Making things is great – but making useful things is even better, I think, and many makers agree. There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of creating something with your own hands and having it serve a purpose other than sitting on a shelf and looking nice. For kids, creating something they can use is even more thrilling, whether it’s a fun toy or a kitchen gadget. Perhaps no one understands that appeal better than Kitronik, manufacturer of build-your-own electronics kits.
While oriented towards makers of all ages, Kitronik, which has worked with over 3,000 schools in the United Kingdom, especially markets their products towards students and educators. Each of their DIY kits is accompanied by a teaching resource kit so that users can learn how electronics work as they build them, and the company’s website is full of resources for teachers, including tutorials, project ideas, and interactive learning tools. We’ve been keeping an eye on this company for a while, as several of their projects involve 3D printing – like a 3D printable FM radio kit, a 3D printed USB stick cover project for students, and a 3D printable amplifier and case.
Now Kitronik has announced the release of their newest project – and it’s a really cool one. We here at 3DPrint.com are very fond of 3D printed lamps, and a quick look around any 3D design platform shows that we’re not the only ones, so Kitronik’s latest offering will almost certainly be a popular one. The 3D Printed Desktop 5V LED Lamp Resource was designed by intern Sean Drummond, a product design student at Nottingham Trent University.
“I thought that this would make a great learning resource as it highlights what a great prototyping technology 3D printing is,” Drummond commented.
The lamp was designed to fit Kitronik’s 5V LED Desk Lamp Kit, and it’s an easy print, designed to print in three components: the interior, exterior, and the battery cover. It’s a sleek, simple rectangular design with a futuristic look that kids (and adults) should love, and it’s a good starter project for students just beginning to learn about 3D printing and CAD software.
“We wanted to create another project that enabled people to build their own 3D printed everyday objects. Like the USB stick cover we released last year, the lamp project is great as it fuses together electronics and 3D printing, enabling people to create something they can use everyday,” said Kitronik co-founder Kevin Spurr. “It’s great to engage the students and schools we work with and show how useful and interesting the 3D printing is by creating resources that can be applied to household items. We’ve kept the designs simple so that it’s easy to see how they work, though they could easily be altered to create different coloured lampshades. In addition, all of the techniques described could be applied to cases for alternative types of products.”
According to Kitronik, the lamp was designed in Autodesk and printed on a Robox 3D printer. Kitronik partnered with Robox last year, with the two companies coming together for the purpose of making 3D printers available to thousands of schools around the UK. Kitronik also sells the Robox 3D printer from their website; however, the easy-to-print lamp design should work well with any desktop printer. The design files and template for the lamp are available for free here, while the electronics for the lamp can be purchased for under $4.00. Discuss further in the Kitronik 3D Printing forum over at 3DPB.com.