Instructables
For mothers day I wanted to create something very unique for my wife.  So going along with the same idea as my previous instructable Generate-a-unique-shadow-casting-sculpture, I decided to make something a little less tangible, but even more intimate.

This personalized candle holder displays a silhouette of my family on the wall and some text on a table using only the light from a little tiny votive candle.  If done correctly, the shadow will be indifferent to the specific height of the wick and flame (within the typical sizes for votive candles that is).

Instead of hanging a photo with nails, or a mural with wallpaper/paint, the candle holder...and thus the shadow, can be swapped out easily for different occasions, even during the daytime hours!


Suggestions:
Free Software:
Picasa
Autodesk 123D and Catch
Requirements:
3D printing service
 
 
Please note that the 3D printing is essential, because no other practical solution exists for creating such a structure. NONE!
Also note that I rely heavily on annotating my images in this instructable since the easiest way to see what I’m doing is with a screen capture (Shift-Command-3), upload, and click for an instant note.  Except for a few rarities, every image is tagged somewhere, so if you see a blank one, look for a itsy square crammed at the top of the image.  Sometimes, I see this happening on both mine and other’s ‘ibles and I don’t know why.  Clicking on the next image and then going back sometimes repairs the problem.

My system:
MacBook Pro
Parallels 7 running Windows 8 (AutoDesk is working on a Mac Version of 123D, but not yet out)
 
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hkhizer1 year ago
great work, but it would be more credible if you show the effect
hendersonjase (author)  hkhizer1 year ago
Agreed hkhizer. I would if I could. That would require reprinting as the model never made it in one piece. I moved on...sadly. "Someday" I will have another one printed, but I'm too distracted
Wont the candle melt the 3D print??
hendersonjase (author)  NanoRobotGeek2 years ago
nope. I had no problems with melting.
hendersonjase (author)  NanoRobotGeek2 years ago
Of course you could have a design that is too close or too thick and the print will melt. Although I STILL haven’t see this up close, my print was made of plastic and thus could melt, but my design intent was to avoid that.

I could explain away this issue with candle convection transport, effective surface area to volume ratios, or emissivity of the plastic, but thats just silly when I can say one way or the other when it gets here. -Jason

Laminarin2 years ago
It seems like the width of your light source and its proximity to the light blocking elements would make for a very fuzzy edge on the projected shadow. Something closer to a point source seems like it would yield a crisper shadow. Maybe an led?
hendersonjase (author)  Laminarin2 years ago
A point source is ideal, but not necessary. IF the light blocking element was thin, then yes you are right, but they are multiple redundant elements. Its the same as using two almost closed irises for laser alignment or long shafts for picking out a single star only every thousand years or so.

What was shipped to me was ineffective because of improper packaging (1/4 of the posts were broken), incomplete cleaning (support material was still surrounding many of the posts), and poor printing (in both resolution and the fact that the posts were curved!).

My busy work life has hindered having alternative high-end printing services from attempting better.
melinkaya2 years ago
Is it necessary to brace the posts if the posts are shaped differently? LIke in loops or something...

And wouldn’t it be easier if the candle was taller shining down on the table?
hendersonjase (author)  melinkaya2 years ago
So a solid chunk of material thats cut minimally will certainly provide the most support and create the sharpest possible shadow. Flickering or movement of the light source will not affect the silhouette, but its not as interesting.

I actually attempted individually curved features at first, but wanted to explore arrays and didn’t consider patterns of hoops. I like that thought.

For your second question: Sharper angles are better and a taller candle would provide that when projecting on the table. However, I was concerned about the candle shrinking so significantly that I would loose the light contrast completely. Votives were simpler for me, thats all...and cheap.
lug big lug2 years ago
Why are there no pics of results? I would really like to see this thing in action!!!
hendersonjase (author)  lug big lug2 years ago
I know I know! I still don’t have it in my hands...
I hear you. I has been clearly printed, but I’m awaiting delivery. They had to make several attempts because of technical problems on their end. They took a picture of it before placing it in the mail so that I would at least have SOMETHING to show. Thanks for your interest
Well 3d printers are a pain sometimes... Ill be keeping an eye out for the pics!!!
Orngrimm2 years ago
Nice idea! :)
Is there an actual picture of the stand in use and throwing a shadow?
hendersonjase (author)  Orngrimm2 years ago
Not yet; the guys at the print shop had to take the photos in step 12. The final version is still being shipped to me.