3D Printed LED Candle Lamp

About: I teach STEM electives (engineering, robotics, and computer aided design) to 6th through 8th graders at North Middle School in Everett, WA.

This is a lesson for my 8th grade digital manufacturing class. They sculpt and model a design in Fusion 360, model a LED candle as a tool for cutting, and then we print the "lamp" in transparent PLA to make a neat little lamp.

Supplies:

Fusion 360 capable computers, Transparent and other colors of PLA

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Step 1: Measure and Model Your LED Candle

Use digital calipers or a ruler to measure your store-bought LED candle.

You are going to model in in Fusion, but it is mostly going to be used as a placeholder, so the important thing will be the basic shape. We will model it with two cylinders, rather than trying to replicate the "flame" shape.

Use the CREATE--> CYLINDER tool to make the candle base in the center of your "floor" (my class: XY) plane

Use the CREATE--> CYLINDER again, this time using the top face of the first cylinder as your planar surface for the led light/ candle flame. Make the LED a NEW BODY (not join) so that it can remain a different material from the candle base.

Use MODIFY--> APPEARANCE to change the base and LED. Hint: You will find a variety of light options under the category "Emissive". Choose one of these for the LED.

Save this file.

Step 2: Open or Create Your Light and Add the Candle

My students add the candle to a design they have already created. You could also create a new design for this purpose.

Open the design that will be your lamp.

Then INSERT the candle:

  1. Open the Data Panel
  2. Right Click on your candle file
  3. Choose "Insert Into Current Design"
  4. Move the candle until it is positioned how you want it. (it may help to make the lamp transparent)

Step 3: Use the Candle File As a Cutting Tool

Use MODIFY--> COMBINE

Select your lamp object as the TARGET BODY and select your candle object as they TOOL BODY. Set the operation to CUT and make sure that KEEP TOOLS is checked (so that your candle does not disappear)

This should leave a cut out of your candle (if you hide the candle in the browser)

Step 4: Shell the Lamp

Select the Inner surface of the candle flame cylinder hole.

Choose MODIFY-->SHELL

Shell it to 2 mm

That is it! You are ready to print.

Step 5: Printing Tips

We print in transparent PLA with 0% infill (because it needs to be hollow!). If supports are needed (not always), we have used dissolving PVA. Some of my students make bases, and choose to have the candle partially set into the base (like the narwhal lamp)- Those we print with the color of choice, 10-15% infill.

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    Discussions

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    seamster

    13 days ago

    Excellent!