London Designer 3D Prints Weather Forecasting Wave Lamp

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While many of us relegate talking about the weather to people-pleasing small talk, knowing whether it is going to rain or snow today, tomorrow, and later in the week is something most of us take for granted. Detailed information is widely available. You may spend part of each day tuned into the weather channel, wading through loads of extraneous information before you finally get what you need, or focusing on a couple of icons that tell you what the day will bring from your phone.

What if you could just roll over in the morning though, squint through still half-asleep eyes, and know what weaththe weather held simply through the hue of the lamp at your bedside? Leave it to curious makers like Dushyant Ahuja to come up with something just like that. Upon perusing the annals of Thingiverse, the London designer’s attention was gotten by a wave lamp that inspired him to go one step further and include the weather forecast.

“I couldn’t simply leave it to be a bedside lamp. I had to make it wifi and show the weather,” explains Ahuja in his Instructable.

He uses a ESP8266 module with WS2812B LEDs for showing the forecast based on corresponding colors, with the light switching off at 10 PM and then back on in the morning at 6 AM.

If you are interested in making your own weather forecasting wave lamp, you will need the following:


  • 3D printer – one that can print at least 30-35cm
  • USB-TTL module to program the ESP-12E
  • Hot glue gun
  • Soldering iron


  • PLA – white for the lamp and another color for the base
  • 30 WS2812B Addressable RGB LEDs
  • ESP8266 – 12E
  • 74HCT245N
  • 5V power supply
  • 5V-3.3V Power converter
  • A few header pins and resistors
  • Solder

Although this is quite a time-consuming piece to make, one of the attractive points is that it does not require any supports, although Ahuja did use a 5mm brim to see that the print adhered to the bed. See the Instructable for settings.

“…This is a huge print and takes a lot of time,” states Ahuja. “So, if you’re not comfortable leaving your printer overnight (or over several nights) this is not for you. Get it printed using 3D Hubs. Mine took over 30 hours.”

He created the stand with Tinkercad, and you can download the design here, using colored PLA for printing.

“Be warned though – the cavity I’ve created doesn’t have any supports and the inside gets a little messy, especially with the woodfill PLA that doesn’t bridge well,” says Ahuja.

The top is an optional piece. If you are interested in creating it, see more here.

“I created it in Tinkercad to hide the hole at the top of the lamp. It’s nothing great, but works,” says Ahuja.

Next, you will need to create the circuit. Ahuja had a couple of boards left over from previous projects, and used those for the lamp project.

“The circuit used for this lamp is extremely simple and if your WS2812Bs (some do, some don’t) work at 3.3V signal, it’s even simpler as you can then avoid the 74HCT245N.”

Follow the directions for programming and coding, and then all that is left is assembly. Ahuja states that this is a functional design, but he is still working on it, adding other new features such as a notification for missed phone calls, wake up light, and more. He is open to suggestions, and asks that you post images if you create your own lamp.

Discuss this article and other 3D printing topics at or share your thoughts below. 

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[Sources: Hackaday; Instructables]

Handbag Designer Rebecca Minkoff and Normal Collaborate on 3D Printed 14k Rose Gold Earbuds

3dp_minkoff_normal_logoFor a technology as diverse and adaptable as 3D printing it seems that the fashion industry doesn’t utilize it nearly often enough. While there are some designers who wholly embrace the use of 3D printing in their designs, sadly they are few and far between. While we’ve seen some amazing 3D printed clothing and shoes over the years, the technology still seems to be supported by newcomers and students more than actual established fashion industry leaders. Personally I think it has less to do with the ability of 3D printing to be useful and more to do with the fact that the fashion industry really likes the way that it does things and doesn’t see the need to change.

3dp_minkoff_normal_earbud_instagramBut young and up-and-coming designers tend to look far more favorably on 3D printing and what it can bring to the table. Rebecca Minkoff has seen her fashion star rise quite quickly thanks to her popular handbags, accessories, and unique and edgy line of women’s clothing and it is no coincidence that she has embraced new technology along her way to the top. A few months ago she made headlines for selling her own branded version of Google’s VR headset Cardboard, and last year she installed interactive touchscreen mirrors in her dressing rooms that allowed customers to order drinks and choose new items to try on so naturally 3D printing was next on her list.

This week on her blog, Rebecca Minkoff announced a collaboration with Normal Earbuds to produce a limited edition set of 3D Printed 14k Rose Gold Earbuds. If you’re unfamiliar with Normal, they are a great business that launched a few years back that offers a set of high-end earbuds that are custom 3D printed to fit an individual’s ear so they don’t slip out, and can’t comfortably be worn by anyone else. Because the earbuds are made specifically for the user’s ears, they won’t constantly fall out while being used and they won’t leak music, so the user will be able to hear their music better, and the rest of us don’t hear any music at all.

Normal custom 3D printed earbuds.

Normal custom 3D printed earbuds.

The Normal 3D printing factory is located in New York City and also acts as a storefront. Users can walk into the store and have their ears scanned, or use a free smartphone app that will use a series of photographs to generate the 3D model for the custom earbuds. Once the shape of the inner ear has been converted into a 3D printable file it is 3D printed in resin. For the limited edition Rebecca Minkoff Normal Earbuds the resin model will then be cast in 14k rose gold. Yes, it seems a little weird that you’ll be shoving solid gold earbuds into your ears, but fashion is nothing if it isn’t a bit ostentatious.3dp_minkoff_normal_earbugs_gold

The limited edition rose gold earbuds are available from now until December 31st, 2015, and they can only be ordered at one of the Rebecca Minkoff stores located in New York, Los Angeles, or San Francisco. They can also be ordered directly from Normal at their New York storefront, and as an added bonus while visiting, you can also see the 3D printing process in person.

3D Printed Mash-Up: Imperial Storm Mickey & Minnie Mouse from Designer Philippe Disse

stormmickey1When it comes to designing objects for 3D printing, there are those designers who are just getting started with the idea that they can actually turn virtual 3D models into tangible objects through the use of desktop machines. Then there are those designers, like one man named Philippe Disse, who have experience in the field, and bring to fruition designs that actually are functional, innovative, and/or unique. Back in December, we did a story on his uniquely designed 3D printable Air Racers, and since then he has come up with numerous other designs.

Disse’s latest creation is something that many people who are fans of Star Wars and/or Mickey Mouse will certainly love. Yes, I said Star Wars and Mickey Mouse in the same sentence (and not just about Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm). This is because Disse has designed a 3D printable mash-up combining the two.

“I just love Mash-ups and not just Mash-up music,” Disse tells “I’m thrilled about the world of Star Wars, and although I’m not a huge fan, I’m amazed by the designs George Lucas created in the early 70’s. The expression of Darth Vader and his Crew is priceless. If you see a mask of a Storm Trooper, you know trouble is heading your way!”

Disse decided to take one of the world’s most well-known and friendly characters, Mickey Mouse and his girlfriend Minnie, and then combine them with the main ground-force of the Galactic Empire, the Imperial Stormtroopers. Quite the frightening thought, huh? The final result is what Disse calls Imperial Storm Mickey and Imperial Storm Minnie, and he refers to them as “Desktop Disney Troopers.”


“The greatest American surprise of all, The Imperial Storm Mickey, having his headquarters in Disneyland,” Disse joked with us. “Even Disney rules the Galaxy ;). I’m looking forward to creating more figures in the near future. To combine two or more different worlds in to one, I just have so much fun making 3D-Mashups and creative sculptures.”


Surely many kids will have fun with these unique miniature statues as well, if they can convince their parents to go against everything they have known, and dare 3D print one of these mash-ups. Disse is certainly a unique talent when it comes to designing objects for 3D printing.

If you are interested in checking up on his latest creations, be sure to follow him on Thingiverse, where you can also download and print these models out yourself. What do you think about this unique creation from Disse? Discuss in the Imperial Storm Mickey forum thread on

Industrial Designer Creates The 'Exo' 3D Printed Prosthetic Leg with Aesthetics in Mind

Brooklyn, New York industrial designer William Root is using 3D scanning, modeling, and printing to create customized prosthetic limbs. Currently, he is working on the prototype for what he calls the “Exo-Prosthetic Leg.”

Each year in the US around 185,000 amputations are performed, 90% of which involve the loss of lower extremities. There are approximately 2 million amputees in the country. The financial, physical, and psychological effects of such a procedure can and often do cause additional trauma to patients, as does adapting to an awkward and sometimes ill-fitting new limb.

leg x 3

Prosthetic limbs range in functionality, appearance and, of course, expense. The most expensive prosthetics are the robotic ones that are prohibitively expensive to most amputees but are quite remarkable in their intricacy and capacity to restore almost complete function of a limb to amputees. As the technology improves and manufacturing of such high-tech prostheses becomes affordable, probably via 3D printing whenever design aspects permit, these devices will become more affordable to people with amputations.

Another problem with the current system of prosthetic production is the customization process of traditional prosthetic limbs, which is typically time consuming, requiring a painstaking measuring process and often numerous fittings and adjustments. Ultimately, amputees must make extreme adjustments in order to adapt to prosthetic limbs, which are often not particularly attractive or lifelike.

Understandably, form has been considered secondary to function where prosthetic devices are concerned. Root, however, doesn’t think that appearance needs to suffer for the sake of increased function. Root has designed the Exo-Prosthetic Leg, which is produced using 3D scanning of the residual and the remaining limb to create a precisely matched and properly fitting prosthetic replica.

leg fit socket

Following the 3D scanning process, Root creates a model for the prosthetic leg using 3D modeling software. To aid in precise fitting, FitSocket technology, which was developed in the Biomechatronics lab at MIT, is used to analyze the tissue properties of the leg (or, ultimately, other missing extremities). Measurements are taken that fit down to the millimeter so patients do not experience some of the more awkward and physically uncomfortable effects of wearing and managing prosthetic devices.

A 3D mesh model of the prosthesis is produced and is combined with standard, manufactured prosthetic mechanisms, which fit inside the Exo-Prosthetic Leg. Root can customize the prostheses by using different patterns with the super lightweight but durable titanium mesh of the prosthetic’s surface. Customers can also choose a color they prefer. Root envisions the Exo-Prosthetic Leg as scaffolding for customers who’d like to cover the artificial limb with a custom-designed silicone sleeve.

leg 4th

In addition to 3D printing the attractive design of the mesh surface, Root prints customized connectors for the separate components, that fit within the prosthesis. The Exo-Prosthetic Leg is still in the development phase as Root refines its design to produce a fully-functional prototype. At all stages, 3D technology has been key to the project, which is garnering a great deal of attention and clearly provides real promise for millions of people.

Let us know what you think of this artistic and functional design at the Exo-Prosthetic Leg forum thread at

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