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Here is the design process of how I made this funky mini LED lighting Stand.

It accompanies my blog post about this on my website.

The main function of this is to light my 3D print models, either by using it as a mini light or torch to direct point lights onto my model. Or to use as a holder when lighting hollow parts of my 3D print models.

I wanted to make something that would look good, so I could include it in photographs of my 3D prints if I wanted to.

I think the result looks pretty cool and retrofuturistic, don't you?

I am going to share my design evolution for this project. It can inspire you to something similar, or try to make one yourself.

You can download the 3D file for 3D printing at the end of the Instructable.

Tools Needed-

3DS Max or equivalent modelling application such as Blender, Maya or a CAD application such as Fusion 360.

3D printer, I use an Ultimaker 2 3D printer

Materials Needed -

PLA for the print

Cell Coin Battery (Im using a CR2032 Lithium Cell 3V battery which is 20 mm in diameter, which fits the design).

LED light or lights (If you want more than one on the stand)

Step 1: Planning - Problems and Solutions

Firstly, I made a problem and solution brainstorm.

I would really recommend doing this for your project. I encourage students to do this when I teach my " Cities Of The Imagination" workshops.

For the LED light, I looked at the PROBLEMS I have and what this design should achieve -

1. I wanted my design to light models both from inside hollow models and also outside in order to place pinpoint lights on my models. This way I get control of the lighting for my completed 3D print artworks when I am photographing them to sell on my online shop.

2. I wanted the design to stand upwards but also to be able to lie horizontally so I can use it like a mini torch to light my 3D models as well.

3. I wanted to make it look "cool" and "retrofuturistic" so that it would compliment my 3D print artwork which is in a retrofuturistic them these days!

From the problems above, I came up with some quick solution ideas -

SOLUTIONS

1. I wanted to have a "quad" or "tripod" stand that would also securely contain the battery cell with the LED light.

2. As said in the problems, I wanted to be able to lie it on its side too. The "quad" or "tripod" design would allow for this.

3. Finally, as I am currently finishing off a big product project at Fab Lab Ísafjörður in the North West of Iceland, I have access to an Ultimaker2 printer. So I planned to get the product as an immediate 3D print!

After this, you can see the rough sketches in the images above. I was just planning out the ideas and evolving them. There came a point where there wasn't much more to do on paper, I would need to take it to a 3D graphics application to evolve and finish the working product...

Step 2: Evolve in 3D Graphics

Above, you can see that I evolved the design in a 3D application. Here, I am using 3DS Max, you could use other freeform modelling applications such as Maya or the free application Blender.

At the moment, none of my parts need to be that exact so I usually get by with freeform poly modelling applications. If you are making something that needs to be more exact and precise, I would recommend using Autodesk's very own Fusion 360!

I will use this myself in the future if I need to do anything more exact!

From the images above, you can see the evolution in 3DSMax of the design and how I decided to turn the coin cell battery compartment 90 degrees. This was much more logical and holds the battery in with gravity!

I also added a small thin base attached to the model. My initial 3D print on quick settings failed a few times. Even if I used a brim or raft in Cura, the model was not sticking when printing.

Sometimes, this happens. If it does, make a thin base that you can easily break off in your 3D modelling application as in the image in the slides above.

Step 3: The Results and Lighting Options

So you can see the first print broke. It broke as it was set up as a very quick rough print. The print setting on normal quality is strong enough. Higher settings will make it even stronger.

It is really easy to get working, one just needs to insert the battery coin into the top slot with the two LED positive/negative wires on the correct sides, and it will light up and stay in place!

You can see from the photos above, the different ways the light can work.

1. It can stand upwards.

2. It can be used inside a hollow 3D print structure. Such as the dome in the slideshow (this dome is part of my latest imaginary city artwork so look out for it).

3. It can lie horizontally to direct the light to a point, see the effect on my 3D robot metal print, this 3D print is available to buy soon, contact me for more information about this.

4. The LED wire can also be bent so the light can be angled that way too.

So that is is. In fact, the light looks quite fun as just a free standing display light. imagine a room with 100s of these in a strange movie!

As I said, the light is under a creative commons license and you can download it here.

Have fun and if you use it, please send me photos of it, I will tweet it etc!

Check out the accompanying blog here with a video where I show how the design lights 3D models.

Also, check out my blog post to accompany this instructable.

About This Instructable

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Bio: I am an artist/designer. For over 10 years, I've made visualisations and animations for companies. I now concentrate on making 2d and 3d ... More »
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