Introduction: DIY - a New Floater for My Bee-Oil-Lamp

About: My name is Sabine. I'm a hobbyist with a variety of interests, including 3D printing, tinkering, music, stories etc.

Hello and welcome. Some time ago I had such a little plastic floating disc. You insert a wick, put it in a glass, vase or jar with water and salad oil - inflame it and you've a lamp for hours to run.

Unfortunatley I've lost or misplaced the little plastic floater. Fortunatley I have a 3D-printer.

I started to design the floater from memory and ended with a little help of the internet's omniscience.

I've decided to go for a bee-themed project - because I like bees.

Step 1: ​The Things I've Used

  • 3D-printed Floater
  • Honey Jar/Glass
  • Water
  • Food coloring (yellow)
  • Oil (rapeseed/canola oil)
  • Wick
  • Sissors
  • Lighter
  • Infrared Thermometer
  • Tweezer
  • 3D Printer
  • PLA Filament (black)
  • Software: Tinkercad, ideaMaker,


  • take all necessary safety precautions while working with heat, sharp objects, electricity, vapors or resulting gases, bright light and whatever could endanger your health.
  • never leave open fire/flames unattended.

Step 2: The Floating Bee Model and 3D Printing

I've found a cute bee model on thingiverse (Bee) - which I don't want to deprive you -.

I just took the rough shape as my basis and remixed it for my purposes in Tinkercad.

Well, after all it almost looks more like a six (?) leaf clover on the topside. It's fine - I like my clover bee floater.

I've 3D printed my model in black PLA-Filament on the Ender 2 with 15 % infill.

I quickly tested it's floating qualities. Since it has not fallen, everything is fine.

Step 3: ​The Floating Bee Light

First I've prepared the floater. I inserted the wick into the little holder of the floater and cut off +/- 15 mm of the wick.

Second, I have this nice large honey jar and

  • added a little bit of the yellow food coloring
  • I filled it up with water
  • poured between 5 to 8 mm of the rapeseed oil on the water
  • placed the floater carefully on the oil surface *)
  • made sure the wick absorded the oil.

*) The floater will descend till it hits the water surface.

Step 4: ​The (nonscientific) Heat Test

I was wondering if the PLA-Filament could stand the hot oil, water and glass. I measured the temperature on the oil surface with an infrared thermometer at the start, after 30 minutes and after 60 minutes. I extinguished the light and immediately extracted the floater via a tweezer.


Straight after extracting, the floater has been in a steady, sturdy and solid condition. I consider that a success.

Step 5: ​Thank You …

... for reading, watching and paying attention.

I'm so happy with my new floater and certainly will print a few more in different designs and colors.

Please let me know if you've made one as well.

Hopefully Auf Wiedersehen in one of my next instructables.