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-...

Views: 5507

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I have a 3d printer, and would be willing to print caps for some people. 

I can do them in ABS plastic, and then place them in an acetone bath to give them a smooth and shiny apperance. 

OMG! This is a gift from GOD!!!  Hooray!!! I signed up for this group a few weeks back to get help on a missing cap on my 1977 Model 100. Your work here SAVED ME.  Thanks so very much!!!!!! Hooray for your ingenuity and for 3-D printers! I'll buy today in white to paint gold. 

HOORAY!!!!!!!! I'll post my finished product here. Thanks again. 

Stacie in Chicago 


Why didn't you have it printed in metal if that's an option with Shapeways? I am just being nit picky now after my initial thrill that a solution is a Paypal click away. ha. 

Seriously, thanks for doing the work to get this product made. But why not metal if its offered? 

Thanks again and again! 



Yes please give feedback and share you finished project.  I saw you bought one on shapeways, your the 2nd person.  I haven't gotten any feedback from the 1st, or anyone else that might have tried themselves.

Money and two risks were the main reasons I didn't go with metal.  Aluminum would be close to $250 and Stainless would be around $100.  Shapeways also has a way of rating "printability" the first step is an analysis of the file.  Then it goes to a first run beta rating. If that works it goes live for similar materials and colors.  So the first part print is a little bit of a gamble.  The other risk is a little more safety concerned.  The reason why my original cap failed was that my lamp had lost a little fluid over 50yrs.  I added a small amount of RODI water, replaced the cap and turned it on.  I failed to realize the thermal expansion coefficient of the goo.  My bottle had too little air cushion and the top of the cap blew off like a champagne cork.  So I was/am a little paranoid about a metal cap that would be stronger than the glass.  If the pressure got high enough it could explode the bottle  That said I would consider stainless myself if I thought I could get a good polish on it.  Polishing metal is not fun though.  Only if I had the water level adjusted properly with a plastic cap first, would I swap it for a metal one. 

I can set the availability of materials for the part in Shapeways.  If you want to try metal, I'll enable it.  Just realize your the beta tester.

I bought one on Shapeways and I'll share my results. I'm really happy there is finally a way to get a replacement cap. Thanks for creating an alternative to using a Pine-sole cap :)

Thanks for making this Duane K !  :)

Your welcome rott knee.  I just got an email from shapeways that someone bought one.  Your the 5th person to order one including me,  Other people said they would leave feedback, but I haven't heard anything and it has been a while.  I'd like to know if it works for other peoples bottles.  I believe it should, mine is still working great. I could adjust the file if people had issues and I would hate to offer something that didn't fit.  It was a lot of work to reverse engineer this thing.  I did it mainly for myself, but I wanted to share it to the community.  It is a little disappointing that nobody can take a moment to say if it worked for them also.  Or if they thought it sucked and didn't fit.


Your piece worked like a CHARM. It fits my model 100 like the original. It saved my gorgeous lava lamp from drying out or getting bacteria until I found a vintage replacement that doesn't appear to exist without perhaps buying a nonworking lava lamp.. Your solution added so many more years of joy to my lamp. Thank you so very much for making the top, seriously, from the bottom of my lava lamp loving heart.

It's amazing how a blog, a 3-d printer and one GREAT idea can improve the world. It's true. You have improved my world. I hope more people can benefit from your lava lamp top design.

Excellent, excellent. Thanks again so much. I am NOT disappointed!
Xo Stacie

Thanks for the feedback Stacie!

It also would not have been possible without some really expensive 3D scanning equipment and software.  Which I often use for my job, but my employer is awesome and let me use it for a personal project on my own time.

I am very appreciative of all of the time and effort that you put into this project.  At this time I actually have spare original caps so I haven't needed to use this option, but I'm glad it is available!

Thanks again, Duane.

Duane the cap is amazing thanks for making it available on Shapeways. Great work! I bought the black flexible version and have had no problems at all...

Reply to Discussion



Autumn created this Ning Network.



© 2024   Created by Autumn.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service