3D Printed Lamps

Finally getting around to posting these lamps. We are going through some pretty major renos this year including our kitchen with a bar area. (Yes, of course it’s going to have plumbed in beer taps, did you really need to ask?) We’ll also be installing hanging pendant lights over the bar top and I’d been thinking about 3D printing our own. This year we were involved in an art show as well as the Synchronicity Festival and I made the lamps my project. Designing these shades is super fun and addictive. I’ve probably made around 20 designs. These are the 3 we chose to show.

The left hand one is printed from wood filament, the center from copper filament and the right from PLA plastic. They’re all printed on Derek’s first 3D printer. That printer is probably 5 years old now and still going strong!

3lamps

I think we will be going with a series of 3 of the PLA shades for the bar top. I’ll post a photo once the renos are done.

whitelamp

Derek designed and built another 3D printer for the shows which we will post about in the next week or so. It’s a powder bed printer. He is currently working on his 3rd printer. Hopefully it will be finished in the next couple of months.

PLA Lost “Wax” Casting

TL;DR: It works, try it.

I finished off the furnace with another couple of pounds of refractory cement, and let it dry for a couple of days, then fired it slowly over a few hours to burn out the rest of the water. Things looked solid, so the next step was to try and cast something. Of course, my first thought was to “forge” some currency, and the results are below:

BTC: Meatspace Edition

It looks like I needed to burn out the PLA for a bit longer, as things bubbled and hissed a bit when I poured in the Metal. The plaster definitely needed more burnout too, since it cracked and released some steam, but overall, the process works. Just be patient with the burnout, and run it for a really long time to make sure you get all the water out (and/or keep your investments thin as you safely can).

Overall: Success! I’ll be doing Aluminum next, casting some 80/20 compatible parts for my new 3d printer design.

STRONG Bed Adhesion with PVA/Weldbond

I have been having some issues with insufficient bed adhesion, especially when using some less than stellar PLA, so started experimenting with a variety of bed treatments. ABS paint, bluetape and Kapton all worked pretty well, but the new, all time champion is now PVA/Weldbond glue in an ultra-thin layer, only a few molecules thick, which gets the strongest (perhaps too strong) bond I have ever managed. This thin layer completely eliminates any corner lift, and prevents the tape from being pulled off of the bed as well. As a bonus, the heated bed doesn’t have to run as hot.