This week’s selection is the beautiful Artichoke Lamp Shade by gCreate.
This item is simply a lamp cover that is printed in one single piece. Mounting the lamp shade is a straightforward matter, as you simply use a standard bulb to hold it down; insert the bulb through the hole at the bottom of the mount and screw it into your fixture.
I would advise using some care in selecting materials and bulbs, however.
Normal incandescent bulbs can generate quite a bit of heat, and it’s entirely possible one of these shades, if 3D printed in a low-temperature material such as PLA, could deform if exposed to such heat.
There are two approaches to solve this dilemma: use a higher temperature material if your desktop 3D printer can handle it, such as ABS. The second approach is to change the lighting system to one that does not generate as much heat. CFL bulbs or even better, LEDs would be most appropriate. Definitely do NOT use halogen bulbs with this print!
The light adds significantly to the visual appearance of the lamp shade, as the design allows photons to escape between the “leaves” of the artichoke-like design.
It may be quite interesting to experiment with different materials for this print, as the lighting effects could be significant. Above you see one 3D printed in white material, but what if it was clear material? Or a translucent color, like red? There are many possibilities.
Printing this item should be relatively painless, as it is designed to be printed in one single part as you can see above. A number of hidden structures hold together all the leaves.
However, one thing to be concerned about is the size of the print. The standard size as distributed by gCreate is a relatively large 223 x 237 x 221mm object. That size might not fit in your 3D printer.
However, with tools like MeshMixer, it is easy to shrink the model slightly so that it can fit on your device. But if you do so, remember that the size of the bottom hole must be respected if you hope to attach it to a bulb. Ensure your re-sized version maintains the hole size.
Why select this 3D model? To me, this is a relatively complex shape that can be practically used in almost any home or office. It demonstrates the power of 3D printing in a way that is usually done only by ultra-expensive 3D designs available only from boutique shops - but this one can be made by you, any day you want.
This model is available at no charge from Thingiverse.