Featured image of [Project] 3D Printed Modular Molecule Lamp
Build Chemistry with Your 3D Printer

[Project] 3D Printed Modular Molecule Lamp

Picture of Tyler Koslow
by Tyler Koslow
Jan 13, 2019

Want to build chemistry with your 3D printer? Learn how to design and 3D print your own modular molecule lamp with this scientific and terrific 3D printing project.

Unless you’ve dedicated your life to exploring the boundless depths of organic chemistry, the idea of exploring this complex scientific field can seem a bit intimidating, to say the least. But, if you take a closer look at the structure of organic compounds and materials, you may notice that the very things that make up earthly life are also quite artistic in nature.

One Instructables user named MphatsoS1, a maker from Zambia, recently took the complexities of organic chemistry and transformed it into a fun 3D printing project. Aiming to turn chemistry into an artistic endeavor, the designers created a lamp comprised of molecule kit-like pieces.

Even if you’re not a fan of the scientific field itself, the resulting 3D printed lamp created by MphatsoS1 is an organic art piece that is exhilarating to look at and play around with. In this example, the maker designed and 3D printed a number of tetrahedral pieces that have 109.5 degree bond angles.

On the Instructable’s page detailing the project, the creator goes through every step of the process, from designing the molecular pieces on TinkerCAD to assembling the final lamp.

If you want to learn how to design your own organic models, check out the first few steps of the project. In this Weekend Project, we’ll be focusing on the 3D printing and assembly aspect of the molecular lamp.


3D Printed Modular Molecule Lamp What You Need & How to Build it

Image of [Project] 3D Printed Modular Molecule Lamp: What You Need & How to Build it

The STL files needed to create this 3D printed molecular lamp are available to download on the project’s Instructables page. There are two different models to 3D print: the lamp base and the molecule parts.

Outside of your 3D printer, you’ll also need some specific filament and a couple of non-3D printed components. For the sake of consistency, we’ll lead you to the same filament used by the designer on this project. Here’s a checklist of what you need:

For those who want to modify and experiment with the design, the TinkerCAD models can be accessed directly from the Instructables page. If you want to forego the design process and jump straight into 3D printing, simply 3D print the STL files.

You’ll need to ensure that you print enough copies of each piece so that you can properly build your customized molecule. According to MphatsoS1, he started by printing 12 tetrahedral connectors, 12 straight connectors, and 12 caps. This will allow you to generate a wide range of differently shaped lamps, so the more 3D printed pieces the merrier!

Use the clear PLA filament to create the lamp pieces, while the grey PLA can be used for the lamp base. Once you’ve 3D printed all of your pieces, the next step is to connect your pieces into the desired molecular shape and string the LEDs through the hollow parts.

After you attach your molecular manifestation to the lamp base, take the LED remote control and start experimenting with the color of your lamp. And that’s all you need to create your very own 3D printed molecular lamp!

License: The text of "[Project] 3D Printed Modular Molecule Lamp" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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