Fixing the Fixture


I (somewhat) jokingly posted something the other day about how my wife asked me to 3D print something, and was totally serious this time and not sarcastic about it. To be fair, she’s heard me say “I’ll just 3D print one!” about 100 times this summer, and was probably sick of it, but when you live in the future, it’s pretty damn exciting.

Or story begins back in 2009 when we moved into our current house. The light above the front door was just a bare bulb, with nothing around it. I’m assuming there was a glass ball at one point, and it must have broke, or been stolen, or dematerialized. No matter, we can fix it.

3D Printed Part

While at Home Depot the wife found a cheapie plastic majigger that would fit over the light bulb, so we bought it. This is also when she suggested I could “make it work” and thus, I agreed.

I ended up using OpenSCAD to design a simple ring that would press-fit the new piece, and have the needed holes to fix the fixture… and adapter, if you will.

It fits!

It worked! As you may notice, there are no mounting holes. I often don’t bother making holes in the objects I print because I’ve got a drill press, and it makes much more precise holes than the RepRaster 5000 can. (And just to be clear, the clear piece is not what I printed. I printed the black piece. Got it?)

Holes for screws

Here’s the piece after I drilled the holes and secure it into the fixture with two small bolts. Sadly the small bolts are a little long, and stick out the top, but hey, it’s still an improvement.


So now on the front of the house is this lovely cheapie plastic majigger instead of just a bare light bulb. Home Improvements FTW!

This is one more thing where I really don’t know how I could have done this as elegantly without a 3D printer. Using open source software I designed the needed adapter and then printed it out using open source hardware, and the total cost of materials (ABS plastic) was probably less than 50 cents. As I said… living in the future and all that.

6 replies on “Fixing the Fixture”

Hi Rasterweb – great job on this one. Living in the future is grand indeed. Did you have to use a micrometer to take the measurements of the “jar” and fixture ? Will a ruler do?

I used digital calipers, you can pick up a pair for under $20. You could use a ruler, but rulers are for suckers without digital calipers… also, in the future we use millimeters instead of inches.

Ahh, you mean instead of using bolts, just added little nubs to the printed piece that would fit in the holes?

Probably, but it would have take more time. To do that I would probably have printed two pieces and then used acetone to create one piece (since the bottom of the print is where the nubs would have to go.

I’m totally fine with mixing 3D printed objects with other things when it makes sense… though 3D printing the entire object is always a nice challenge too. :)

This is awsome! 3D printers are the future to fix problems… But will remove regular manufacturing?

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