs also function as one leg of a tripod for supporting Glow Flow. Not as subtle as the previous iteration, but the same general idea.
The completed assembly was more rigid than I had anticipated. The ribs worked well and, when supported by ribs on either side, the panels could actually take some stress. Enough to allow someone to handle Glow Flow by grabbing the sides without risk of everything falling apart. This is a pleasant surprise. I started with the minimum of 3 ribs 120 degrees apart, just to see how well it worked before I increase the number of ribs. Apparently 3 ribs are sufficient so we can stop here.
But the most important part is to see how well it does its primary job of diffusing LED lights and it’s very satisfying to see that job done well.
This design has a few issues: Because of its flexible snap-together nature, the ribs are free to slide out of position no longer exactly 120 degrees from each other. When this happens some panels will bulge out more than others. A related but different problem is the panel vertically shifting within their slot. I cut the slot taller than a panel needs to be as a provision for some sort of top & bottom border pieces. But right now those slots mean a panel has room to shift, which could also result in an unsightly bulge.
Those are problems I could tackle later. For now, attention turns to restoring Glow Flow to battery-powered portable operation.