Vermont Rapid Prototyping

Providing rapid prototyping services to inventors and businesses.

Pyramid Lamp

It is easy to download 3D designs and print those objects.  It is also easy to design and print small trivial objects (a lid for a cat food can).  For my talk about 3D printing, I wanted to challenge myself to create an object that was new and complex.  At one point, I imagined a four-sided white pyramid, which glowed from within with pulsing lights that changed colors and pulse patterns.  The lights would be provided by red/green/blue LEDs, which would be powered by and controlled by an Arduino computer board.

This is the first prototype of the pyramid:



I first printed the pyramid on the right, with different geometrical shapes on each surface.  I then decided to stick with four hemispheres, and tried to fabricate the pyramid out of four triangles that I printed separately.  When the precision of the printed triangles was inadequate, I went back to printing the pyramid as a single part. The pyramid is hollow, as you can see, with small divots on the inside wall, in which I mounted the LEDs.



I printed a base, with a slot to hold the Arduino board, a recess on top to accept the pyramid, and a hole on the top to allow wires to enter the base of the pyramid.  Lots of custom shapes!









And this is what it looks like when working:



Here is a video of the light working.

While this project is not spectacular in terms of either complexity or beauty, it does illustrate a few principles:

1) I had a dream and was able to realize it fairly quickly

2) the objects printed would have been impossible to create in a timely, cost effective manner without the 3D printer

3) I demonstrated the integration of “art”, 3D printing, electronics, and control software

All in all, I am quite pleased with the project. People who have seen it have been captivated.  Or else I have very polite friends.