Mk5 LED Cupcake lighting

by natko, published

Mk5 LED Cupcake lighting by natko Jan 31, 2011

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Since finishing my spool box my desk lamp no longer lights the platform.
I looked at lighting in Thingiverse but the solutions required parts I didnt have or the Mk4 Plastruder.
So heres my attempt using two led torches from the local store, some 15A fuse wire, and a 9.8 ohm resistor.
And for the electrical engineers out there, yes you are not supposed to connect LEDS in parallel without individual resistors.
Although you can get away with it if they are the same type of LEDS in my mind (thus I bought 2 off same type torches).


Print out the plastic thing.
Remove LED heads from torches, (they push out the front, so a bolt or somet that is longer than the torch body is ideal to push it out against the floor, maybe a bit of tapping with a hammer too).
With soldering iron and flat screwdriver price out your leds from the PCB, its easier if you have someone to hold the PCB or use a vice.
Push the LED's into the plastic thing, YOU WILL NOTICE A FLAT EDGE ON YOUR LEDS EDGE - FACE THIS TO THE CENTER/CENTRE OF THE THINGY. This will put the cathode (negative legs) all around the inside rim.
(You might have to ream the holes a little, I used a 4.8mm drill bit)
Using the fuse wire or what ever wire you got solder the inside ring and seperately the outside ring of legs (see picture). I found putting a loop around each LED pin stub a help, but makes replacement of a single LED a pain.
Connect your cable and insulate so it cant short (remember you risk your power supply.
Connect the other end, again see picture, I worked out that the 9.8ohm resistor should result in about 158mA (0.8W) consumption (measured about 120mA). Now you may spot that I used a 1/4W resistor (its all I had), if you can, use at least a 1/2Watt. Mine works but gets a little warm, its been running now 12Hrs and seems stable.
Please remember though you must use a limiting resistor.
Test, I used the battery pack out of one of the torches to test the ring's prior to fitting the resister, possibly a good idea as I had fitted one the wrong way round and another I had knackered when removing from the PCB.
Plug into your power supply, making sure you connect positive (outer ring) to red wire on molex connector (+5V) and negative (inner ring) to black on molex connector.
Initially just keep your eyes open make sure you dont let the magic smoke out and check your cables/resistor are not getting warm/hot.
If ok, remove the plastruder head from Z axis table, slide plastic thing into the U slot with the pin going to the hole drilled in the table, it should just pop in to the hole holding the lights in place.
Run your cable as suits, and thats it.
My system has the thermal tape fitted, I would not suggest using this thingy on an un-insulated head.

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OK maybe seperate resisters good idea.. min dead after 8 months usage.... need re think hole lota leds died

This is definately a good thing to have (especially with a thousand bright white LEDs lying around :P), made one for my ToM Mk6 and it illuminates very nicely.

I have a deluxe light ring (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2081)http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... on my cupcake MkIV which has 6 LEDs and it is way bright - yours looks like the operator may even need to wear sunglasses!!!!

Deluxe Makerbot Light Ring
natko - in reply to Lenbok

Yeh, maybe a touch overkill ;) although the limiting resister runs them a little less mA than rated I believe.

Thing is you dont have to use 18 leds you could fit 6, I had to design this because I didnt have a MkIV, the deluxe was an inspiration, though i didnt like the limitation of 6 LED's, the individual resisters per led, and mounting it on the extruder head.

If you want to change number of led's or t
ype, check this site out to size the resistor:

I love it! Perfect design. It nicely illuminates wherever the nozzle goes.

Thanks, although most of the pictures show the mk1.5 which the holes were too small the locking pin was too short and the depth of the hole thing was 2mm short.

The STL here labelled 2 is actually the mk3 but couldnt be bothered to rename, it fits well on my unit and may even fit a TOM if the U section is 70mm across, I tappered the bottom edge so it would fit slightly different material thicknesses.

Biggest problem I think is printing this without it wa

Excellent work! My TOM was posted today (or so I presume...). First I'll copy your cable tie spool and then your light!

The resistance of LEDs is non Ohmic. That means V = IR is not true for them. However, if you want to increase the current you need more volts. As you mentioned, LEDs that are the same (preferably same batch and bin), should be OK. Its because they have more or less identical curves for the vol
tage as a function of current. Things would only go wrong if the current is too high, then one would go into thermal runaway and pop... Followed by the rest :(

If anyone is planning a low power LED lighting project, it’s much more efficient to have series strings that do not require a resistor.
Only try this with a good multimeter and a current limited PSU though as you’re bound to melt something a least once if you don’t:)