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Hi Makers!

In this Instructable we are going to make a 3D moon lamp to celebrate Apollo 50. The plan is to have a lightbulb inside a casted moon, which will have surface detail. Albeit I’m a little late to the moon party, I still wanted to go through with this project, as I wanted to make matching decoration for my table. Indeed, I’m talking about my most recent project, the floating bedside table. Originally, I was only making a decoration, but then I imagined how cool it would be if it was glowing. I wanted to stick with concrete as the theme for this one as well, however we both know that light can’t shine through concrete. That’s a bummer. Well, I guess I won’t join the party at all. Or will I?

Upon further research I discovered light-transmitting concrete. Even more interesting, I found that the maker nepheron had already made such a material and made a great tutorial…. a whole 9 years ago! He uses optical fibers as his light conductor, but I wanted the actual material to be translucent, so this left me with one option; to come up with the material myself.

Now, before we get any further, I know I could’ve just 3D printed the moon, but then, what fun would there be in the process of making? Besides, not everyone has a 3D printer.

I thought of and tested a few different mixtures like concrete and silicone, concrete and epoxy and even concrete with fibreglass. I knew that in order to preserve the translucency, only a small ratio of concrete could be added to a transparent material. In the end, I settled on 95% epoxy and 5% concrete by weight.

Step 1: The Design

With the material chosen, the next step is the mould. As the inner mold piece cannot be removed afterwards, it will need to be transparent. I chose two separable plastic balls, one with a 16 and another with an 18 centimeter diameter. While designing the mold, I had to account for the light bulb. It will need to be removable, so I won’t need to destroy the moon each time I change a light bulb. The idea is that the screw on ring for the lamp shade holder will be firmly glued to the inside of the smaller globe, and a hole is made in the plastic, at the center of the ring. This way, the moon can just be screwed on to its stand.

When securing the threaded ring, choose a strong glue; I made the mistake of applying a weak one. The problem presented itself later in the process. I poked a couple of small holes around the top ring and on the bottom center of the globe with a hot needle (heated up above a tealight). Lengths of fishing line were threaded through the holes, and knots were made on the inside. Silicone was applied to prevent any leaking later on. On the top, I marked one centimeter up and made another knot on each line. Then, I took the halves of the larger globe and made some small holes which matched the ones of the smaller globe. The fishing lines were threaded through these. As for the bottom string, I did not make any knot, as this will be done later, although that too was threaded through the large globe. The small globe’s two halves were glued together with super glue.

I test fitted everything, and suspended the globes. It looks nice!

I also made a hole of significant size, which the mixture will be poured through.

Note: the smaller globe cannot touch any of the larger globe's walls, it has to be centered on all three axes, if it's not, try adjusting or re-measuring the knots, before moving on to the next step

CraftAndu21 days ago
This is one very cool lamp, cheers!
OliverM18 (author)  CraftAndu21 days ago
Thank you very much, CraftAndu!
Mimikry23 days ago
great project!
thanks for the detailed information :)
OliverM18 (author)  Mimikry23 days ago
thank You for the comment! ;)
Excellent work Oliver. A great project and a great result.
OliverM18 (author)  karlbamforth1 month ago
Thank you very much!
That is really neat! I haven't seen concrete and resin mixed together before :)
So when you added the mix to the mold, would you add it into the globe and swirl it around and hang it upside down to sit, and then repeat that process 15 minutes later? Is that how you got it hollow?
OliverM18 (author)  Penolopy Bulnick1 month ago
Hi! Thanks for the comment!
The mixture was poured into the mould, with a smaller transparent globe inside it (which is then part of the lamp). On the first picture of step 2, you may notice the smaller globe in the center, with the two larger halves on the left and right side. So no swirling or adjusting the mold is needed! :)
have a great day!
Ah! I see, thanks :)
The details in the paint and texture are really impressive! Great job! :)
OliverM18 (author)  WeTeachThemSTEM1 month ago
Thanks a lot!!
I tried to make both within a few hours, but one could easily take this to another level by doing it even more accurate. Hope you have a good day!