Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Another Printed Lamp

To a hammer, everything looks like a nail. To someone with a 3D printer, everything looks like an opportunity to print. I needed a new lamp, so, of course, I printed it.

I started with a single walled PETG vase that's about 250mm in diameter and 600 mm tall. I used a edge-glow glass PETG filament from Keene Village Plastics that has a little blue dye added to make it look like old Coke bottle glass. I printed with a 1 mm nozzle, 1.2 mm line width, and 0.6 mm layers. The vase took about 8 hours to print at 30 mm/sec.

The vase on the printer- almost uses the entire print capacity of the machine.

The bulb is a 300 mm long x 30 mm diameter, dimmable, "Edison" type antique-looking thing I picked up via amazon.com. It has two linear LED "filaments" that use 12W and produce 4000K light.

The bulb screws into a socket that is positioned by another printed part to put the "filament" at the vertical and axial center of the vase. 

I added a printed "shade" that fits on the bulb itself. It, too, is PETG, in this case purple. Its purpose is to protect your eyes from the bright bulb filaments while adding some color for visual interest. The shade is a cylinder with a 90 degree section cut out and facing the wall. The lamp lights up the wall behind it and the shade appears red (yes, purple filament) from every other direction. I operated the bulb at full brightness for several hours and the plastic shade is not affected by the heat from the bulb.

No, that's not a white balance problem- the brick is cream colored (old buildings in Milwaukee were made using cream colored bricks) and the shade does look red, not purple, probably an interaction between the 4000K light from the bulb and the purple shade.

Light bulb with purple shade fitted. The bulb only warms slightly in operation so it poses no danger of melting the PETG. The shade is sized to fit on the 30 mm diameter bulb and to just cover the length of the LED "filaments".

This is what it looks like in daylight with the lamp off. Note- the shade is purple. The bulb and shade are positioned at the exact axial center of the outer vase.

Another view of the lamp in daylight. The outer vase is very glossy

The vase design was made by combining two twisted designs- one right handed twist, the other left handed twist. That resulted in an easy to print, pleasing shape that produces some interesting reflections of whatever light is in the room.


  1. Mark,

    That's a great job on the printer. Awesome results. I'm starting my own heated FDM project for large ABS parts and am curious if you have any wisdom you can share. Mine will be about 2'x2'x3' and CoreXYUV config. It is being built inside a used Sigma temperature test chamber. There is a thread on the duet forum with some details: forum.duet3d.com/topic/22858/new-heated-enclosure-printer

    I want to print full scale bodywork (check out www.cosentinoengineering.com/blog and #hypermono on IG) in ABS. Maybe HIPS support? Or dual color ABS prints with 2nd color supports. any advise is appreciated.



    1. Wow, that's some serious DIY! When it comes to large body panels, if you're just making a shell, I would think that vacuum forming using sheets of PC would be the preferred way to go. Maybe you can make the forms for vacuum forming by 3D printing. I think that even in a high temperature enclosed printer, maintaining the shape of a large, relatively thin print might be a problem. I think Stratasys uses (or used to) HIPS for support with ABS prints.

    2. Thanks for the response. Vacuum forming is not really suitable for the parts I plan on printing, which would include gussets, mounting bosses, etc. I know a couple of people doing similar parts with good success on home built printers. I found your stuff scanning the internets to try to glean as much info as possible.


Leave comments or a questions here and I'll try to post a response as soon as I can.