Are you doing 3D printing lamp shades? Tom Hazzard and Tracy Hazzard give you insights about the process in this episode. They talk about the interesting designs that are out there and how they are doing one of their own. From the design to the actual production and manufacturing process, Tom and Tracy offer tips and tricks to help you make your 3D printing lamp shades efficiently. Tune into today’s show to learn how to go about your lighting project in a safe way yet still produce one that is uniquely yours.
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3D Printed Lamp Shades
We’re going to talk about Creative Tools. They have put out an interesting 3D printed lamp. I love the texture of it. It’s available on Pinshape and Thingiverse. It’s downloadable. You can download it. They also sell it because I saw a nice little box design that they had. I liked the shape that they had of the box. You could see the texture of the lampshade in it and also see how it would attach to the lamp. They’re using an off the shelf kit. It looks a little IKEA base lamp but they’ve also created a lampshade fitting that helps you attach to that lower lamp piece which is nice and it works well.
They took a different approach than I did when I was doing 3D printed lampshades and experimenting with it. I was experimenting with the limits of 3D printing and printing an object with no infill and a thin shell. I was making mine with an inner wall and an outer wall and holes between them so it gave it some more rigid structure. What they’ve done here is created a form and 3D printed it. It’s one outer shell around the whole lampshade.
The entire thing, if you were to take it off the printer, it’ll flex you can squeeze it more into an elliptical shape if you wanted to even though it’s round. Because it’s one extrusion width of plastic wall thickness all the way around. They created a separate part that attaches to the lamp itself that this shade pops on to and it helps hold its generally cylindrical form. It’s an interesting approach. It would print faster and with less material than what I did, which I built the whole mechanism to hold it in one with the whole shade. I was also trying to have specific penetration of having holes going through it at angles and things seeing into the light.
We were experimenting with the way the light would interact with it and not so much creating a more traditional type lampshade but I like the flexibility of theirs. It’s a nice way to do it. I wish it wasn’t only white. I need some more colors going on there. It’s a cool idea and it’s a lot of fun to be able to do that. This is a perfect project to inspire your weekend. It’s something you can take on and you can do. They’re using an LED light in there probably because it’s a little too small and too close to the shade itself. We were trying to be a little more expansive in our options of what we can do in ours as well. That’s perfectly viable. LED lights are common and easy to get all the parts that you need. IKEA carries all these kits. It’s super easy to buy a hanging chandelier. You modified one for our daughter.
I did. IKEA makes these cool chandeliers. It reminds me honestly of the Death Star, where it’s a sphere and you pull it down and the whole thing expands, revealing the light. I had thought about this at the time. It’s a modular design thing and there are many things you can do. You’re right. IKEA has all different kinds of light fixtures and light kits and things and they usually make them modular. If you want to do a great 3D printed lamp project, walk into IKEA look at the different lamps that are there and find one that is modular, where you’re buying the bulb fixture, electric wires and everything separately from the actual structure of the shade or whatever holds up the light. Use that as a safe UL approved component. Design and make your own lamp fixture, shade or stand around that. It’s a great opportunity to do your DIY lamp project.
I agree with you, although Alex would take some serious issue with you calling her Tiffany blue lamp shade thing a Death Star.
The reality is even something like that would be a little different project. That light has a whole armature and structure inside of it that is injection molded plastic and they’re scissor lift type things. When you pull it down, it moves all these parts but the outer skin of the sphere are modular pieces that snap in there. You can easily design your own with some more interesting design or texture. Design them to snap in and replace those parts and create a different and more interesting design. You just have to make sure you understand how those parts do move about each other so that the design would not interfere with the mechanism.
You can go our route, which is to design something where you’re getting a play of light so that you get a different light pattern that’s created from it on the ceiling, floor or wherever it is that you’re trying to express that idea of a different way of throwing light into your space.
That’s a great idea because the way that light works is when you close it there’s not a whole lot of light that’s cast except maybe up in the center at the top. You could design it so when it’s closed, a certain amount of light is projected up toward the ceiling and bouncing down to some up light. When you pull it down, you’re opening it up and getting the southern effect of more light coming throughout and creating a nice interplay of shadows and light in other areas.
You’re creating star patterns across your ceiling or something fun like that. There’s a lot of different things. I do want to go back to something you said about UL listing and I want to make sure that everyone understands what that is because to us that’s common. UL listing is Underwriters Laboratory. It’s an outside testing company that tests all kinds of electronics and other things that require a high-level of testing and heavy standards so that there are no fires, danger and you’re not over-amping something or anything like that. It’s part of the failure when you see these things that blow up phones and hoverboards. When you see all those things happen it’s because they were not properly tested and up to UL standards.
What we found happens a lot is there was a testing process and we call it the golden sample. Usually, one sample or three samples gets sent to the lab and get tested but somewhere over time, when you’re receiving a component into your factory and incorporating it into your kit, product or whatever it is you’re using, there isn’t a testing process that continues to test that it’s meeting those standards. Some of those things are hard to tell. We had one item that was a cord and it looks right but inside of it the wires that were making up the cord were too small. They weren’t up to standard. They didn’t have the correct number of them or something that. Even though the overall form of it looked it was the right size and looked like everything was right, it actually wasn’t correct and it could have caused fires.When designing your 3D print product, you don't want to mess with electronics unless you know what you're doing in electrical systems. Click To Tweet
It’s a good point to bring up UL. We haven’t talked about that pretty much on the show.
I don’t know why we normally would.
Pretty much any product that involves electricity that plugs in a wall certainly and others that are battery operated especially for rechargeable battery also, most of the time the manufacturers go and have them UL tested. What they will say on them usually on a flexible sticker label on the cord or printed on the product on the bottom or backside of it, it’ll say if it’s UL listed. A manufacturer can still have a problem in manufacturing where something goes wrong even though a product has been UL tested and listed. You can at least trust that the inherent engineering and design of that electronic product has been tested to a certain safety standard and met it. Otherwise, it doesn’t achieve that UL list.
The design and engineering met it. It doesn’t mean that the manufacturing and quality control has met it. That’s where things like the hoverboard and all of those things fell apart. Although my understanding is a lot of those knockoffs did not get UL listed properly.
It may not be well known among average consumers but there are people that do not get products properly UL tested. I don’t know if it’s illegally or certainly unethical to print a UL approval on products to counterfeit products and sell them. That’s unfortunate. If you ever question whether a product is UL listed in the UL itself that’s here in the US, you can look it up on their website. You can find out if it’s legit.
That’s all the more reason because you don’t want to mess with electronics unless you know what you’re doing in electrical systems. That’s why one of these kits is so good to buy and I prefer not buying a random kit on the internet. You don’t know where it came from. If you’re buying it from a source like IKEA or whatever they have a quality control system in there so you’re more likely to have what you need. You can also go to places you could get the right LED lights and you can get everything you need to make that happen. That’s one of my reasons for recommending that. From a safety perspective, it’s good to go and seek those out.
That’s the reality of the lighting industry and when you’re looking for a project to do, a lighting project is a good one to do because there are standards in the parts and components that go to make lights. There have been for decades. The parts have evolved over time from normal incandescent light bulbs now to a lot more LEDs and other halogen lights and other things. There have always been standards and components in even any big lighting store. Even if you’re trying to sell, complete light carries components. Even places like Lowe’s or Home Depot that sells a lot of lighting has components. You can walk in there and buy and walk away with that or replacement parts for lights and things that. There are modular systems available you can work within as a DIY project or a student project or whatever. It’s quite safe to go and purchase some of those components, build around them and make something still unique and yours. That’s what I like about lighting. Your right, LEDs have come a long way.
The light used to be so ugly. Our house was lit with LEDs during the holiday time.
The Christmas lights outdoors?
We bought them early on when they first came out. They had this purple blue cast and they were so bright. My dad used to joke that you could see it from space. Our house was lit up. It was the blue-purple house. I used to say periwinkle blue or ice blue house that you can see from space. You can’t miss our house. They’ve come a long because the quality of that light is good right now. It’s got a lot of what we think of is white light quality to it. It’s warmer than it used to be.
The LED lights are a lot smaller. They don’t take up as much room and don’t generate as much heat. Doing these lighting projects and a lot of ways has become cheaper and safer. I’m remembering the episode we did on the Shotbox. That’s a little portable photo studio that’s ideal for people who are selling things on Etsy or selling things on Amazon. Amazon requires every product to be shot on a plain white background. The Shotbox is a new modern product. Instead of having a big photo studio with all these big lights hanging from above and around all sides. They have made this portable photo studio all with LED lights and it’s so compact, efficient and easy to use.
It’s not hot. That’s another thing. Those big lights used to get hot and we turned them off because they were heating up space. This is a fun project. When you start approaching it on the design side from figuring out what you want to do not just stylistically in your space because that’s part of it but stylistically with light. Now you get to interact with that and choose how to design and create art patterns and all sorts of things that you can do with the lights. I love the idea of this project. This is a fun one. I hope it inspires your weekend. I would love to see what you do with it. Reach out to us on social media, @3DStartPoint and also on 3DStartPoint.com, and let us know what you think.
Please do share your project and some ideas for other projects. We would love to hear about it. We can give you a little exposure if you’ve got one.
We’ll have a link to Creative Tools’ products and their lampshade but also their YouTube video of the time-lapse of it being made and you can see the flexibility and see how it was run.
I hope you enjoyed this episode as much as we did. I’m inspired. I want to go do a new lamp design right now. Thanks for reading, everybody.
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