As I worked out the details of my version of the LED Bridge Lamp by my friend Janis (Opossums) Jakaitis, one of the things I wanted to tweak was the base.
The modifications I focused on were:
- Lower the risk — the original base was a very large piece that would take about 25 hours to print and if something failed that would be a lot of time and material to lose so I broke my version of the model into pieces
- The slots/vents were slightly asymmetrical so I made my own variant of that so I could print on the side and keep the lines clean compared to printing them vertically
- I needed a way to handle height differences in the surface where I’d install the light * *
** The location in my cubicle at work where I wanted to to install this light has two different heights — the metal wall is about 1.5 inches higher than the top of bookcase so I needed a way to compensate for that. My solution will allow you to handle any reasonable height difference you want to tackle.
Here is a finished and an exploded view of the bases:
While my bases look very similar to Janis’ models they were created from scratch but designed to emulate the originals and add a few new features you’ll see as we walk through this post. I also eliminated a few design details like the screw holes (replaced by my magnet solution) and the transition to the cap piece.
What did you wind up printing? (Quantities are for what I built, you may need to change them to meet your needs)
- Qty 2: Side (side.stl)
- Qty 2: Side with Power Outlet (SideWithPowerOutlet.stl)
- Qty 2: Electronics Tray (Electronics_Tray.stl)
- Qty 1: Base Height Spacer (Base_Height_SpacerV2.stl)
- Qty 1: Base Height Spacer Tall (Base_Height_Spacer_TallV2.stl)
- Qty 2: Magnet Space Filler Block (Magnet_Space_Filler_Block.stl)
- Qty 2: Center — the core of the base (Center.stl)
- Qty 2: Cap (cap.stl)
- Qty 2: Baseplates (BasePlateMamaWithCableHoleV2.stl)
- Qty 3: Clips (ClipV2Loose.stl)
- Qty 2: Foot Height Extensions (This STL can be found in Janis’ lamp here)
Material Used: Polymaker Polylite PLA in ‘True Grey’
- I printed all the side parts with a brim to decrease the likelihood of warping
- 20% infill, 0.25mm layer height
- 210C Nozzle Temp
- Qty 4: 90lb Neodymium Cup Magnets
- Qty 4: M4 Flathead Machine Screws
- Qty 8: M4 Machine Screws (double up the nuts so they don’t back off — or add a lock nut)
- Qty 8: Hex Button Head Machine Screws to secure base sections to each other
- Loctite 401 Glue
Build Details / Notes:
When printing the pieces called out in the print details section above I printed all my pieces with a brim to help reduce or eliminate warping.
The elements of an assembled base (1 regular side, 1 side with power outlet hole, center, cap, riser and base plate) are designed to fit inside/on top of this electronics tray. The tray is designed to also secure an Adafruit 1/2 size Perma-Proto board which is what I used to house the electronics that control this project. (More details on that in an upcoming post) The tray also provides supports for the height spacer which keeps the magnets in the proper location.
NOTE: You may want to print the tray 1-2% larger in the X and Y dimensions. Otherwise you may find yourself using a fixed belt sander to thin things out a bit. Guess how I know that? 😉 And my machine is really pretty well dialed in.
The height spacers below were designed to align themselves under the electronics tray via the little standoffs you can see in the image below. The height spacer also keeps the magnets secured as the base gets moved around.
The height spacer can be extruded to make it as tall or short as you want. The spacer above is the minimum height as it is the same thickness as the 90lb strength magnets.
As you can see above, extruding this model to make it taller is straightforward. (You can do it by editing the model or in a pinch you can scale the z axis as needed and trim the alignment tabs if they get too tall as a result of the Z scaling)
For taller spacers I also designed a filler block to make up the space between the magnet and the bottom of the electronics tray. The model can also be scaled in the Z axis to adjust the height.
The electronics tray also makes a helpful aligner as you glue up the base pieces. I used some small clamps to hold the sides and center together as the glue dries — only takes about 1 minute to dry enough.
NOTE: Be careful that you don’t glue your base into the electronics tray.
In the lower half of the picture above you’ll see the baseplate sitting upside down in the height riser so that I could glue the blue clips in place. Once the clips are secure I flipped the plate over and glued it on top of the height riser block.
NOTE: The base plate on one side does NOT require the clips.
Be sure to test fit your bridge section and the two plates and file as needed to make sure you have a good snug fit. Filing usually meant squaring up the underside of the clip to make sure it squarely engages with the bridge superstructure section.
The base plate is glued to the top of the height riser. That assembly is glued to the cap piece (it has a nice indent in there to make alignment easy) and that second assembly is glued to the top of the base (center, side and side with power outlet hole)
You can insert M3 button head screws into the holes shown below to secure the top section of the base to the electronics tray. The screws tap themselves into the plastic and hold well.
Examining the underside of an assembled base section you can see how well the magnets fit.
NOTE: Use two nuts on top of the screw securing each magnet so they don’t get loose.
I installed the electronics into the taller of the bases and drilled a small hole to allow the USB cable to pass through so I could flash new firmware onto the micro controller after the lamp was installed.
If you have any questions about building the base, please let me know in the comments section below.
You can navigate back to the Enhanced LED Bridge Lamp Summary here.