Light 'em Up: Turn Any 3D Print Into a LED Lamp




Introduction: Light 'em Up: Turn Any 3D Print Into a LED Lamp

About: Product designer

3D print + LED = awesomeness

Here I'll show you how to make a little LED lamp from any 3D print you like
This is the easiest way I could think of and it requires just a LED and a button cell battery

The result is a mood light which you can turn on/off by turning, which allows for the LED to make contact with the battery

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Step 1: What You'll Need

- 3D printer or access to one
- Transparant filament, I use natural PETG
- 1 button cell battery3v CR2032
- 1 standard 5mm LED, get the bright ones
- Meshmixer software if you want to turn your own print into a LED lamp

Step 2: Prepare the Print

Our 3D light will exist out of 2 parts: the threaded base with battery + the transparant print with threaded cut-out and LED

The base you can print in any material and doesn't need support

If you want to convert an existing print to fit the base you first need to do a boolean difference with the 'Cut out' file in the (free) meshmixer software (works with STL files)
I added a short video that shows how to do this

Or you can use the prints I already prepared from Thingverse uploads
(original files: Skull head, Pop Buddha, Chameleon)

Step 3: Print

I printed the base in white PLA without support and 20% infill

For the transparant part I suggest natural PETG and 15% infill (less infill is more light coming through)
There is no need for support to print the threaded Cut-out, but it might be needed for other overhangs in your print

Step 4: Install Battery and LED

The battery snaps on the base, make sure to put the negative side upwards

Before you snap the LED into the print, coil up the negative wire (the shortest wire) with a pencil
Fit the LED and bend the positive wire so it touches the side of the print right underneath the thread, or possibly a little bit inside the thread. You might need to redo this a couple times before you get it right.

Now just screw the print onto the base and you're done!

NOTE: one button cell battery provides juice for about 10 hours of light (220mAh/20mA=+-10h)
NOTE: using LEDs without a resistor might cause them to burn out faster, this is the case when you use a LED that needs less voltage then the battery provides (3V). Like yellow/red/orange LEDs (+-1.8V). I haven't seen them burn out yet, the difference isn't that big and since LEDs are cheap I wouldn't care too much about it. But if you want to be sure use a 100 ohm resistor or use green/blue/white/pink LEDs they are about 3.2V or more.

Step 5: Let It Shine!

Share your Light 'em up prints so we can make a bigger series in all different colors!

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    3 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Is it normal that the Battery and the LED get warm ?

    E Rosseau
    E Rosseau

    Reply 3 years ago

    Either you are using a LED that needs less voltage then the battery provides like yellow/red/orange LEDs (+-1.8V) Or you are using a battery that provides more than 3V? You could solve it by adding a resistor.

    If you want to read more about LEDs:


    3 years ago

    Those look really neat!