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Turbine inspired lamp shade

by smallnetd, published

Turbine inspired lamp shade by smallnetd Dec 27, 2014

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Since I have not yet bought proper lamps for the new house, I thought I'd make a nicer lamp shade. I looked around for one, but decided to make my own. Being a mechanical engineer, I thought, "Why not something that's well engineerd?" Then I saw that a proper and functional turbine would not look even remotely ok, so I modified it for more of an aesthetic look. This is the result.

If you choose to make one, keep in mind NOT to use it with an incandescent light bulb. Flourecent or LED bulbs would be wiser. You don't want the heat to melt it or set it on fire. Having said that, use at your own risk.

I added a PlainLampShade that can be used with the same MountingBase. It was originally going to be a simple lamp shade, but it evolved slightly. I guess you could roll your own lamp shades, if you really wanted to. Let me know if you are interested in that and need any dimensions.

Update 2:
I just added another version with 14 blades. This other version uses shorter but wider blades, and also have a thinner base. These blades use the different BladesBase_x14, but can work on the 16-blade BladesBase.

Update 3:
Replaced the X3G file for the "Blade - Shorter" with the STL version.

Update 4:
Added 2 pics, now of the shorter blade, on the 16 slot BladesBase.

Update 5:
Added STLs for the whole assembly for both versions. Probably useless for printing because of the size, but good for seeing the model as an assembly. You could also get overall dimensions of the shades once they're put together.


Printed on natural ABS at 0.2mm layer height and no supports. The blades have no infill. Because they are quite narrow, I printed them with a raft. Just make sure the first layer does stick to the raft. You'll need to print 16 blades. Each takes a little over an hour. Total print time is about 28 hours for the blades and bases.

If you do not have cooling fans, I suggest you print several blades in one build. That would allow the thin tips of the blades to cool off enough before laying down the next layer, once it's around +97%. Not letting them cool enough will give you slightly deformed tips.

Note: The tabs on the BladesBase are a little fragile. They do their job fine, but they broke off after mounting and removing a couple of times (for testing). Fixed with super glue. On hind sight, I would make them wider and "coat" them with acetone (to make the layers still better between them).

For installation over the light socket, I used the same screws that attach the socket to the ceiling. They were long enough.

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It was widddo (from germany) who made the fitted ring for the base (www.thingiverse.com/make:263447), but he did not post the STL for the ring.

Turbine inspired lamp shade
by widddo

I can't remember who it was, but I know it was one of the people who have made the lamp shade. I'll try to go through the list and see who it was. If I have time, I might be able to link to it for you and others to add on.

Beautiful design. Being a total beginner (as far as CAD work), can anyone give me a rough idea of how to edit this design for an angled ceiling? Cheers.

I think it may be possible to make it an IoT thing by making the blades rotating to build a opening/closing shape, could be awesome.
I will try it maybe.
thanks for the amazing work.

Very beautiful design, Thanks!
I'd just printed one of the short version, 100 micron, only 1 shell, translucent Blue PLA, printing 4 blades at once with a Sharebot NG and... works like a charm!

I tried printing this today with PLA and it worked fine until half way, where the tip of the blade popped out of the bed and the whole thing was messed up. Anyone have a solution to that ? And I am using Ultimaker2

I would recommend that you make sure that your build platform is level and that you use a raft for printing the blades. The key here is to make sure that the first blade's layer stick perfectly to the raft. If it doesn't, you might want to try to apply some pressure below the build plate while that first layer goes on the raft. Be careful though, if you're using a heated plate (also because of moving parts). Since you're using PLA, it makes me think that you may not have a heated plate. In that case, make sure you add a new layer of painter's tape to you plate, or whatever you use to help the parts stick. The raft should help, but the first layer must stick to the raft. You may also want to try using the spiralize mode. I have heard that it really helps printing with PLA.

I have a heated plate but i will try to increase the temp and but a raft so we will see how that goes

How did it go with using rafts to print the blades?


I raised the temp on the heated plate to 70c and the nozzle temp to 220c with the default setting for rafting = PERFECT print (have to use a razor to clean off some of the edge but no biggie)

I didn't have time to do that yet, this week I have a few tests so I will tell you how it goes when I have a chance to give it a crack

I think that printing with the raft alone should fix that for you. Increasing the plate's temperature will probably won't hurt it.


I used default settings, 290 micron, PLA ... One blade at a time w rafts on a z18

Fit together perfectly and was a breeze to print. Awesome design.

Thanks! Personally, I love your Lotus Flower. I saw it a long time ago, and still like it today... more so because of the story behind it.

They look quite beautiful, though I am a bit disappointed that it is not set to rotate from the air convection caused by the heating. Oh, well you can only dream :)

In reality, heating should be minimal or negligible when using a fluorescent or LED bulb. Otherwise, if you use an incandescent bulb you run a high risk of melting or burning the lamp (and your house along with it).

However, I would not mind taking it back to the drawing board and including something that lets it turn. I'm a bit busy at the moment so you might want to wait sitting down. ;)


What do you think the success of printing in PLA would be? I'm guessing it would depend on the heat of the lightbulb, but it may be a bit risky. Any advice?

N3W0NE printed his in PLA. In fact, his print in magenta is the one that appeared when it got featured. Just make sure you print slow once you get to the tips of the blades. If you have active cooling you won't have to worry.
About the light bulb, do NOT use an incandescent bulb. I use mine with a fluorescent bulb and it does not get too hot. LED bulb would also work.

I have a halogen bulb, which only reaches about 60'C. Due to my own experimenting, PLA seems to start getting droopy at about 100'C, so it should be fine. Tell me if I'm wrong though.

Also, to clarify, would would you say "slow" is? 50mm/s?

I have no idea if using a halogen bulb presents any risks, so all I will recommend to you is to be careful. I would even suggest that you touch the blade with your bare finger after it's been on for a good while. If it's too hot for comfort, you might want to reconsider and use a cooler bulb. Again, it's all up to you.

As for what slow means, I can't really tell what would be good for PLA. I made mine in ABS at around 227°C and moving at 90mm/s. To allow for proper cooling, I made anywhere from 4 to 8 blades in one go. When the extruder head jumped from one blade to the next to apply the corresponding layer, it allowed the previous one to cool enough. I had no warping when I did that. When I printed one, single blade I blew (with my mouth) directly on it and got acceptable results, but had some warping.

I ignore what slicer and printer you have and their capabilities, but I guess you could start with settings you have used for thin structures. The blade is long enough at the bottom that it didn't seem to matter how fast or hot I printed. The tricky part are the tips.

Good luck.

Comments deleted.

Nice!! < -- two thumbs up. It would be interesting in translucent clear/colours...unfortunately I only have 150mm platform :(

Take a look at the translucent version that Bassna just made, http://www.thingiverse.com/make:112621. It's not only translucent, but also glow in the dark!!

Turbine inspired lamp shade
by Bassna

I agree. I need to get my hands on some translucent material.

About the platform size, did you look at the shorter blade and tried printing it diagonally?

Featured!!! Thanks for the love!!!!

As it should be! It's a great design! I may attempt to make one myself. That print time tho lol

Yes, it takes a while to print. My wife complained a bit about the noise after a while. However, once it was finished, she asked for another one. If you go for it and print it, I would suggest you print several blades as one job, mostly to allow the blade tips to cool once you reach ~97% of the job. That applies for those of us that don't have a part cooling fan right at the tip of the extruder.

Yeah I have no extra cooling fan yet. I may try to make one with glow in the dark blades ;) Have you tried making the blade's using a vase mode option? It look's like it may work well at a slow speed to allow cooling. And which version do you recommend the most?

No, I have not tried the vase mode option. I printed mine with 2 shells, 0% in fill and at 90mm/min and got decent results once it reached the tip, but it did deform just a bit. Nothing to obvious. N3W0NE made one with the spiralise mode and I think that with only one shell. His PLA magenta print looks truely awesome, and is the one seen on the front page. I don't have a preferred version. I have had friends say they like the longer version better, others the shorter. I'll take better pics so that you (and others) can compare printed versions of the 2.

Beautiful work :)

Concerning the shorter blade file, is it possible to upload it in .STL instead of .x3G ?

Many thanks and best wishes !

Sorry about that. I just uploaded the STL file for the shorter blade. Let me know if you have any problems with it.

What size print bed do you need to make this?

AbuMaia, the bases have a 110mm diameter. For the blades you will need a platform at least 220 wide, 115mm deep, and 100mm in the Z direction (tall). That would give you a few mm margin on all directions. I have a Makerbot R2X, so I had real state to spare. I would start by printing the MountingBase and check if it will fit ok over your light socket. I made it so that it would cover most light sockets, but check yours before starting. For the 14-blade variant, your new concern would be the Z axis. It would have to be at least 140mm.

I've got an 8 inch i3. That's only 200mm per axis. The blade would be the only tricky part, but a 25 degree CW rotation fixes that. Do you think this would work on a pendant lamp instead of a ceiling-mounted socket?

I'm glad it fits your printer. I have no idea what your pendant looks like, but you could easily replace my MountingBase with something appropriate for your case. Aside from that, it should work fine. Please send me a picture of your lamp once you're done. I would love to see your derived work.

First of all, cool model, second of all, I completely back you up with your non commercial license you put on this. Just so you don't get frustrated when everyone gets mad that you put that on this. Third; do you need to print all the parts to make this? Just wondering, thanks.

Hi TheGreenFilament. Thanks for your words. To make this, just like I did, you would have to make the 1 MountingBase, 1 BladesBase, and 16 Blade_-_Thin. I guess you could make half as many blades, and space them out alternating slots. I don't know how that would look like. Give it a try. If it doesn't look to your liking, just print the other 8. I could modify the model to have a different quantity of blades. I made it somewhat parametric.

Thanks, I actually like the 16 blades. Might put this up in my room or printer area. Thanks for the help!