This week’s selection is the Steampunk Light Switch by John Mulac.
Toledo-based Mulac has made a habit of producing dozens of 3D models of decorative or functional designs, uploading to public repositories including Thingiverse, but apparently he’s now using only Thangs for new items.
Perhaps his most interesting design is the Steampunk Light Switch. The Victorian style is quite noticeable, but there’s something else about this design that makes it even more compelling: it actually works!
While the handle is visually obvious, underneath is a structure that perfectly replaces a standard North American light switch plate. You can easily replace your own switch plate with this one.
The main lever is designed to hook onto the actual light switch hidden by the lever mechanism. Thus, when you pull or push the main lever, you are also operating the light switch.
To anyone watching it would appear that you’ve installed a crazy steampunk light switch — that works.
The design is made from only a few easily printable small parts, which can then be assembled with glue. It’s an easy project to undertake.
To make it even better, Mulac recommends applying a patina to the surface of the switch to make it look old and metallic with a rusty appearance. Here is a short video explaining how that is done:
Mulac has also uploaded a design for a dual switch with two levers. This would be an incredible addition to any steampunk lover’s room.
Note that this is designed for the older style light switches, rather than some of the newer designs. It could also have trouble fitting non-North American switch plates that have different dimensions and fastening locations.
I suppose an ultimate design for this piece would be a modular design where different underlying plates could be fitted to specific regional standards. Mulac hasn’t done that yet, but it’s something other designers might want to take up.