Blossoming Lamp

by emmett, published

Blossoming Lamp by emmett Dec 15, 2012

Featured Thing!


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: 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 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.

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Thanks!! Worked great :) Just posted my make.

@thingiverse-09573cbfaad9678f431731e9c2087d8b I used a hot air gun at
about 120° to soften the top. That way I was able to easily push a non
fitting bulb inside the lamp :)

Jpuer I used a hot air gun at about 120° to soften the top. That way I was able to easily push a non fitting bulb inside the lamp :)

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If you print this Thing and display it in public proudly give attribution by printing and displaying this tag. Print Thing Tag


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.


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Nagalfar on Mar 25, 2014 said:

Jpuer I used a hot air gun at about 120° to soften the top. That way I was able to easily push a non fitting bulb inside the lamp :)

Jpuer on Apr 12, 2014 said:

Thanks!! Worked great :) Just posted my make.

Jpuer on Jan 25, 2014 said:

I'm having a really difficult time finding an LED candelabra bulb that fits through the base...Any advice?

Nagalfar on Mar 25, 2014 said:

@thingiverse-09573cbfaad9678f431731e9c2087d8b I used a hot air gun at
about 120° to soften the top. That way I was able to easily push a non
fitting bulb inside the lamp :)

Pancakes on Sep 17, 2013 said:

I'm new to this set up but with the makerware I had a problem with the translucent one. The inside layer was just strings.... Should I set up the shell or layer height to something specific? Took me 4.5 hours to build the translucent part.

meshmixer on May 24, 2013 said:

This is a really great print to show off what the machines can do. My print came out looking great (on a Rep2 with makerware and default settings), but it was stuck in lots of places. Took an hour or so to work a tiny screwdriver into all the crevices and crack them apart. After I got it unfolded the first time, and worked it back and forth a bit, it now opens and closes smoothly.

emmett on May 24, 2013 said:

Thank you! Your software is awesome; I use it whenever I need to adjust something sculptural before importing it to OpenSCAD. You've made a much more intuitive interface than any of the other meshing programs I've come across.

DaveHickey on Mar 11, 2013 said:

Having only a single Extruder Rep2, I was wondering whether anyone has experimented with making the various parts separately in different colors and assembling them? Perhaps at different amounts of infill, perhaps higher on the base ring and lower on the leaves.... Any Thoughts?

emmett on Mar 11, 2013 said:

It wasn't designed to assemble or disassemble, so that will be difficult unless you modify it. Infill has very little effect (most of the strength comes from the shells), so I doubt you'd gain much by adjusting it.

charliearmorycom on Feb 25, 2013 said:

LED candelabra bulbs can be purchased from: http://1000bulbs.com/category/...

Highcooley on Feb 25, 2013 said:

Would you mind, sharing the leafs as single STL files. I printed the lamp but 4 leafs came out pretty bad. The rest of the print is ok. I would only need to exchange these leafs, which should be possible. I hope, they are printable individually. THX

emmett on Feb 25, 2013 said:

There are several free programs that can break out individual pieces of an STL (I think slic3r does). I don't know how you'll reassemble it though.

sgrover on Feb 13, 2013 said:

anyone successfully get the SCAD file to render? It crashes a moment after starting the process for me. I'll try different boxes, but was just curious if this might be a known issue.

ArtLabKY on Feb 4, 2013 said:

Slic3r keeps failing when setting this up. What's your infill and any other specification that'd be helpful to know! Thanks!!

emmett on Feb 4, 2013 said:

I used Slic3r 0.9.7, 0.27mm thinkness, 0.4mm width, 10% infill. Nothing fancy.

mechadense on Jan 13, 2013 said:

This almost exactly looks and acts like the "maguar" (evil alien flowers) in the anime Figure 17.

AnchorageMakerSpace on Jan 10, 2013 said:

I cant seem to print this clearly the different pieces seem to bond. The closest Ive gotten is with abs. After switching to pla im getting lots of shifts in my x axis even when printing more slowly. Does any one have sucessful settings they'd like to publish

DaveHickey on Mar 11, 2013 said:

With a Rep2 in PLA, Sliced by Makerware, Med resolution, 10% Infill, 1 Shell, .12mm layers.

CrazyJaw on Jan 3, 2013 said:

I was able to do a successful print with PLA (love playing with the mechanism), but i got a lot of little messy spindly "hairs". and thin patches...

Ive been using skienforge 50, with sailfish. I was curious what settings/slciers/whatevs others have used with more success (i am not use to the PLA nonsense)?

alexbaucom17 on Jan 1, 2013 said:

How much did you guys have to simplify the model in order to get it to slice? I'm using slic3r 0.9.7 and simplifying a lot with Meshlab, but slic3r is still having trouble slicing it.

basiliska on Dec 30, 2012 said:

Wow, what a fabulous design, can't make to make one as a replacement for a recently broken lamp.

aeron203 on Dec 28, 2012 said:

Brilliantly executed design! Even more so that it is a SCAD model. Since this was so directly inspired by Patrick Jouin's famous 3D printed Bloom Lamp from the Materialise MGX collection, it would be polite to credit his input. That you created and shared this is wonderful, but for us to focus entirely on the replica without mentioning the person who created the idea gives be a bad feeling.

alexm on Dec 27, 2012 said:

Would you mind uploading your Slic3r configuration file (.ini)?

idolcrasher on Dec 26, 2012 said:

Epic Design :) I hope to print one after getting home from Christmas vacation

Weedz on Dec 25, 2012 said:

how long did it take to slice with slic3r it looks like ages here

Weedz on Dec 25, 2012 said:

this is really a awesome thingy, im slicng it right now, but it looks like it will take ages. How long did it take for you guys? slic3r 0.9.7

engravedvanamaniacs on Dec 25, 2012 said:

wow really impressive. for someone thats just getting in this is exactly what i wanted to see. love the work

DDD on Dec 25, 2012 said:

Will be one of my next print, for sure.
Great !

watsdesign on Dec 23, 2012 said:

Wonderful model, and at least someone who's on flattr :)

JamesArcturusStark on Dec 22, 2012 said:

I know this is a stupid question, but has anyone tried scaling down and printing on a TOM? I suspect it would be a miserable failure on my TOM, but it's such a beautiful design, I'm tempted to try...

fredhag on Jan 17, 2013 said:

Have you tried? I put it in my ToM's RepG, scaled to fit, and then went to look at the gcode in Pleasant3D. It looks like it will be quite a test as it makes a single flat loop out of each leaf, and I suspect that the free space between the interlocking sections in the base will not be sufficient now that it is scaled to about 70% of the original size (that is, scaling a leaf down might not be that bad but scaling down the safe distance between parts might not be).

emmett on Dec 21, 2012 said:

After fixing my extruder, I printed this translucent green version, which only took 4 and a half hours (it's a bit quicker than the opaque version). My first layer was too squished, which fused all the pieces together, however it was only the first layer that was a problem. After a little bit of exacto knife work and pushing hard on the center pieces, it now moves just fine.

zaaphod on Dec 21, 2012 said:

Translucent green looks really cool, where do you get translucent filament?

terrymisu on Dec 20, 2012 said:

I'm attempting to build one with cherry laywood filament (http://www.geek.com/articles/g.... It should make a nice gift for my friend who just bought a new house. :D

kenton86 on Dec 19, 2012 said:

I got it to print with ABS and only 2 of the top petals had pieces fail. I have the same problem with the bottom being fused together. Emmet, could you post a picture of the underside of the lamp opaque? I'm trying to figure out where I need to remove material to make it foldable. Thanks!

CrazyJaw on Dec 19, 2012 said:

Sexy-lovely, as usual. Had a question or two:

I was looking at your scad code, which is always enlightening (though i think i need to go redo classes in trig/geometry to understand it), but it seems to make references to "WriteScad" folder which isn't included. Is there a place to grab that?

Is there a particular reason to use PLA? I have a fear that a hotter bulb will warp or melt PLA (plus i just have more colors in ABS).

emmett on Dec 19, 2012 said:

Write.scad is the ancestor of this thing (above). I've switched to PLA from ABS because it doesn't warp like crazy, plus it doesn't stink up the house. I'd love to see if you can print it with ABS.

I'm glad you enjoy my scad. In case anyone was wondering what trig could possibly be useful for, my answer is art.

sgrover on Dec 19, 2012 said:

Printed in black ABS. 20% fill, 120mm/s. top and bottom took about 18 hours each. Destroyed the kapton getting the bottom off - so much surface area in contact with the platform! Top was easier (the opaque file) to get off, only a little kapton scuffs. The thing looks beautiful! But, the bottom of the petals seem to be fused together and won't open. Trying some careful work with a x-acto knife, but no luck yet.

emmett on Dec 19, 2012 said:

Yeah, this is a tricky print. ABS has a tendency to warp, so that could be part of the problem. Also, you need aggressive retraction, because any little strings will start to fuse the pieces. I use 0.75mm retraction for PLA.

smnh58 on Dec 18, 2012 said:

Awesome!And what is the infill?I also want to print one:)

PropellerScience on Dec 17, 2012 said:

I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong, but RepG says the lamp is too big to build.

Austin on Dec 18, 2012 said:

Same here, but it worked fine. It looks like it's extremely close.

emmett on Dec 17, 2012 said:

Hmm, it does pretty much max out the height on a Rep1. You could either tweak the machines.xml file or scale the object to 99% or something. I use Repetier-host now, and only use RepG to convert Gcode to s3g.

k1nc41d on Dec 17, 2012 said:

I'm ordering some PLA now.  I've never bought plastic for a specific print before.  Awesome design. Even more impressive in scad.

thecrazy on Dec 17, 2012 said:

This begs for a switch that will shut the light when closed an open it when opened.

jebba on Dec 17, 2012 said:

This is awesome.

The source is missing this, for the text in OpenSCAD:


emmett on Dec 17, 2012 said:

That's the ancestor of this thing (above).

Austin on Dec 17, 2012 said:

Emmett, that's absolutely amazing!

It took an hour to slice the translucent shade using ReplicatorG, but I'm now running a print right now in silver. (it would be intentionally dim, as I'm hoping to keep it lit on my desk at work)

12345urbana on Dec 17, 2012 said:

are you suppose to print with support?

emmett on Dec 17, 2012 said:

No, the whole point is that no support is required. There aren't any steep overhangs.

Cheeseweasel on Dec 16, 2012 said:


tdeyle on Dec 16, 2012 said:

What version of Slic3r did you use? I am no getting a connection between the stem and the leaves: Slic3r does a perimeter around the stem and then goes back and attaches the leaves, but it ends up leaving a space between, causing it to break off.

emmett on Dec 16, 2012 said:

I'm not quite sure what you mean, but I'm using the latest Slic3r, 0.9.7.

Project on Dec 16, 2012 said:

Im thinking add an arduino and a servo, have this sucker open and close in time with the sun :D

wemperor on Dec 30, 2012 said:

Was not able to resist this idea, and I really like the outcome:

Really an inspiring 3D model, thanks a lot!

emmett on Dec 16, 2012 said:

 Awesome, looking forward to it!

SystemsGuy on Dec 16, 2012 said:

LOL - you are simply going to *make* me build a printer with a taller build volume than the Prusa I've got now!

emmett on Dec 16, 2012 said:

Yeah, build a Rostock; then you could make a huge one.

profezzorn on Dec 16, 2012 said:

Holy crap, I wish I could "Like it" 20 times!

laird on Dec 16, 2012 said:

This is amazing! I'm going to try to print the 'opaque' one at 210 mm/s using clear PLA, to see how it comes out. Should be very Xmass-y!

laird on Dec 18, 2012 said:

I've tried twice and both times the base arms stuck together. I've re-rendered with a larger gap between arms (0.6mm instead of 0.4mm) and will give it another shot.

thecrazy on Dec 16, 2012 said:

Good job! How come this isn't featured?

BenitoSanduchi on Dec 15, 2012 said:

So, so awesome!

EricYoung on Dec 15, 2012 said:

It would seem that brilliant and progressive work is par for the course for you. So amazing!

As far as the attribution name stamp I think the name on the bottom is a good way to go. I know Dizingof did the same thing on at least one of his submissions. 

cerberus333 on Dec 15, 2012 said:

Very nice!