Introduction: Fun With LED's and Plastic

Ahhh, creating something of use is such a fun thing to do. Creating something that you can use and is freakishly cool? Amazing.

A few months back I ran across an LED light strip and after lighting up every corner of my house, needed to find a more permanent home for it -- enter LIght 3D. Light 3D is a 3D printed sculpture utilizing off the shelf electronics providing a warm glow, or fantastic light show to any room.

Tools and B.O.M.

The tools needed for the project are a 3D printer capable of printing 200 X 200 mm cube. You'll need a m8 or equivalent tap, a screwdriver and some tape or hot glue. That's it! The B.O.M. (bill of materials) includes only 3 things!

  • Printer fillament of your choice. I chose a Gold PLA for the base and light cone and white PLA for the shades. The LED strip in use does not produce enough heat to even soften PLA so pick whichever fillament suits you. 1
  • A five meter light strip like this one: (JunWen LED Light Strip) The kit comes with a remote that runs different scenes, selects color, serves as your on / off switch and has all the electronic components needed..
  • Four M4 X 20mm screws. You can use any machine screw you want. M4 X 20mm is given for reference and will fit the printed parts without modification.

Step 1: Step One - Print the Files.

1. Because of the size of the parts I printed in three steps for the base. The base plate (base_plate.stl), base (base.stl), and light cone (light_cone.stl).

2. Print the shade or shades. There are two STL files included. Set your printer software into the mode that prints one wall, in one continuous stream. I use Cura and in it, this mode is called "Vase Mode". Be sure to orient the vase with the top side down.

Step 2: Step Two - Assemble the Base.

1. Dry fit the base plate and the base. It should be snug but not too tight. You should be able to remove the base plate by hand. If it is too snug, lightly file or sand the edge.

2. Tap the base holes (x4) to recieve the M4 or other machine screws you've chosen.

3. Mount the interior electronics by first fitting the IR reciever control to the outlet. The opening has been left purposfully snug so you can compression fit the IR sensor. It should be very snug but not to tight as to damage it on installation.

4. Plug the LED light strip into the brick and route it out the top of the base.

5. Route the power cord out the bottom of the base.

6. You may choose to hot glue or velcro the brick to the base plate. I did not and the brick stays in place when moving the lamp.

7. Screw the plate in.

8. Hot or Super glue the light cone to the base aftger threading the LED light strip through the hole.

Step 3: Step Three - Wrap the Lights.

If this is a permanent installation, use hot glue every 2 inches on the back of the strip to secure the lights to the light cone. I have only used tape and the results are holding up well. Wrap the LED's with no vertical gaps. The 5 meter rope will leave you with about 8 inches left over, which you can tuck back down inside the light cone providing some additional illumination to the top of the shade.

Step 4: Step Four - Plug It In.

Enjoy your new living room mood creator! If you purchased the reccomended kit, you can strobe, fade and more through 16,000 + color combinations!

Step 5: STL Files

Make it Glow Contest 2018

Participated in the
Make it Glow Contest 2018