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




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

About: My name is Sabine. I'm a hobbyist with a variety of interests which includes 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.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

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.

Be the First to Share


    • Sculpting Challenge

      Sculpting Challenge
    • 3D Printed Contest

      3D Printed Contest
    • Motor Vehicle Contest

      Motor Vehicle Contest

    2 Discussions


    10 months ago

    How interesting! I've never seen a floating wick before :D


    Reply 10 months ago

    Thank you. I was so sad misplacing the old one and so glad I had the idea to make one on my own. I already have some ideas for new designs.