What features does an oil lamp need? Well it has to hold some oil. It should be safe to handle while lit, and stable enough to not tip over. You need a big hole to fill it and a small hole for a wick. The oil reservoir wants to be wide rather than tall, because the wick wants to sit right on top of the oil, so you want the oil level to drop slowly. I'm appreciating this old lamp more and more.
What are the guidelines for designing 3DP ceramic? I'm getting this from Shapeways
, so I punt to their page
on how to use this material. One important rule is that when you have an enclosed space, you need at least a 10-15mm hole so the interior can be depowdered. Picture people reaching through the hole with dental picks, trying to touch every part of the interior: if they can't do this easily, your part fails.
I decided to make my lamp fairly simple. It's trilaterally symmetrical because I make everything like that. It has three fill holes, which should be plenty for easy depowdering. It has a central volume to hold the oil, and it thins out to solid edges which should be safe to handle and thick enough to print well. I put some decorative dots on the bottom lobes, I'm not sure how well those will come out.
It's shaped like an Enneper surface
. I used Surface Evolver
, which is freeware intended for mathematicians, to generate the main body. I modeled the holes, bullnose edges, decorations and interior fillets in Rhinoceros
. Then I exported the whole thing to an STL file, and used Materialise Magics
to clean up the mesh. My software toolbox looks like this for historical reasons (the last update to Evolver was in 2008) but there's no reason yours should look the same. De gustibus -- your lamp probably won't look like mine either!
To console myself while I wait for the print, I made a realistic image using Maxwell Render
. Again, I use this software because I like it and I'm in the habit: not saying it's the best, it's a matter of taste. I got the candle-flame light effect from their material library