Recently we were asked to create a gift for a local private Catholic School who was have a dinner to honor their teachers. We were given free reign to design something which highlighted what was possible to create using 3D printing.
As we often do with our projects we begin by sitting down and discussing ideas on what it should look like. We right away decide to incorporate as much of the school logo into the project as possible. As often happens certain projects allow us to try new materials and in this case we had been wanting to experiment with both wood filaments and HD Glass filament, so we decided to use coconut wood filament to print the cross, this was a good choice we thought as it fit nicely into the symbol itself. Because there was a rose in the logo we had the idea of printing a rose using our HD Glass filament for its translucent qualities.
We found a great example of a rose on Thingiverse and then used Blender to refine and add some elements which included a place to insert the cross and a hole in the bottom to slide over the LED. We got the idea for the base from looking at the battery operated round flickering candles you can buy. The ready made candle bases did not fit or operate the way we wanted, so we used Fusion 360 and designed our own version which features a battery, switch and threaded bottom plate. For ease of assembly, we put an automatic LED bender in the base of the light. It bends the leads in the right direction as you insert the LED so there’s no room for a polarity error. After the LED is bent, we put the battery holder on a mount inside of the base, glue the switch in, and then solder all the necessary wires. In Fusion we designed the plate with threads which allows for easy access to replace batteries. Designing our own base allows us to use any color of LED, the base can used in a number of different applications, night lights, display accents, and inside your favorite LEGO creation for a lighting effect.
We printed the cross logo using our Ultimaker 2 printer, the coconut wood prints very well with the Ulitimaker it does have a rather strong odor to it, think burning wood with a hint of PLA smell. The assembly of the various parts is fairly straight forward. We used a CR2032 battery holder and glued it down into the slot created during the design process in Fusion 360. We then soldered the connections from LED to switch, LED to battery and battery back to switch. Once assembled we glued the rose to the base over the led and then we put the cross in the slot created in Fusion and printed on the Ultimaker. The light bases are available for purchase and come in any color LED light you would like, we used clear, red and blue in our examples. For more information email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The switches we used in the light base.
The base lid which is threaded.
White and Red LED.
White, Blue and Red.
Another use for the light base.