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Since I built my Prusa Mendel, I've been looking for ways to get more light on the bed during printing. I finally hit upon this excellent solution.
The idea is to install an extra frame vertex on one (or both) ends of the printer top bar; the vertex is enhanced to include a tab that supports one of these great gooseneck lights sold by Ikea.
(Strangely, you can't/couldn't actually buy them on the Ikea web site, but you can buy them other places, e.g., here) Get two lights and put a mount on each end of the printer for even more light and less shadows.
The long gooseneck lets you put light wherever you want it, and it's bright enough to let you see how the print is progressing without being blinding or totally obnoxious.
You can run the light directly from your house power using the power adaptor that comes with it; I put together a simple 500mA constant current source so I could power the light from the printer's 12V supply (so everything turns on and off at once).
Note that you can use the frame vertex that holds the lamp as part of this Prusa Mendel Filament Spool Holder to get a two-fer.
(1) Buy one or two Ikea JANSJÖ– lamps. Get the kind that sits on a weighted base.
(2) Print one or two of the frame vertex parts from this page. I used ABS, but the strength requirements are not huge so PLA would be fine as well, I'm sure. Drill the holes that will take the threaded rod to 8.5mm; drill the holes in the mounting tab to 5.5mm.
(3) Mount the vertex on the end of the printer top bar. Orient it so the flat surface of the mounting tab faces up. Use the same nuts and washers you used to assemble the rest of the printer.
(4) Discard the weighted base that comes with the lamp. Mount the end of the gooseneck directly to the tab on the vertex, using the screws and washers that come with the lamp. Position the lamp head as needed (I put mine so it's off to the side and out of the way.)
(5) Either connect the lamp to a wall socket, or else figure out some other power source.
Prusa Mendel Lamp Mount by ChatterComa is licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution license.
So what's this mean?
We're sure ChatterComa would love to see what you've printed - take a photo and share it on Thingiverse as a Make.
To post a Make simply visit this Thing again and click I Made One to start uploading your photo. You can also download the Thingiverse Mobile app (available via Google Play and Apple App Store) to take a photo and upload your Make right from the app!