Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Hello all, first time here.

I have an old lamp that was my grandma's and I'm a little sentimental about it.  It must be early 70's minimum because I remember it as a child.  I'm sure you all can probably identify it and that might help what I'm trying to do here.  A few years ago the cap cracked, it got cloudy and didn't work good anymore.  I'm in the process of trying to restore it, using the lava formula I found here.  I was about to say goodbye to it because I could not find a replacement cap.  Then I realized I could 3D scan the old cap, use that to build it in CAD, and have a replacement 3D printed!  So the cap should be back from the printer soon and hopefully it fits and the re-lava goes well.  I want to share the file used for the 3D print, it took about 10 hours and some pretty expensive equipment/software to reverse engineer.  The cap only cost $13 to print once I made the file.  I do want to make sure my replacement fits before I upload it.  I will also try to give updates on my overall success with the restore.  Here is a picture of the lamp so maybe someone can identify it.  Hard to tell in picture but it is gold-ish in color, and the cap screws onto the glass threads with an o-ring seal.

Buy it here https://www.shapeways.com/product/4TJ6AR66D/lava-cap-for-70-s-quot-...

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I am new here and unsure on how to use this. I have a lantern lava lamp that the goo does not flow it just get stuck to the top what can I do? And where can I purchase a gemlite?

I wonder If there are also 3d-print files of the separate  parts available of  the Mathmos “ Lunar Rocket.”

Like the separate top, and the three Feet and the bottompiece. I always liked the rocket of Tintin in the comic “Rocket to the moon” from my childhood.That rocket is in red and white colours but  I would not dare to paint an original Lunar because it would be ruined instantly.

With 3D parts in red and white and a replacement bottle this could be a great hobby project.

and naturally also  great to repair damaged parts. But Ill guess someone has to upload 3d Scans of original parts first.

Yes someone would need to scan an original.  It might be possible to just 3D print the scans.  The problem is scanning often has difficulty getting into small nooks and crevices.  So the print might get messed up where the data was missing.  Ideally a scan would be reverse engineered in CAD so it would be a solid with perfect geometry.  But the awesome thing about 3D printers is you can try a cheap material and only be out a few bucks.  There are "reasonable" price 3D scanners that connect to USB on a PC.  People even hack a Kinect from XBOX to do it.  I just happen to have access to a $200K metrology grade scanner, so I don't know much about the USB ones.  Shiny and black surfaces sometimes give problems since this is all based on light and cameras.  We sometimes use a substance that is like a spray on talcum powder dust.  It wipes off, but the white film helps the cameras see the light contrast.

Anyone have one of these caps for sale ? I need one

edit: nvm i ordered one didnt see the link in the first post.

Do they make the caps for the 32oz bottles ?

I don't know what bottle sizes are out there or what caps they use, but I doubt it. I couldn't find anything for any lamp when I designed the re-pop cap for my century. If someone had a broken one for a different size they would donate to the cause, I would try to duplicate it. It might take me a little while to find the free time.

Also I saw someone ordered another cap from my shapeways store recently, it was probably you Jon. That's 9 people who needed a cap and got one. Which makes me happy because it was a lot of work I did for personal nostalgia, but I hoped others could benefit. Each sale on shapeways buys me half a beer too, so thanks...

Yea i have 6 chinese lava lamps from spencers 32 ooz ones, i just recently got into collecting lamps.  I used to have a big 52 OZ one i got as a kid from chuckee cheezes from the tickets.. I broke it by tripping on the cord and the lamp shot against the wall and boom. lol

Had That thing for like 6 years and broke it about 15 years ago..  I then after my 6 spencers lamps learned of the antique lamps, and i won a star light century like a goldish liquid with deep red wax..  1977 date, and the cap wasnt broken in the pics but when i got it today the cap was cracked from point A to B..  I was kinda ticked off and bummed out so i contacted the seller and asked for a partial refund..  They gave me $30 back from the 77$ i spent..  I made a thread here earlier today and some people linked me to this thread and i saw your website and ordered a black cap.   Mine doesnt leak or anything but i dont wanna risk it.  Plus i want to drain the lamp and clean the glass its a bit foggy on the glass but the liquid is clear.  So before i do that i need a new cap

That 30$ refund i got pretty much paid for the new cap so i guess it worked out, I just need to find the right color paint to make it match the gold base.   There is a enchantress lamp i want to buy on ebay but the top is cracked as well..  Since you dont have replacement caps for the 8200-N series then i guess I'll pass on that

edit:  Might i suggest on your website you include a picture of inside the cap so people can see the threading.  I sell Jeep parts on ebay for extra money.. and i sell a ton of them.  A picture is worth a thousand words and can mean the difference between not selling and selling something..  Of course for people who know what the caps look like and know what they need that pic is fine, but its just a suggestion.

i have never had any luck with those chrome paints, even the expensive ones from Eastwood.
They  have a process now that is almost chrome but a wash-on paint called spectra chrome

of course, all kinds of knockoffs came about

My airbrush guy does pseudo-chrome as part of his services if you need it

I got your cap Duane,  Great Job on it, but i was under the impression it came with a new seal ? Thats what your website said ?  Unless I misread that, maybe youre mentioning the seal diameter you used.   Regardless my old one was still really soft and pliable soft and felt like it was new.  However your cap doesnt seal very well like the old ones.   I tightened it and i tilted the lamp and little micro air bubbles were leaking out so the cap wasnt sealing.

I had to make the cap like super gorilla tight and it stopped.  Ima keep an eye on it, i dont want the water level to drop.  I might take it back off and put some black rtv silicone on the threads to make sure its sealed.  The only issue with that is once i do that it wont ever come off again.  So well see what happens with it just being super tight hopefully the pressures from it being cold and hot dont cause those micro air bubbles to leak again.  I suspect the leaking is due to the roughness of the surface of the plastic.

I work on cars namely Jeeps and old Wagoneers from the past had bumpy heads where you put the valve covers on, they werent machined smooth, so it causes valve covers to leak with gaskets, and i have a feeling this is why this was leaking.

Just like most caps on bottles, it needs a gasket on the inside of the cap.

I recently bought some pliable rubber material to seal a colossus

it is available in various thicknesses

Your application would require @1/32 of less

It is also available with different flexibility 
The one I bought was red and had a rating of DURO 55 (flexible)

Perhaps a circle of it cut and trimmed to the inside diameter of the cap, attached with a spot of glue, will stop the leakage when you tighten it?

Here is the vendor


I was using the stock gasket.. But i guess it isnt thick enough or something.  

Just dotn silicone the thread

If you use it anywhere, use a thin bead  around the inside of the cap where the flat part meets the section with the threads
(glass bottle rim contact point)

This way, you can get it off if you ever have to
Jon said:

I was using the stock gasket.. But i guess it isnt thick enough or something.  


This is the exact quote from the shapeways site the caps are for sale on.  " My o-ring was brittle from age and had some glue stuck to it from a fix attempt. I replaced it with a 1-1/2"x1-3/4"x1/8" #81 o-ring (for faucets). Your original o-ring might work, it should be very close in size, but I designed the part for the new o-ring dimensions and can verify it works with it."  I didn't think this implied it came with a new seal, just that you might want to buy a new one.  Maybe I can re-word that if confusing.

I would not silicone the threads, I would suggest trying the #81 O-Ring first.  If still problems possibly some silicone under the O-Ring on the cap side (top), a very thin bead to seal against the plastic.  The threads serve no sealing purpose, it is not a tapered pipe thread.  Also wet your finger and run it around the glass bottle top. You might have a small chip, I do this in canning jars and you will feel stuff you can't see and the lid will not seal.

Shapeways is a 3D printing service, you upload a file they sell it and give you a percentage of the sale.  You set the percentage.  There may be a way to add more pictures of threads, but honestly I probably won't try.  I'm not trying to make extra money, If I was I would just work overtime.  This cap re-design would cost about $3K at that rate.  When the percentage of sales hits $30 then Shapeways PayPal's you.  I haven't hit that yet with 10 caps sold, just trying to help people.  I even posted the file you can  print yourself.

Keep us updated on the progress, Shapeways may have some king of return policy.  I haven't heard of any other problems,  but maybe you got a bad part.

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