This was a fun project that I decided to work on myself. My dad had a string of outdoor party lights from the 60’s or 70’s. They have been hanging up for so long outside that the plastic shades have faded and are starting to crack. So I decided to design some custom light shades to replace the ones on the string.
I wanted the new shades to still be in the same style as the originals. So I quickly drew up 2 styles of shade in Sketchup. I was then able to export those models and 3D print them out of translucent PLA. Which once they are lit up they look pretty cool with the translucent material. I haven’t tested their outdoor durability yet as they are currently hanging in my room. But I have read that PLA is actually pretty durable and doesn’t fade much.
You can also see in the one picture that I designed some square ones. However, they were quite tricky to get to print off correctly as they kept snapping due to their thickness. So I ended up with a few short ones early on. I have since figured out better settings to print them.
Each shade takes about 2.5hrs to print off. So conceivably you can print off a whole sting of 7 in around 18hrs. The only problem is I haven’t been able to locate outdoor rated light strings with the metal clips.
I also uploaded the models to Thingiverse which can be found here: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:796267
Original Party Lights