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Moon Lamp

by moononournation Jan 27, 2018
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Has anyone tried to print this in other colors such as green or yellow? I ran out of white filament and don't know if 2 of these colors work or not. thanks

When I try to print any of the models that have more than 4 inches, CURA simply don't slice.... Which can be the issue???

I have tried Cura 3 and Cura 4, both work well.

Does anybody know how to incorporate a custom image or text into the moon lamp? Any help would be great. Thank you.


Does anyone know how to overlay a custom picture or text onto this model? If so, please share your workflow. Much appreciated.


simply add your picture to the color map.

Really? It's that easy? Can you please help direct me a little more. What program to use to do that and would it blend into the moonscape you already created, or do I have to find a moon surface image and then mesh it with my own image into one? Thank you so much.

Add picture to what color map?

I absolutely love this model! Have you considered doing other planets like earth, mars, Venus etc?

Thanks for sharing the different sizes!
Source: https://moonlamps.net/wall-moon-lamps

I printed out the 3" moon in glowing abs looks awesome butim wandering was it supposed to print out solid? I had it set to .25 mm height at a info of 50% and it is solid is it supposed to be solid or Hollow?

it should be hollow.

by any chance can someone who printed this tell me how long it takes???

I'm doing a 5 inch right now that is estimated at 30 hours. I'm printing slow to try to maintain good detail. The 3 inch took around 18 hours.

it depends on your printer speed, my printer print 2 inches in 7hours and 5 inches in 3 days.

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Hi I'm new to 3D printing, and I thought lesser the infill percentage, more the print will become hollow. But I saw screenshot of cura settings having infill 100%. Should we print this as solid block or hollow? I'm confused.

Try printing it both ways. That's the glory of 3d printing. Try things.

Thanks for sharing the different sizes! Have you thought about making a version that is smooth on the outside and with the pattern on the inside? If it allows enough detail it would look like a sphere until the lights come on, would be kinda cool.

What layer width should I print with? I'm using an 0.4mm nozzle. I was going to print 0.12mm layer height. I typically print 0.44mm wide but wasn't sure if I should go up to 0.5mm for this.

Also, some of the layers near the top are trying to print sections in mid air, at least that's what S3D shows.

I do not know what is the setting of layer width, but I have no special requirement to print this Moon lamp. plannar cut the model and add support can avoid print the top in the air.

I think they are using another STL announced years before.

Would "white" or "natural" PLA filament work better?

depends on the lighting, natural is better if the light is weak

Hey man, I'm genuinely curious how and what program you used to design this. I use fusion and auto cad but I don't think i could accomplish this with either program

I printed the 4 inches moon, without resizing it. It has a lot of small holes in the thin wall areas.

PLA, 0.4mm Nozzle, Simplify3D

What parameters should I use in S3D?

Hi Alpensepp, in all size models, it should have at least 0.5 mm shell thickness. But I heard some slicers still treat some place as a hole. The simplest way to overcome this is use 3 inches model scale up to 4 inches, then it should have at least 0.66 mm shell thickness.

I am quite shure, S3D can handle 0.4mm wall sizes, but I don't know, how the settings have to be.

But anyway your solution should work - Thank you for the great model!

not sure why you are all printing the moon with pla or abs? you do realize the moon is really made of cheese right! ;) nice i like this as i have the earth i printed in two colors blue and green. it looks great. i might scale this up a bit. tell me is it the actual moon made from picture scans or one you made? looks good either way.

Hi tommy2toes, This moon is modeling from both Moon bump map and color map. Both maps can be found on the web.

Hello moononournation
Did you cut a hole into the moon for the led?

yes, you can plane cut bottom a little bit to make a hole.

Now can you make one that looks like the Death Star?

Would this be best printed in white or clear filament?

I think you will need glow in the dark filament because it is only one colour so you would need to wait a couple of minutes before using

Hey, if I was to use some blue glow in the dark filament do you think that it would turn out really cool because after the filament becomes "charged" I can turn off the light and have a blue glow in the dark moon? Or would it affect the light passing through?

I am also want to know the actual visual effect, looking forward for your printout!

Hi MasonLanders, I think the glow in the dark effect will show an inverted moon image. Because the thicker material should glow brighter.

Hi, we are just at the beginning to try our new printer.
We have one question to you, please.

We want to place your moon on the plate of this IKEA lamp:

Is it possible to cut something out of the moon, before printing?
We are no cracks, so we need a little help, because we do not want to cut the final product :-)

Thanks for your help

Or you simply tell your slicer to sink the object into your buildplate (Z position -2/4/6mm) - see you layer view for the "hole" diameter that creates and match it with the (LED)lamp - ensure the temp inside the lamp wlll not be too high...

Hi derdennisss, you can use Meshmixer or 3D Builder planner cut lower a little bit.

This is super neat! The details you went to in the link, explaining the process, problems & solutions, as well as some of the different ideas for "simply" printing it, is FANTASTIC!!! Job well done!! Thanks for sharing :)

this project is really cool

Why make files in different sizes? You can change the size in the application you will use to export.

Hi AnimalFriend1, it is because Moon lamp is a shallow objecr and has a very thin shell. The thinnest part only have 0.4 mm. If you scale down, it will introduce unexpected hole at the thinnest part; If you scale up, the shell will become too thick that affect light pass through.

Hi moononournation

Very good job, thanks. The link for the led didn't work for me: http://m.tb.cn/h.WwI75YN
Do you have a similar led or link?


Hi Nereiden, I have check the link is valid. If you cannot order from TaoBao, I find a similar LED at ali express but the switch not at the bottom:

please do another twitter link show us how it turns out with this part. we really want to make this and using this light looks very promising!

I have received that LED, but the light is too weak for a Moon Lamp.

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What did you do to get featured.... moon lamps etc are around awhile and many better than this:





just for a start....

Moon Lamp
by Ethan3D
Hot sale moon ball with LED light
Spherical Lithophane - World Map

I understand this one combines nice skin AND proper greyscale.

Hi beejay81, if you have printed all of them, you will know which is better. I am still modeling a much better version, hope it can release in this month.

just now
Not really having a stab at you, but yes. Ethan's probably had nicest detail, and stronghero was probably easiest to print and tuning into a lamp, as they already slit the model and game a base hole..... just wondering why you are featured over a year after these guys were popular. Brandonzhun's copy was even more popular https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2531838. In some cases an upload like yours would be a remix :P nice though... Ill add it to my list

Glowing Moon
by Brandonzhun

Glowing Moon
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The only same things between them is they all modeling an Moon lamp, but my version is not someone’s remix. If you have read through my instructables, you will know I have paid much effort start from scratch and show my method step by step. Any one can reproduce it and alter parameters to tailor-made your own variations. I think the feature is awarded not only for the final product but also the details.

Agree! I have tried to design my own starting from NASA's moon elevation map. But can't really strike the balance of having both good glowing and surface details at one shot. Let alone the printability of models (holes can appear at the top of the doom due to lack of support, surface becomes more obscure after removing support materials). I appreciate author's effort to create an appealing design which is repeatable by so many users.

Good work!

has anyone had any success in acquiring these mini LEDs in the USA?

You can find cheap LED mounted on copper strings attached to a battery or solar power supply at craft stores and dollar stores. I'm just stuffing the whole string into the moon and it looks pretty great. The individual LEDs aren't so bright, but together they are more than enough.

You can also try Ikea if you want some plug-in options.

thanks for your response! I've looked and looked for hours trying to figure out just the right thing. Could you share a picture of what you made? I'm thinking of making a series of these for a hanging lamp over my boardgame table. The first pass will be crude, then I will maybe do a correct wired fixture later. I did see some LEDs on wires with drivers and wires and even some that go into electrical "can" type fixtures.

I'm doing alot of brainstorming and appreciate anyone to share what they did with us.

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How did you light up the inside and what do you recommend I do to do this?

I downloaded the STL for 5 inch and tried to slice it in half to only print one half and it comes out as a solid part instead of having the inside details and a shell. Any way to fix this?

Yes, as mentioned in my instructables, meshmixer can do the job.

If you are using Windows 10 try 3D builder.

Wow! Amazing job! I think I will print one for my room. I have a 300 x 300 x 500 printer. How about printing a lamp as big as that? Let's say diameter 250 mm. Should I scale the 10" model? Or perhaps thickness will increase a lot, changing the light effect?

what is your extruder size? if 0.4mm, it is ok scale up from 10”

Yes, It's 0.4 mm. I will scale then. Thanks!

Hi, I was wondering how you make you meshes so even and nice. with around 700,000 triangles and only 50 megabytes is amazing! How do you do it? I can't open the file because there is too many triangles and when I turn down the triangles the mesh becomes uneven and takes like 150 megabytes which is too much also. Thanks!

I could not find how to make the model with less triangles but an even mesh anywhere on the website.

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Trying to slice the 6inch file using S3D and it's full of holes? Any ideas on what I can do?

I have updated series of model from 2 to 10 inches, all thinnest part have 0.5 mm thick. I think it is good enough for general 0.4 mm nozzle. Please scale up for bigger nozzle, e.g. scale up 2 inches to 4.4 inches for 1 mm nozzle.

what is your extruder size?


It's 0.4 I ended up taking a smaller file and scaling up...printed well thanks

thank you for your wonderful moon! I have very high quality/resolution images and matching height maps from the moon. I tried to make high resolution versions with the steps you wrote at instructables. But i failed :-(. Could you make such high resolution models if i send you the pictures? I want to make a huge moon (18 inches) and print 1/8 of it at a time. Maybe others would like to have highres models too.

BanataCAD have it’s limitations, after some tuning it can handle 1440x720. There are various tools that can model from bump map, you may try other tools and share your findings here. :>

I want to do the same for the earth, but I keep getting the "Not enough memory" error in Banate CAD, it happens when it uses about 1.5 GB ram (I have 8 GB so it has enough). The model can be rendered but I can't export it to an stl...

I have pushed some changes, it can reduce a little bit usage. Or you may try moonThickness1440.lua example, it direct output STL without rendering. It can output much larger model.

Thank you for changing your program, however I now get an error message with the new .lua file: (see image since thingiverse doesn't display the original text correctly)

Also, is it true that I don't need a 'brighter' bump map any more, since you now subtract the extrude width from the radius to determine the basic thickness?

I have updated number of files, please pull and update the whole repository.

Pulled the new repository. "not enough memory". I have 64GB of RAM and a 1080Ti.

I have updated the logic for export the STL file, please get update to test it. I have test 4000 x 2000 resolution, it only consume below 13MB memory. But be aware the STL file size is over 6GB!

Downloaded minutes ago from git. Tested 4000x2000 -> not enough ram. 2880x1440 -> not enough ram. :-/ (Still have 64GB RAM ;-) )

WOW! That is great. Thank you very much. I will try it and give feedback.

I found 1440x720 is nearly the highest resolution it can handle.

Thank you for changing your program, however I now get an error message with the new .lua file (see image, as thingiverse doesn't display the original text correctly)

Also, is it true that I don't need a 'brighter' bump map any more, since you now subtract the extrude width from the radius to determine the basic thickness?

Great thing! =) thanks.


I would like to print this beautiful moon lamp in size 140 mm, so is it ok to use the 180 mm file and scale it to 75% in Simplify 3D?

I have uploaded 3, 4, 6, 8 and 10 inches entire moon, you may rotate and plane cut yourself.
Since the thinnest part of the shell only 0.4 mm thick, so scale up is better than scale down. Scale down will make the shell thinner than the extrude size and introduce unexpected holes.

many of the suggestion of printing relate to the old split versions. Can the sphere be printed whole, or does it need to be cut in meshmixer. Either way, does it need to be printed with supports etc. Can you provide some suggested print setup?

thank you so much for your answer. It is very kind of you to share your great work and help others!

Have to say I have had less than stellar luck with this model. Slic3r insists on creating voids so it prints with many pinholes. Two failures so far. Time to see if Cura behaves better.

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I have printed one. It looks great. Thank you for making this model. However, I have one question. Why didn't you make the inside of the model a smooth sphere surface? Isn't that easier and faster for the printer to print?

Hi Holowin, the internal parts made for glowing details, you may find more details at my instructables:

how did you place it on the bed? supports?

no support needed, some materials require brim make more adhesive.

does this apply to the whole sphere version, or a split version

Split version, you should split the sphere before print or you need some support. Please find more details in my instructables: https://www.instructables.com/id/Print-Your-Own-Moon/

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Hi moononournation, this is totally awesome! Could you post a version that is cut at the top? That would be better for hanging lights. Or just post the entire moon before it's cut. Thanks!

Agreed :) I am a pre-novice @ 3D printing, but I think this would make an incredible light fixture in my kid's bedroom. I'd (ideally) love to hang it right over the bulb on the ceiling light. I haven't talked to anyone about this project yet (I only just found this moments ago, & I go to my local library to get help & use their 3D equipment), but is this something that could be produced in a "large enough" print? I also thought about making a lamp, so if I can't do it for the ceiling light, I wonder if I could do it for that. Fingers crossed! I love this project!!

I'm slicing it with Cura and the infill is filling the entire esphere. How can I tell Cura this is supposed to be hollow?

I am using Cura 2.5.0 Robo version, it know hollow inside.

Can you post all the settings? Maybe printscreen it?

you may find one at mu instructables

I printed this in original scale and with 200 % without support on my i3V2.1 with an all metal hot end. PLA print. Worked very nice. Sliced with S3D. With infill of 25 % on the 200 % print the structure of honeycomp can be seen on the dark parts when lit up from inside. I think a 100 % infill can solve this when the model is scaled.
Is it possible to provide a STL file with a moon in 18cm diameter so I do not need to scale? I plan on constructing a lamp foot for it so it can be run on battery with just a LED or two.
Again. Great Work!

Hi MAXstruments, I have already added 180 mm version, you may try to print it. I also suggest 100% infill, but since the shell thickness is 3 mm maximum, so it should not have any infill problems (normal default shell thickness is 2mm so any shell below 4 mm does not contain infill region).

This is fantastic! Nice Work.

This is awesome, and will be the first thing I make when I get a printer. I had to download the files to understand why the 3d preview only showed the top, but now I see, there are 2 parts which get assembled (there is a base as well). Your model would seem like an ideal use of an inductive coil to power the LED inside (no wires :D). Something like this:

This is awesome; thank you! I think this would also make a wonderful suspension lamp. If it is not too much trouble, would you please provide files for those of us with larger print beds, something like 240mm total diameter?

Nice job! Can you please explain what moon.mix is? Also, why is the STL named upper? Is there another lower file that is missing?

Hi n8080, the moon.mix is the entire moon shell before plane cut in meshmixer format. Since the sample upper is only 60 mm diameter in size, I expected put it on a tiny light source so no need to print the lower part. If you want to make a bigger one, you may follow my instructables to make it.

I see. Can you include the full STL like in your instructable? I want to print the complete moon.

what size do you want to print?

About the same size as yours. Maybe I'm misunderstanding the files. The file is labeled upper but when I look at it it looks like the entire file. I think I'm just misunderstanding that upper is actually the entire moon stl file.

I tried few 3D software, but they always misunderstand the hollow area inside a closed surface. So plane cut it into 2 parts is better.

I will try this print with Simplify3D since it has a vase mode that will leave the hollow center. I will let you know how it goes.

I have regenerated the 66 mm upper and lower STL, you may try it.

If you only want to have surface details, vase mode should be ok. But it missed interior details so it do not have any visual effect when light up, just like the photos I show at step 2.

Hey! Thank you for your great work. I will try this later without support on a dup i3v2.1. If it succefully i will post a "make" from it.