This is a project I have made for the Instructables 3D Printing Contest. I was browsing online for some 3D designs when I found a DNA strand, and I noticed that when I rotated it, it created a weird hypnotising upwards and downwards effect, so I thought it would be cool to take advantage of that effect and use it on something, then came the idea of making a lamp. This will be a small summary, since  the full article can be found on Instructables. And STLs can be found on My Mini Factory.


I thought about using glow in the dark filament to make the DNA Helix stand out when the lights were off. I also thought it would be cool to make the LEDs fade in and out to make a cool visual effect on the DNA, changing from glowing white to green, giving it the weird feeling of a mysterious evil experience or that it is alive somehow.

Since I didn’t know much about 3D design and I needed to get it done really fast, I started designing a first sketch using Tinkercad:


After all the designs were ready it was time for printing the parts. To speed things up, I’ve used eLab’s LulzBot TAZ 4 and my own Prusa I3:


It took a few hours, but eventually all the parts were ready to use:


Then I started mounting all the parts and connecting the electronics:


To make the rotating platform for the glow in the dark helix, I’ve used an old microwave motor:


The schematics is relatively simple, a 5V AC/DC adapter, which is actually an old Nokia charger, the motor, a relay, some LEDs, a button and an Arduino:


Then it was time to close everything up:


And now it was ready to turn on. It’s exactly as I imagined it! Here’s the final result:

Fortunately I finished it in time for the contest and it was actually one of the winners! It proved out to be a great project, as it was featured on, and even Hackaday, as well as some other websites.

Don’t forget to check the Instructables article for a complete and detailed tutorial on how to build it!

João Duarte

One of the founders of eLab Hackerspace! Post-Graduate with a Specialization in Electrical and Electronics Engineering. Some of his interests include digital fabrication, home automation, robotics, high voltage and chemistry.

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