"Complexity is free" is one of the popular saying about 3D printing. It means that unlike traditional manufacturing, more complex shapes are just as easy to make as simple ones. Biologically inspired shapes are a great way to show off "complexity is free." I wanted to print a really cool, flowing, organic shape that was also functional, so I chose the Julia Vase #011 by virtox as the lamp shade. My sister helped me print it out of a tough, clear plastic. The model is hollow so the printer generally just traced the edges.
Ideally the lamp would be self contained within the shade to avoid disrupting the unique, complex surface. I decided on powering the lamp with induction coils for a sleek design. In theory the lamp shade could be printed to completely enclose the lamp. The lights need to be LEDs to avoid generating enough heat to melt the plastic and to fit inside the shade. I followed this guide by Tyler Cooper on Adafruit to get the parts list and get the wiring right. All parts were ordered from Adafruit. The circuit is really simple. The wall plug is soldered to the coil supplying power. The coil receiving power is soldered to a resistor (to avoid overloading the LEDs) and a few LEDs in parallel.
There are a few things could be changed. The LEDs are a little dimmer than I expected. I think this is because of the resistor I used (1kOhm). If it has less resistance there would be more current and brightness. The LEDs light up around 3cm above the coil. Again, if the resistor were smaller it would probably light up further from the coil. Finally, the transmitting coil is bare, so I'll need to make a small case for it (and a stand for the shade). Overall I am really happy with the result. The lamp shade is especially beautiful when lit from the inside.