There’s something extra clever about making something appear low-tech when using high-tech tools. Here’s a 3D printed nightlight that hints at origami origins and maker inclinations from a first-time Instructables contributor who goes by the pseudonym “DayDream Unique.”
While the finished work looks pretty basic — and it really is, for the most part — it can be customized to add extra flair. You’ll need a few supplies: A coin battery, a white LED (5 or 10 mm, ideally diffused), and, of course, a 3D printer with ABS or PLA filament in the color of your choice.
You’ll have the option of choosing from three different STL files depending on how complicated you want your nightlight to be. This maker used Autodesk 123D Design, so you may need to familiarize yourself with the program first. You can then follow her detailed, step-by-step instructions for setting up your 3D model for printing.
DayDream Unique used a speech bubble along with the robot design from the Instructables logo, but maybe you want to eliminate the bubble and put your child’s name on the nightlight instead. Maybe the robot isn’t your thing? Come up with a different image and text to more thoroughly customize your nightlight while using this simple but savvy, foldable design. After you’ve completed your design, follow the super helpful instructions for re-aligning and then extruding the text and then move on, exporting the STL file for printing.
If you don’t have a 3D printer of your own, you can design your nightlight and then download the STL file to a web-based 3D printing site like Shapeways, Sculpteo, or iMaterialize. Remember, though, that you’ll need to create the perforations in the printed material that allow you to fold it; you’ll need to slice the mesh file, which DayDream Unique did using Cura. Cura is open-sourced software for 3D designing and printing developed by Ultimaker. Check with the 3D printing service of your choice about how to incorporate this additional step.
Once your material has cooled, you’re ready to fold the nightlight, assemble, and insert the LED and battery. The finished piece folds easily and looks great when the light shines through the image and text. We think this could be cool printed in white and then painted, so let your imagination help you elaborate on this basic design or keep it simple and low-tech!
Would this nightlight help your child (or you!) sleep at night? Let us know if you’d make this cute piece over at the 3D Printed Nightlight forum thread at 3DPB.com.