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Doesn't melt! LED lightbulb | 3D Printing
 |  Anastasia Misiuk

I wanted to make something relatively simple but interesting. So I came up with an idea - creating a rocket lamp with a big dome made out of translucent plastic. I had some doubts about PLA, I have tried printing lamps before but they will always melt within a few minutes.


Full of inspiration I went to a hardware store a bought: 2 meters of wire, a plug, a switch, and a black lamp socket. Although I found a white one later and bought it as well since I liked it more.

Now the challenge was to find a lightbulb that will not radiate much heat so that the dome doesn’t melt. Maybe PLA plastic will actually work this time...

I modeled the rocked in SelfCAD (like the thermos). It consists of the base, legs, and a dome. The legs actually turned out very cool. I printed them without preparation for assembly and scaled neither them nor the holes in the base. I simply used a boolean operation to extract legs from the dome and thought that I will need to use a file to attach them, but they fit perfectly without any additional changes.


Dome is a stretched icosahedron, in other words, it’s a sphere consisting of triangular planes. I got inspired by Geodetic domes and Buckminster Fuller’s works.

It was quite easy to model a dome in SelfCAD, it has ready to use basics with adjustable resolution, plus I used spiral vase for printing.
legs I used red ABS Rec, for the base - natural color ABS Sirius, and for dome - Rec

RELAX. I didn’t finish the print, leaving an opening for heat removal (wouldn’t work otherwise). Turned out pretty well!

The only unexpected thing is the seams on the dome.

I guess it’s slicer’s fault? Looks like a delay or a backlash of the nozzle. But it’s too perfect for a simple backlash. Is anyone familiar with this issue?

The assembly was pretty simple:) Dome was a little loose so I put a rubber band on the base.

I was planning that the lamp socket will stick on a nut and it’s attachments on a base but because I bought two sockets I have two screws, so I will simply clamp the socket with them.

I used a simple 7.5 watt LED light bulb. It doesn’t heat up as much. The lamp was on for about 2-3 hours and the dome was just slightly warm. The inner plastic parts didn’t heat up much as well which made me very happy:)

Would you like to learn more about my test dome from PLA plastic?

Thanks for reading!