Introduction: Cordless 120 Volt MakerBot Spool Lamp

About: I am an author and a maker. My current project is Santa's Shop. I'm working on a science fiction type book--more later. @EngineerRigsby

This is a cordless 120 Volt lamp (60 watt equivalent, 940 lumens), powered by AA batteries through an inverter.  It will run for three hours when using 2700 mAhr NiMh batteries.

This lamp uses the Philips L Prize (most energy efficient 60W incandescent equivalent A19 bulb--less than 10 watts) for illumination.

A lot of the parts are 3D printed:

but the concept (batteries, switch, inverter, efficient lamp) could be used anywhere that bright light is needed, but wall current not readily available.

Step 1:

The concept is pretty straightforward.   The smaller the inverter, the better.  The more mAh the batteries can deliver, the better.

Step 2:

I started with a MakerBot filament spool and removed the label.

Step 3:

The CyperPower CP175 inverter works great (from Best Buy), but is a little large.  I had to cut a hole in the spool to accomodate it.

Step 4:

Whatever inverter you choose, get one with a separate cord like this.  It is easier to cut these wires and attach them to your AA batteries than to fool with some "integral inverter/plug."

Step 5:

Print the "lamp bracket."  This will fit in the upright tube, fit in the MakerBot spool, and hold the threaded brass piece from the GE bottle lamp kit.

Step 6:

Thread the insert in the large end of the bracket.

Step 7:

Add the adapter and ring.

Step 8:

Drill a 1/2 inch hole in the side of the spool. Cut the wires to the desired length and run them through the socket cap.

Step 9:

Attach the wires to the socket.

Step 10:

Add the socket shell (with the insulating cardboard) over the socket.

Step 11:

Snap the socket cap onto the socket and screw the lamp bracket to the socket.

Step 12:

With the lamp switched to the "on" position, slide the assembly through the spool (you may have to cut part of the switch off). In you are uncomfortable with the friction fit of the spool, add a screw through the spool into the lamp holder assembly.

Step 13:

Print a lamp base.

Step 14:

Slide the clear acrylic tubing (1 3/4 inch OD, 1 3/8 inch ID, one foot into the base piece.

Step 15:

Drill and countersink holes for 4-40 screws in a one foot square by 1/2 inch thick piece of acrylic (

Step 16:

Add battery holders for 11 AA batteries (in series) to the spool.

Step 17:

Add a switch (this breaks the low voltage DC circuit).

Step 18:

Set the upper assembly into the tube.

Step 19:

Add the Philips lamp.

Step 20:

Take the two "shade" semicircles and fasten them together. 

If you use PLA plastic, here's how I do it.

Run the "load filament" function and generate some fine "fishing line size" filament.  Take this and melt it into the seams between the pieces you wish to join using an old soldering iron.

Step 21:

Now you have a shade.

Step 22:

Add a couple of small brackets (superglue) to the top of the spool.  This will keep the shade from running around.

Step 23:

You now have a powerful, cordless, sort of retro, geeky cool lamp!

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