Lamps used to be things built to provide light with specific purpose, whether as reading lamps, desk lamps, or bedside table lamps. Now we just build them for the vibes, as with this minimalist LED lamp from [andrei.erdei].
The build uses a 3D-printed frame printed in opaque grey, with a diffuser element printed in a more translucent white. This is key to allowing the LED to nicely glow through the lamp without ugly distracting hotspots spoiling the effect. The lamp mounts 36 WS2812B LEDs in strip form. These are controlled from an Arduino Nano running the FastLED library for lightweight and easy control of the addressable LEDs. Smooth rainbow animations are made easy by the use of the HSV color space, which is more suitable for this job than the RGB color space you may otherwise be more familiar with.
[andrei.erdei] does a great job of explaining the build, including the assembly, electronics, and code aspects. The latter could serve as a particularly good resource if you’re just starting out on your own builds in the blinky, glowable space. Video after the break.
Continue reading “Minimalist LED Lamp Is Circular Beauty Incarnate”
Desktop 3D printers have come a long way over the past decade. They’re now affordable for almost anyone, capable of printing in many diverse materials, and offer a level of rapid prototyping and development not feasible with other methods. That said, the fact that they are largely limited to printing different formulations of plastic means there are inherent physical limitations to what the machines are capable of, largely because they print almost exclusively in plastic. But augmenting prints with other building techniques, like this method for adding tensioning systems to 3D printed trusses can save weight and make otherwise unremarkable prints incredibly strong.
The build from [Jón Schone] of Proper Printing consists of printed modular sections of truss which can be connected together to make structural components of arbitrary length. To add strength to them without weight, a series of Kevlar threads are strung from one end of the truss to the other on the interior, and then tensioned by twisting the threads at one end. Similar to building with prestressed concrete, this method allows for stronger parts, longer spans, less building material, and lighter weight components. The latter of which is especially important here, because this method is planned for use to eventually build a 3D printer where the components need to be light and strong. In this build it’s being used to make a desk lamp with a hinged joint.
For other innovative 3D printer builds, [Jón] has plenty of interesting designs ranging from this dual extrusion system to this 3D printed wheel for a full-size passenger vehicle. There’s all kinds of interesting stuff going on at that channel and we’ll be on the edge of our seats waiting to see the 3D printer he builds using this tensioned truss system.
Continue reading “Tensioning 3D Prints For Lightweight, Strong Parts”
Over the last few years, we’ve all been given a valuable lesson in both the promise and limitations of advanced molecular biology methods for clinical diagnostics. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was held up as the “gold standard” of COVID-19 testing, but the cost, complexity, and need for advanced instrumentation and operators with specialized training made PCR difficult to scale to the levels demanded by a pandemic.
There are other diagnostic methods, of course, some of which don’t have all the baggage of PCR. RT-LAMP, or reverse transcriptase loop-mediated amplification, is one method with a lot of promise, especially when it can be done on a cheap open-source instrument like qLAMP. For about 50€, qLAMP makes amplification and detection of nucleic acids, like the RNA genome of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, a benchtop operation that can be performed by anyone. LAMP is an isothermal process; it can be done at one single temperature, meaning that no bulky thermal cycler is required. Detection is via the fluorescent dye SYTO 9, which layers into the base pairs inside the amplified DNA strands, using a 470-nm LED for excitation and a photodiode with a filter to detect the emission. Heating is provided by a PCB heater and a 3D-printed aluminum block that holds tubes for eight separate reactions. Everything lives in a 3D-printed case, including the ESP32 which takes care of all the housekeeping and data analysis duties.
With the proper test kits, which cost just a couple of bucks each, qLAMP would be useful for diagnosing a wide range of diseases, and under less-than-ideal conditions. It could also be a boon to biohackers, who could use it for their own citizen science efforts. We saw a LAMP setup at the height of the pandemic that used the Mark 1 eyeball as a detector; this one is far more quantitative.
The Moon has fascinated humanity for centuries. These days, though, it’s a trial and a bore to go outside and stare upwards to check on the natural satellite. Instead, why not bring the Moon to your bedside with this rotating phase lamp?
The build comes to us from [payasa_manandhar], who did a good job of replicating the Moon in both form and function. It’s based around a lithophane of the lunar surface, which adequately duplicates the Moon’s grey pockmarked visage thanks to topographical data sourced from NASA. It looks a treat when backlit from the inside. However, this is no mere ornamental lamp. With the aid of a stepper motor controlled by an Arduino, a shade inside the lamp actually rotates to shadow the Moon as per the appropriate phase.
It’s a build that is both fun and educational, in both the electronic and astronomical disciplines. We’ve seen some other great Moon lamps before, too.
Vacuum tubes are pretty, which is why they’re often showcased externally on exquisitely-expensive home Hi-Fi hardware. But if you just want to gaze at their beauty without making any noise, why not build this vacuum tube lamp from [Noel Törjék] instead?
[Noel] got into some creative reuse with this build, with the main body consisting of a bell jar and wooden bowls. The internal structure is then created from jar lids, wire, metal sheeting, steel rods, and galvanized wire mesh. Simple modelling techniques are used to assemble the internal parts of the “valve,” including the grid and the electrodes and so on. As for light, [Noel] employed a ZigBee LED driver that he could control over his smart home setup via a Philips Hue bridge.
The final result looks like an extra-large tube. Anyone who knows what it is will spot that it’s not a real one, but they’re also exactly the audience that will appreciate it for what it is. Everyone else will probably just think you’ve taken an interest in strange art-deco replica lighthouses. It’s not the first time we’ve seen replica valves around these parts, though, and we’re sure it won’t be the last!
Hackers have loved LEDs from day one, back when they gave us little more than a dim spot of colored light in the darkness. These days, they’re big, bright, and beautiful, and can be used to create some exquisite lighting fixtures. This lamp build from [lonesoulsurfer] is a great example of that.
The build uses LED filaments, which have grown popular for the way they emulate old-fashioned Edison filament bulbs. The filaments consist of tiny LEDs all in a row, covered in flexible material to allow them to act like a filament. They’ll happily power up from just 3V, and deliver great brightness and lovely warm light.
[lonesoulsurfer] bent up an elegant oval-shaped frame for the lamp, using common brass tubing. In the middle of the are two lengths of white plastic tubing with the LEDs inside. The brass is painted black, with the LEDs providing two bright glowing lines on the arms of the oval. The base is then made out of wood and copper tubing, providing a pop of material contrast to the rest of the frame.
It’s an elegant build, and one you can readily recreate at home. If you do so with enough finesse, it will stunt on anything Ikea or (Australian) Kmart has put out in the last decade, in both material quality and uniqueness. We do love a good lamp build around these parts, after all. Video after the break.
Continue reading “LED Filament Lamp Is Subtle, Warm, And Elegant”
While you could 3D print a lampshade, there’s something to be said for having a more active role in the process of creating an object. [THINKK Studio] has made custom lampshades as easy as riding a bike.
The Lanna Factory was inspired by the cotton ball string lamps sold by vendors in Thai flea markets. Bangkok-based [THINKK Studio] wanted to build a device to let anyone have a hand (and feet) in making a custom lampshade without any experience. Five spools of thread are routed through a “glue case” and onto a spindle holding a lampshade mold. Pedals control the wrapping speed and the location on the shade being wrapped is controlled with a hand wheel on the table.
Once the glue dries, the shade can be removed from the mold and fitted with the appropriate hardware. Giving the user control over the process means that each lampshade will be unique and the final product will mean that much more to the person who made it.
If you’re thinking this would be cooler in carbon fiber, than maybe you should checkout the X-Winder.
Continue reading “Lanna Factory Makes You Work For Your Lampshade”