Pyramid Lamp

It is easy to download 3D designs and print those objects.  It is also easy to design and print small trivial objects (a lid for a cat food can).  For my talk about 3D printing, I wanted to challenge myself to create an object that was new and complex.  At one point, I imagined a four-sided white pyramid, which glowed from within with pulsing lights that changed colors and pulse patterns.  The lights would be provided by red/green/blue LEDs, which would be powered by and controlled by an Arduino computer board.

This is the first prototype of the pyramid:

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I first printed the pyramid on the right, with different geometrical shapes on each surface.  I then decided to stick with four hemispheres, and tried to fabricate the pyramid out of four triangles that I printed separately.  When the precision of the printed triangles was inadequate, I went back to printing the pyramid as a single part. The pyramid is hollow, as you can see, with small divots on the inside wall, in which I mounted the LEDs.

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I printed a base, with a slot to hold the Arduino board, a recess on top to accept the pyramid, and a hole on the top to allow wires to enter the base of the pyramid.  Lots of custom shapes!

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This is the view from below just before final assembly:

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And this is what it looks like when working:

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Here is a video of the working lamp:

While this project is not spectacular in terms of either complexity or beauty, it does illustrate a few principles:

1) I had a dream and was able to realize it fairly quickly

2) the objects printed would have been impossible to create in a timely, cost effective manner without the 3D printer

3) I demonstrated the integration of “art”, 3D printing, electronics, and control software

All in all, I am quite pleased with the project. People who have seen it have been captivated.  Or else I have very polite friends.

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