by emmett, published
For me, what makes 3D printing so awesome is not just that you can make things yourself that you would have otherwise bought, but that you can make things that couldn't be made any other way. For this reason, I've been captivated by captured joints, where moving parts are printed together such that no assembly is required.
This lampshade consists of 14 interlocking pieces printed at once. When you pull up on the top, the blossom opens, allowing more light out. See the video here: http://youtu.be/blEgWG9V9sA
This lamp is my entry into ProtoParadigm's Winter Wonderland Contest, since when I'm struggling through a long, dark, Northwest winter, what I need is light and a reminder that the blossoms of spring will eventually arrive. I was inspired by http://www.mgxbymaterialise.com/limited-editions/mgxmodel/detail/detail/71, but I wanted to make a simpler, more organic model that wouldn't require a powder printer.
Choose one of the lampshades; the black one is Lamp_Opaque and the green one is Lamp_Translucent, which has a thin, solid inner surface instead of the grillwork, to act as a light diffuser when using translucent plastic.
Print the lampshade and the stand. I sliced them with Slic3r, which worked great. Make sure you have good retraction. I printed everything you see on my Replicator 1 in PLA at 120 mm/s using the Sailfish firmware. I print on unheated blue painters tape, which kept everything well adhered to the build platform.
When the lampshade is finished printing, remove it from the platform and carefully push up on the bottom center parts while pulling down on the outer ring. You may need to slice a few strings between the petals to allow them to separate. Once you get it open all the way, exercise it a few times and cut out any remaining strings. It should move quite freely.
The stand is made to accept a standard hollow, threaded rod that lamps are often mounted with (at least in the US). You just need to find a small lamp socket and cord to attach. I used a standard candelabra socket and an LED bulb. You can use anything, so long as it's less than 34mm in diameter. I recommend LEDs, since they are low power and so won't soften the plastic. However, small LED bulbs are strangely hard to find. Of course, you could always make your own.
Once you install the bulb, slip the shade down over it and press it into the stand (it's just a conical press-fit). This way you can pry the shade back off to change the bulb.
The bottom of the stand is solid so that you can pour sand in if you're worried about it tipping over. The holes in the stand are designed to encourage cooling airflow past the bulb. I'm also trying something new: I signed my name to the bottom of the stand. When my dad was a potter, he always stamped his name on the bottom of his pots, so I thought I would try the same thing. I'm interested to hear if any of you have comments on this method of attribution.