Solar Garden Lights

We've been buying a few new garden lights every year and now have a good collection of lights that won't recharge or fail other ways.

First Frankenstein Lights

On the theory that the led illumination is not the failing component I dissected a couple of units and spliced in three volts of alkaline batteries where the charging circuit once resided.

The result was brilliant. Bright enough to look good daytime indoors. And the color cycling worked too.

Preliminary Base Design

I brought in a small garden mint pot that had wintered over to use as a temporary base. Not happy to have this potting soil on my coffee table I set out to made an alternative.

I was thinking through how I could model some vine like spirals that would grasp the light's stems and hold them securely above some equally organic ramble of vines that would be the base. Then I realized I was going to have a number of prints just working out the angles, diameters and cable routing. Time to start simple.

module base(r) { difference(){ translate([0,0,8-r])sphere(r,$fn=60); translate([0,0,-r])cube(2*r,true); }} module stem(a) { $fn=15; rotate(a) rotate(20,[1,0,0]) translate([0,-3,5]) difference(){ cylinder(20,4,3); cylinder(25,2,2); }} base(25); stem(0); stem(120); stem(240);

Design Reduced for First Print

After sizing inside diameter for the two already scavenged lights we found that the print consumed more material than we had on hand.

The quick fix is to thin all the material to the minimum and cut some holes in the base to save some more material. Net savings, four hours out of ten. Now we can expect to complete printing before running out of filament.


// HEIGHT 370