Introduction: Mason Jar Astronaut Sensor Light

The Astronaut Mason Jar light is a quick and simple weekend project. the idea is to use the Mason jar's classic form to make a figurine head that can be illuminated with LED inside. an astronaut figurine is what I had in mind first. the Head is enlarged to emphasize the mason jar element and makes the overall proportion cute. the concept is quite simple, design a body and 3d printed it. attach the mason jar, wire the lighting component then attach the helmet. the result is quite amazing, the Lighting component has a music sensor so LED will flash with the music, which makes the figurine quite attractive as a desktop mood light. Lets begin with the design process.


Mason Jar

70mm diameter, preserving Mason Jar by Bormioli Rocco, 250ml. this mason jar is the right size for a figurehead. a 120ml smaller size is okay as well.

link of the Mason Jar.

Lighting Component
Music Sensor String light/ Copper Wire Fair Light. I picked a 3meter long string light for its compact size and brightness

link of the string light, from a hardware store in Australia.

The Rest

2 x 3mm wood screws

grey spray primer

acetone for gluing ABS 3D printed parts

File and Sandpaper for the post-printing finish

acrylic paint (optional), marker,

Step 1: Design Process

I designed the astronaut figurine in 3ds max. First I found some astronaut image reference, then worked out the scale of the whole figure. the yellow part is a rough estimate of the Mason jar. The one I used is roughly 70mm diameter at the lid, 88mm at the widest part in the middle, and 90 mm in total height. I made the helmet to encapsulate the whole jar so the overall shape of the head is somewhat a rough barrel form. I made the legs bending slightly to bear the load of the glass jar and enlarged the feet so the figure is stable. the body part has a hollow core to direct LED into the head cavity internally.

the backpack is kept minimum with a flat surface. I could then attach an alternative solar panel in the future.

the whole figure is then sliced into different parts for optimistic 3d printing orientation.

Step 2: Set Up Parts for 3d Printing

Updated: all the STL had a scale issue previously, now they should be the right scale. I have also fixed the mesh in the legs file. everything should be fine now

For the best result, I can think of. I divided the body parts into the following pieces

Left Arm, Right Arm, Left Body, Right Body, legs.

smaller parts eliminate a lot of support materials needed. I own a fairly old printer, so failed prints are quite common recently. this way can easily manage the result and time.

the helmet in two parts separate at the widest part. the helmet is meant for joining at the end of the assembly. so don't glue them together first, otherwise, the jar won't fit into the helmet.

now just be patient and let the printer do its work.

Step 3: Inspect 3d Printing Parts

I printed all the parts in white ABS. I use ABS filament because I can glue it with acetone for the post finish process.

break all the support and cut any obvious seams.

while I am waiting for the helmet to finish. I started on the post-finish process.

Step 4: Glue and Post Finish All the 3d Printing Parts

I first sand all the joining seam smooth. Then I used acetone to brush on both sides of the joining surface. glue and press them together. the gaps are filled with 2-parts epoxy clay and sand it smooth again. have some patience. once the legs and arms are all glued to the body we can move on to the painting process.

Step 5: Painting Astronaut Figurine

I applied spray paint it with 2 layers of gray primer. After the primer is evenly applied, any seams and gaps that are previously hard to see are shown now. I used a fine metal file to remove any imperfection. Finally, I applied the 3rd layer of primer. and wait until it is dry.

to add more definition to the spacesuit I applied white acrylic paint on top of the gray primer. I used the dry brush technique, so the white paint only covers the raised surface and left the crease and concave surface gray. the helmet is done the same process.

2 layer primer -> sand ->one more layer of primer -> fully dry -> white paint cover.

once all the pieces are done we can move on to assembly.

Step 6: Assembly

1. Guide the copper wire LED through the body core.

2. Screw on the Mason Jar lid. drill a larger hole in the middle.

3. Before attach the glass jar. place the lower helmet in place first. shove all the tiny LED inside the jar. then attach the glass jar tightly.

4. glue on the upper helmet with super glue.

Step 7: Complete!

Switch on the light backpack! and enjoy the light show.

the music sensor really makes the figurine interactive. it is perfect for desktop display.

Please give it a try and Enjoy!

Mason Jar Speed Challenge

Grand Prize in the
Mason Jar Speed Challenge