DNA Lamp Adds Some Science To Your Room

Lava lamps had their time, but that time is over. Perhaps a spinning, glowing, DNA helix style lamp will take their place?

Inspired by the ever mesmerizing DNA helix, a member of the eLab hackerspace decided to try making it into a lamp. It’s almost entirely 3D printed, with the helix made out of glow in the dark filament.  A series of UV LEDs fade in and out as a small geared motor from a microwave turntable spin the helix round and around.

[João Duarte] designed the assembly using TinkerCAD and has shared all the files on the Instructable in case you want to make one yourself. It is a lot of printing though, so you might want to recruit your own hackerspace’s 3D printer to do some of the work. He ended up using his own Prusa i3 as well as the LulzBot TAZ4 from the space to speed things up.

The end result is rather mesmerizing. We really like the glow in the dark touch.

[Thanks for the tip Hugo!]

17 thoughts on “DNA Lamp Adds Some Science To Your Room

      1. Dear “inventer”,
        I wanted to ask whether it is possible to buy one of these lamps, because I don’t have the options to build one myself and I quite like genetics, so this is a nice lamp (cooler than the normal stuff). I apologise for language mistakes, I’m not a native speaker and from a foreign country. I would be delighted if you could reply to my demand.
        Yours Van D.

        1. Dear “V”,
          Thank you for your comment and your interest, but unfortunately I don’t have the lamp available for purchase. This was just a prototype of an idea I had. Eventually there might be someone who will pick my designs and make a commercial version, but for now, the only way to get it is by making one yourself, or asking someone to do it for you.

      1. It is a double helix but it doesn’t look like DNA – the two strands of the helix are too evenly spaced. Normal (B-form) DNA has two helices which are unevenly spaced giving a major and minor groove. Each of these grooves is capable of specific interactions with protein structures, for example a protein alpha helix almost perfectly fits in the DNA major groove. Have a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNA#/media/File:ADN_animation.gif

    1. Yeah, I expected to see at least few comments about the deadly dangers of lamps.

      This lamp is nice but lava lamps were capricious and not very predictable, that’s what made them unique. Not picking on the build or anything, but the comparison is not fair imo.

  1. Use addressable LEDs and have the different DNA base pairs light up in different colors. By animating the colors you could add a sort of lava lamp appearance to this and make it vastly more interesting.

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