The 3D-Printed Atomic Sun Lamp

The 3D-Printed Atomic Sun Lamp

Range Govindan
Feb 15, 2011

While not everyone has access to a 3D printer, there are some amazing things that you can do with one. You can print iPad stands or anything else that you can think of. The overall design of this lamp is pretty simple, but the resulting Atomic Sun looks impressive. It's strange to think that a bunch of plastic pieces that were made in a 3D printer were able to assemble into something like this.

3D printers aren't yet commonly available, but you can hack your own or you can use one at a hacker collective, like the NYC Resistor. Some of the pieces that make up this DIY lamp need to be printed out on a 3D printer. Michael Rule from Providence, Rhode Island, printed the 12 pentagonal and 20 hexagonal modules needed for his Atomic Sun lamp on a MakerBot, an open-source 3D printer. The models needed to print these pieces are available here.

The hexagonal pieces are the lamp brackets. The printed parts need to be trimmed down with a knife before you start assembling them. You need to pre-assemble the pieces to see if they fit. Then 'unroll' them and test the light bulbs. Unplug them and start assembling the polyhedron. Add a bit of super glue if the hinges aren't stable enough, but Michael says that the overall structure is very tough. Using CFL bulbs is the best idea since they don't use up that much power. The resulting lamp does look like a little sun. Michael used a rope to fasten the lamp, but he suggests that a chain would be better. The cost for this build is about $40.

(via Make, photos by Michael Rule)

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