Touch Activated Recycled Glow in the Dark CD Lamp




Introduction: Touch Activated Recycled Glow in the Dark CD Lamp

Always liked the idea of repurpose things, and one day my sister was throwing out a billion of her old CD's...
and "Light BULB!" (literally)

I mean, I have a 3D printer, lets give this a go. only took me two years :P (got kids)

Without further adieu, here is my first instructable and rough draft, if you have questions or comments, by all means: send them my way!


Step 1: Required Tools/Supplies

3D printer
LED's (I used flickerflame LED's cuz they are cool and give a fire like glow :)
Soldering Iron
USB cable (i cut one off an old usb mouse that no longer worked)
5v touch switch
old HDD (by old i mean not functioning, we need to remove the hdd platter to give us a conductive plane to act as a switch)
3 3" threaded rods
acorn nuts
drill press
old CD's
FreeCAD (have to draw our lamp some how)

Step 2: Gather Materials

Hardware Store:

3 3" threaded rods
3 acorn nuts
1 nut
crimp wire thing*


Flicker Flame LED's
5v touch switch


Lamp Base
Lamp Top
Hole Drilling Jig


USB cable

Step 3: FreeCAD

I drew up a base and a top, as well as a hole drilling jig that fit just nicely inside the CD hole so I could easily line up all my holes... although I learned in short order that even with this guide for help, I still needed to drill each hole one at a time. (no stacking disks... originally I had hoped to do 5 or at least 2 disks at a time... they are to flexible and that makes your holes very inaccurate... so its best to just do one disk at a time.)

Step 4: Printing.

I printed my parts with glow in the dark PLA on a Solidoodle3.

they turned out quite well, I don't remember the temp settings or anything... I mostly print in ABS so I was very surprised at how forgiving PLA is. I am going to have to print with it some more.

single extruder
heated glass bed

Step 5: Assembly

So After we have all our CD's drilled with three holes, got our base and top printed, and have assembled all the parts and pieces. It's time to put this bad boy together and marvel at it's touchy magic!

So as you can see from the images, the PCB for the touch switch fits easily in the allotted spot and the three threaded rods screw in nicely as well!

We then ground it to one of the rods with our nut. (Remember to make one of the holes in 3-4 of the CD's a bit bigger to accommodate this nut)

Try to get the rods all the same length. (I screwed the acorn nuts on and used them to level)

Next: wire power in and add the LED's (As you can see I stacked the LED's - trying to get light out at all angles... there's probably a better arrangement, but this worked for me)

Once everything is all wired up, test it. should be able to just touch that one rod with the switch grounded to it, and it should light the LED's

If everything works, hot glue them so they don't move around on us.

Stack up the CD's and get the top ready to bolt on.

[at this point I discovered that the CD's still shifted a lot, even with three bolts, so my solution was to get some clear plastic, like a pop bottle and cut a small rectangle, then roll it up and put it in the center so as to apply constant pressure in the center to maintain alignment. works like a charm. and didn't notice any diminishing of light. could probably use this to change colors too, example: if you used a green pop bottle. ]

Once it's all assembled, put that bad boy on your nightstand and impress your girl!
Or give it away as an awesome gift!

Lamps and Lighting Contest 2016

Participated in the
Lamps and Lighting Contest 2016

LED Contest

Participated in the
LED Contest

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    2 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Super nice project!


    3 years ago

    This looks great and is an awesome idea to reuse old materials :)