Gary 3D

garyMeet Gary. A 3D printed light designed by Gerard Schoone.

Gerard knows a thing or two about 12 volt light design.
He asked me to print two infill only cones. A week later he amazed me with a wonderful light called Gary.

Both cones (Ø: 180 mm) are moveable, which means you can change looks and light intension.

Usually, opqrstu3D designs & 3D prints complete light systems. Gerard teaches me to design lights with a reduced amount of printed parts. Together, we see a very bright future for new 12 volt lights like Gary. This is only a beginning. The only problem, we are designers, not sellers: we need a commercial human to market our 12 volt light systems.

3D printed flexibility

Today, I printed a new version of KK001. This light has a built-in 220 to 12 volt transformer. The KK001 trafo is rather big, so the light needed a big space to hide it. The printing of this hiding place took too much time, so I started looking for a smaller transfomer and some months ago, I discovered a very small and cheap LED driver. Now, I could design and print a much smaller ground part for my lights, which I did. Opqrstu3D was very happy with it’s little Chinese princess. Until I used it with one 1 watt LED bulb only. The LED worked for 3 minutes, then it suddenly stopped. I unplugged it and tried again: the same thing happened. The LED was undamaged, but very hot. Opqrstu3D did not write about this this, because mounting a 2,5 Watt LED solved the problem. Meanwhile, I asked Frank form if he knew what was happening and of course he knew: This little princess produces constant current which works fine with 2.5 to 3 watts. At 1 watt only, you need a constant voltage transformer.

Last week, I bought a constant voltage 12 volt transformer at TopLedShop. Today, opqrstu3D designed and printed a hiding place around it and mounted the original KK001 light shells. Again, an example of the wonderful flexibility in 3D printed product design.

KK001 2016 © opqrstu 2016
KK001 2016 © opqrstu 2016


Today, 12 volt LED bulb’s are getting better and cheaper, but they do not run on 220 Volt. You can buy all kinds of 220 volt LED’s, but these are quite expensive. Can 3D printing help us to connect 12 volt LED’s directly to 220 volt light systems? Some posts ago, I designed and printed JellyLight. It connects a 3 Watt, 12 volt LED to a regular 220 volt home system, but is not easy to assemble/use.

Now there’s FullMoon, a very simple three parts 3D printed light. FullMoon fits easy in almost any modern living. Opqrstu3D printed it on 3D4makers transparent PET-g and tested it in the opqrstu studio. This light is much easier to assemble and has an ‘infill only’ printed light head. The ‘infill only’ structures create an organic, silky or moony look.

FullMoon © opqrstu 2016
FullMoon © opqrstu 2016

Creatr is printing on it’s original old nozzle again and as predicted: FullMoon looks perfect. For your information: a complete FullMoon needs an eleven hours print job (0.3 mm layer height). To assemble this light, you need a constant voltage 12 volt LED driver, some wires, some very small screws, two small connectors and a 3 watt/12 volt LED. Save energy!

3dreamz titanium

One of the first lights opqrstu designed and printed on infill only settings was 3Dreamz. Creatr printed it on a Leapfrog PLA (2013). Today, my robot re-printed this ‘old’ light on a ‘new’ filament: 3D4makers PET-G (titanium). Modern opqrstu lights use LWW to connect a LED light bulb to 12 volt, so I adapted the original 3Dreamz to LWW and here’s one of the big advantages of 3D printing: it’s easy to change and print an old model in a new future.

3dreamz © opqrstu2016
3dreamz © opqrstu2016

Opqrstu exposed it’s 3D prints at K= galerie, Amsterdam. These days are gone.
Sadly, todays K= is too old fashioned to expose and sell 3D printed products.

3D print vlog

As a blogger, I use writing and pictures to present my adventures in 3D printing. Today it’s time for something else: The first opqrstu3D vlog. I am not very happy with the quality of the movie, but it presents an additional look at 3D designing & printing your lights. Enjoy.

raspberry pi 3D

About three years ago opqrstu3D designed it’s first light: YAN.
A week ago Nick Hall wrote on “….The energy savings on offer with this system (KCc) are substantial and it’s such a simple idea that has been turned into reality by a man that was struggling to make his 3D printer work at all. … Now he has ironed out the bugs with his Creatr and tamed his robot, Kamper and Schoen (opqrstu) are turning into a force to be reckoned with and could take the home design world by storm.”

iBook12True words.
To fast forward this storm, I wrote an eBook about my adventures in 3D LED light printing, from YAN to JellyLight:
3D Printed Light.
It’s a free download, iPad/iBook/iMac only. Opqrstu opted for this format because of it’s great 3D widgets: you can ‘touch’ and move the models around with a fingertip. Pictures freeze an object, add a 3D render and the object is much easier to imagine in the real world. Download 3D Printed Light to experience the history of opqrstu3D light design.


Meanwhile, a Raspberry PI 3 was still waiting for a nice housing. Sometime ago, Creatr printed one, but this turned out to be a PI 1 or PI 2 case. Finally, I found a nice PI 3 case by Normand on Thingiverse. The robot printed it on 3D4makers transparent PET-G.
Great design and great printing: it fits perfectly around PI, no sanding, just print & fit!

RasbHere, PI 3 controls a 360º camera. On the back you see the battery, it’s bigger than the computer. Though, together they are small enough to be carried by a camera(wo)man.
A portable data storage device completes the job.

I’m thinking of using PI 3 to control Creatr 2013. At the moment, my robot has a problem:
to print, Creatr needs to be USB connected to a computer. When this computer is a PI 3 in a 3D printed housing with a TFT screen and Wi-Fi … best kept secret: at Leapfrog they are already there: their new 3D printer BOLT has a Raspberry PI 3 inside. Your computer contacts BOLT on Raspberry by Wi-Fi. You control BOLT by changing things on the Raspberry TFT screen! Meanwhile the opqrstu robot is still USB only.

woven glass?

Today, Creatr printed ‘brocade’ on transparent PET-G. The most functional light in opqrstu3D history. Very clear, but structured enough to dim the direct light power of LED’s. Again, ‘infill only’ comes with an un3Dprinted look. This time, clear PET-G infill makes me think of woven glass: very thin (1 mm) but structured, excellent for 12 Volt, 1 Watt LED.

brocade © opqrstu2016
brocade © opqrstu 2016

Opqrstu3D designed ‘brocade’, but it’s just an imitation of a very classic light shade. This shape became classic because it does what it has to do: spreading photons, the way we like it.

Are these lights affordable?

When you are an experienced 3D printer and study the ‘infill only’ concept, these lights are very affordable: once designed, you can print as many as you want. Creatr needs 4 hours to complete this job. It’s a tricky job, so not every print will survive. A ‘brocade’ light shade consumes 13 meters Pet-G and some electricity. You also need a very cheap LED driver and print a save housing around it: another 13 meters of filament on a 4 hour print job. Together: 26 meters PET-G, 8 hours of printing, some electricity and some cheap things, max: 15 dollars pro ‘brocade’ light system. Do It Yourself and save a whole lotta a money and energy.