Mini Flickering Torch Effect Uses Neither Wires Nor Solder

Cross section of pillar model.

[ROBAGON] makes miniature, 3D-printable gaming terrain and features like these stone pillars with flickering torch. His model isn’t free to download (though it’s under $2 at the time of writing), but the part that impressed us was his clever way of using electric tea lights to create a flickering torch effect without needing any soldering or wiring whatsoever.

His solution was to make the base of the pillar large enough to fit an electric tea light, which uses a flickering LED to simulate a candle flame. The molded plastic “flame” is removed from the tea light and placed in the torch sconce, while the tea light itself goes into the base. A short segment of clear acrylic rod is used as a light pipe, running from the tea light’s LED to the base of the torch.

It’s a simple, effective, and economical solution that doesn’t require running or soldering a single wire and you can see it work in the brief video embedded below. Now all that’s missing for those Dungeons & Dragons sessions is this custom calculator.

8 thoughts on “Mini Flickering Torch Effect Uses Neither Wires Nor Solder

  1. Neat. But I’m somewhat disappointed: when I looked at the miniature picture in the feed reader I thought that it was done with neon bulbs and a high-voltage electric field. Would probably make for a more moody torch :-)

    1. That was the last generation of LED candles. The actual ones have the chip integrated into the LED, and it’s no longer a sound chip, but a specialized LED flicker chip. Some even seem to use a (pseudo) random generator, so they don’t repeat the same pattern every few seconds.

  2. Don’t you always ask yourself, while watching a movie where someone enters an ancient tomb: Who the hell lights and replaces all the torches? It would need an army of servants to keep them all burning constantly, but nevertheless nobody ever shows.

    1. I do ask myself about the convenient torches, but I usually get distracted wondering how the mechanisms like sliding doors, traps, and so forth work perfectly after centuries of neglect.

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