Step 1: The idea and materials
I tried a lot of ideas to make a simple variable height mechanism and eventually finalised a simple cam mechanism.
I decided to use PCBs for the stand because a> i had a lot of them (my ex boss let me take all the scrap pcbs we had stored in the office) b> They look extremely good when a candle is glowing behind them. c> it is very easy to work with them if you have a rotary dremel tool.
For the mug holder, i used cycle spokes and acrylic for the cam.