A 3d printed anglepoise lamp, from the highly derived LED Desk Lamp by CarryTheWhat on Thingiverse

A no-solder, 3d printed, miniature anglepoise lamp in black and UV.

Above, you can see my weekend project – a 3d printed, no-soldering-iron-required, LED using miniature anglepoise lamp.  I printed it on Saturday, and assembled it on Sunday – it’s fitted with 6 UV LEDs (because I couldn’t find any white at the time) and the lamp shade has a thin accent line of glow-in-the-dark plastic as a highlight.

Overall the print was a little wonky in places – my tolerances are nowhere near as precise as the designer’s – and there are some SERIOUS improvements that could be made to some of the working parts like the battery holders and the switch – but it’s certainly not bad for a weekend’s efforts!  What really impresses me, however, is the speed and inventiveness of the Thingiverse community – this model that I am able to freely download, print and assemble for myself, has already gone through three major evolutions and three completely unconnected designers from who-knows-where.

Way back in 2008 a user called Jon uploaded a Luxo Jr. model to Google Warehouse for SketchUp.  Then, a mere 13 days ago, Mattraptions on Thingiverse posted a Luxo Jr. inspired anglepoise lamp model based on that Google model, ready to be 3d printed.  3 days later, Skimbal (using Tony Buser’s devices) modified the files to instead be snap-together for the Snap Together Mini Lamp thing.  6 days later, CarryTheWhat modified that model so you could ‘wire’ it by wrapping conductive thread, powering 6 LEDs in the head.  4 days after that, I printed the version you see above.

If I were to make my own derivative design, I’d include some springs – some springs for the switch assembly (which I found very unreliable on my print) and springs for holding the batteries in place.  I’d done a lot of experiments with printed springs (and locking clips) for my hairclip design – it would be good to get more use out of the knowledge I gained.  I think I’d also change the shape of the base to both fit my printer better as it was just touching the limits of my prints space, and to hide the batteries underneath the base instead of sitting atop.  The LED array could stand to fit the lampshade a little more neatly too.

I sound unsatisfied, but isn’t it wonderful to be able to have an item and be able to improve upon it!