How to Light Up Your 3D Printer




About: Do not follow the ideas of others, but learn to listen to the voice within yourself. Aldric Negrier aldricnegrier

The title is somewhat misleading ... the correct long one should have been:

How to attach a RGB LED strip to your RepRapr Prusa i3 3D Printer Acrylic Frame

for better/stunning illumination

Anyways, this instructable will guide you through the process of lighting up your RepRap 3D printers Acrylic frame ( single frame) using a 12V RGB LED strip.

The problem? Some times it is hard to see how your 3D printer (Prusa i3) is printing because of bad light conditions.

The solution ... shed some LED's on it

Before you go any further take a look at results of the before and after LED's.

Step 1: List of Tools and Materials

Pre requisites: Your printer has to have an acrylic frame in order to obtain the results seen in the video.

In order to light up your 3D printer you will need the following list of tools and materials:


- Soldering iron

- Soldering wire

- Hot glue gun and glue sticks

- Ruler


- 50 cm RGB led Stip (more or less 50cm)

- Infra red LED stip controller

- Wires with 4 different colors

Step 2: Gluing the RGB LED Strips to the Frame

The objective of this step is to securely position the RGB LED strips onto the acrylic printer frame.


- Using the ruler, measure the length of the top part of the printers frame

- Cut out a small strip of the RGB LED strip according to your measurements (cut in the appropriate section)

- Using a hot glue gun, position the RGB led Stip to the top of the frame and glue the corners of the strip to the frame. Be careful not to use too much glue to avoid making a mess.

- Using the ruler, measure the size of the rear acrylic bed plate

- Cut the RGB LED strips according to your measurements

- Using a hot glue gun, position the RGB led Stip to the top of the frame and glue the corners of the stip to the bed plate. Be careful not to use too much glue to avoid making a mess.

Organize all wires, and make shore they do not interfere with the printers movements.

Step 3: Wiring the RGB LED Strip

The objective of this step is to connect in series the two RGB LED strips in order for them to light up together.

RGB LED strips normally have 4 electrical contacts, Red, Green, Blue and power (12V).


- Cut 8 electrical wires with the same length and different colors.

- Solder 4 of the wires to the end of the RGB LED strip contacts on the top frame of the Printer (using the soldering iron and some solder wire)

- Connect the top and bottom strip the remaining 4 wires, one soldered to the other corresponding label (R G B 12V)

Step 4: Powering Up the RGB LED Strips

The objective of this step is to power the RGB LED Strip using the existing 12V power supply from your printer.

In order to do this thought keep in mind that you need to have a power supply that can handle enough amperage to power the extra LDS's.


- Using the hot glue gun, attache the RGB LED Strip Infra red Receiver to the back of the Power supply or any other place on the frame (be careful not to put it in the path of the printers movements)

- Attach the 4 wires from the RGB Strip to the IR receiver

- Connect the 12V from the power supply to the IR transmitter

Step 5: The End Result

You can now remotely control the LED from your printer, using your Infra red transmitter.



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    5 Discussions


    3 years ago on Step 5

    you can make lights light up using M42 command

    Ex: M42 P4 S255 to set HIGH on P4

    to turn it off use M42 P4 S0

    by assigning different pins you can have rgb control

    I have that same printer frame. I love this!! definitely going to be a good way to keep my print bed lit up for time lapse! nice work!