Vintage Marquee Letters

by cowkitty Jan 7, 2015
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Can we get an "&" sign in this collection?

Do you think we can get a "3" in this same font?

Problems with the "C" letter on bottom edge comes out chewed up looking no matter how many times I print it, but other letters come out fine. and cannot get the bulbs to print no matter how much glue I affix to the glass. I even tried printing the bulb with raft and it comes out as a blob. Love the idea though. I have even enlarged the bulb x2, and x3, and still not working. Will have to enlarge the letters as well and start all over. Pretty much ready to give up.

Haha, these are amazing. I'm printing out some bulbs with glow-in-the-dark plastic. Will post some photos when it's finished

Very nice design to print, please check the "Y" with an hole mistake.

Yup, the Y still has a hole mistake. :/

Love these, but with there were numerals as well. I'm looking to print a number for my mailbox and all the online font sets seem to be letters only.

Hey. First of all, awesome idea, and well implemented. I've printed a couple of letters with great success, but, as you mentioned below, the bulbs are coming up blobs. :( If I may ask, what printer are you using. Do you use a heated bed, acrylic, or painters tape and hairspray to keep your models in place... particularly, the bulbs. :D I have a Printrbot, and I love it. It's not as fancy, so the painters tape and hairspray are part of the process here.


I've been printing these for our school and everyone loves them. Not a big deal but the "Y" is missing a hole to put the marquee bulb in.
Just thought that cowkitty might want to fix it.

whouldnt they be on their backs? it would make printing it easier for most people

These are great, I'm making some of these to spell out our school name! Thank you!
A base would be awesome too!

Now if only someone made a marquee or base I could attach these to. I'd be so happy.


Its a cool idea ! nice !

But i don't understand why must print the bulbs in different print.
I know its because the bulbs are in other color, but is not possible to do a filament change when its time to print the bulbs ?

It is a purely informative question, because i changed the filament in many prints and in this case it can be possible too right ?

Thanks and nice idea ! ;)

A few reasons that the change filament approach wouldn't work as well:
1) the front edge of the letters are raised above the point where the bulb meets the body, so the bottom portion of the bulb would have to be the letter's color (not a big deal)
2) i'd worry about the adhesion between the bulb and the letter along the z-axis. I would think the bulb would be very subject falling off.

Suggestion: using a program like Tinkercad or 123D Design, you should take a letter and several of the bulbs, move the bulbs into the holes, merge as one object, and try to print with the filament change in the middle. Then post the make and let us know how it goes!

Also, with a printer that has dual extrruders it would be more conveniant to print the bulbs in color 2.

Great design! Easy to print. I printed bulbs with raft.

Did you know that letter O hasn't the same hole border as the rest?

Thanks for the heads up! I removed the old "O" and uploaded a fixed one. Let me know if you find any more bugs. :D

Would like to print this as a gift...MOM...around 50 bulbs needed...how many could be plated at once? Any recommendations on that? First time plating multiple items, doing through library with 5th gen MakerBot Replicator. They do high option vs. standard for print setting, said they've had problems with filament clogging. Any advice on settings (read in info - no supports on either, rafts off for letters but on for bulbs) would be appreciated! Going for glow in the dark bulbs :)

That's so sweet! I'm sure MOM will love it. :D

I print on standard for speed. Especially on these letters, the difference in quality between standard & high probably won't be worth the extra time, but that's IMHO.

Now that I think about it, I might have printed the bulbs on high for extra smoothness on the curves. There was a lot of tweaking, resizing, and testing to get the bulbs to print as small as possible, and the uploaded file is the result.

Plating: I believe I had about 16 to a plate. Due to my own random filament winding problems & extruder clogs, I tend to choose shorter prints for multiple plated items over longer ones. More time printing a file == more opportunities for failure. ;D

Glow in the Dark: Be sure to check the recommended temp settings for the material. Glow in the Dark PLA tends to need lower temperatures than average PLA. I tried it myself with a bulb, but it kept coming out goopy. Worst case scenario: There's glow in the dark paint in crafts stores. :)

Advice: Print one bulb first. Make sure it prints ok with your particular settings & filament. If all is kosher, then try a decent-sized plate. With mine, the individual bulb printed perfectly, but then the plate was a little bit of a hassle: there were strings and blobs between the bulbs, so I had to file them all down after printing. (I haven't had a chance to try to problem solve that yet. Either bulb spacing was too close, printer temp, or retraction.)

Good luck! Lemme know if you run into any quirks, and be sure to upload your gift when you're done. :D

Thanks so much for all the info! I will see if the library can fit me in to test the bulb in person for first one. They seem to be tweaking the settings as they go because of problems they've had with running them so often. I have just over a week to get it done and I already know it will be awesome! I will definitely share photos....this is the first thing I'll be trying to print from Thingiverse!

Happy to help! Depending on where you are located, there might be some Makerspaces/Hackerspaces/FabLabs/etc near you just in case the library doesn't pan out. If not, maybe try makexyz.com or 3dhubs.com?

If you happen to be in SoCal, let me know and I can help you out. :D Best of luck!

Thank you :) In Chicago area - wish I was in SoCal (especially in the winter)!! I'm a little nervous that they laid the letters down to print flat (holes facing up, of course), but waiting for my job to come up in the queue this week. Did test print on the glow in the dark bulbs, seemed okay so we plated 16 and they'll run that 4 times (to give me a few extra). Just saw the updated "O" file and immediately sent to library - they're swapping it out tonight...hopefully the letters/bulbs will get printed by Wednesday, not sure. Wish I could print them right away myself!! So excited for this as a gift - can't wait to get the letters and start putting it all together! Will post the photos when I get the letters/bulbs as soon as they have them printed. Been telling all the teachers at my school - everyone loves your design! Really appreciate the help and info :)

I really like this idea. Have you thought about getting some LED Xmas lights to light it up?

Comments deleted.

need numbers also right?

Can cats actually make a fist? ;)

If the bulb mounting holes in the letters went clear through to the back and you printed the bulbs in transparent plastic you could stick LED's in the back and make the Marquee actually work!

Just what I thought! I still have some LED's lying around, so if I have time I'll puncture the back and print the bulbs in clear!

There is idea: bulb fitting place is 3mm dia, so there is a place for small LEDs. It is possible to mirror models (around X axis, for example)? It would be enough to place LED behind letters instead bulbs afront! Or combine bulbs afront (sorry for my english) and LEDs behind.

It would be easier to either;

a) just drill the holes out through the back after you print it

b) resize the model in the Z axis only, and then set your printer to z-crop out enough to start where the holes start

I think drilling them would be pretty dang easy though, and with some inexpensive micro xmas LEDs with a chaser function they will look amazing. Thats what I plan on trying...we'll see how it turns out, although its going to take a while to print all the letters I want :)

I like the Christmas chaser lights idea! Perhaps grab some NeoPixels and a microcontroller to do even more effects. A lot of fun possibilities with this one!

Is that Dr. Zoidberg a printable model? If so, is it available somewhere?

I think thats a Pop figure i could be mistaken. If thats printable that would be awesome!