Introduction: 3D Printed Light Bulb Shades
Light bulbs should shine onto the objects you want to see, not into your eyes.This instructable will show you how to improve your lighting with Fusion 360 and 3d printing.
The low heat of today's LED light bulbs allows us to attach 3d printed parts to the bulb to modify them to better suit our needs. This instructable will show you how to use Fusion 360 to create a custom bulb shade for almost any LED spot or flood light. Here is a download link for Fusion 360. This instructable requires the Instructables Light Bulb Shade project file.
Step 1: Measure Your Bulb
Once you have your LED spot or flood light in hand, you need to take three measurements. Using a set of calipers or a precision ruler, measure the outside diameter (OD) of the light bulb along with the clip height and width. In Fusion 360, under Modify>Change Parameters change the BulbOD, ClipWidth, and ClipHeight to match your bulb.
Step 2: Export Bodies As STL's
After updating the project file with your new dimensions, export the two bodies as separate STL files for import into your 3d print slicer. Right click a body> Save As STL.
Once your STL's are saved, now it's time to bring them into your 3d print slicer. I personally use Simplify3D, but MakerBot, Cura, and other slicers will work fine. Here is a list of 3D Printing Software Tools.
Step 3: Print Your Parts!
This design is made to print as quickly as possible with minimal material. The 'Clip' is placed over the top of the bulb and the 'Shade' slips into it. Using this instructable, you can have your very own custom light bulb shade for any of your LED spot or flood lights in just a few hours. I've printed a bunch of different bulb shades and installed them in friend's homes. Lighting is one of the simplest and least expensive ways to transform an entire space. Seeing things lit without seeing the light source is MUCH more pleasant than having sharp light shine directly in your eyes.
Step 4: How We Got Here:
I've been experimenting with light bulb shades for the last year. From cool-yet-complicated to as simple as possible. This instructable is my most elegant design because it is the simplest and most efficient. My early models had multiple parts that had to fit together perfectly which took a lot of work and more plastic. Then I realized the LED chips were all facing down, so I could just replace the clear diffuser with a single part print. It worked great but the diffuser helps to soften the light coming from the LED chips. Finally, after much trial and error, I arrived at the shade in this instructable. With only two parts, Clip and Shade, it's very easy to print. Designing the shade parametrically using Fusion 360 means the design can be modified with just a few clicks to be used for a variety of different bulbs.