Geometric projection candle holders are super cool

Originally published at: Geometric projection candle holders are super cool | Boing Boing

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Okay, I’ve made some of these in the past. These do not work with candles.

You need as close to a point light source as you can get. They are also very delicate with regards to the placement of the illumination source. There is no way these would work with a candle with its wide illumination source that moves around so much–as it burns, as it flickers. Finally, you have to have the light go down. Most candles will have wax off their sides and only provide illumination up.

Even with a precisely mounted tiny LED aimed at the table, these are really problematic.

I really wanted these to work, too, but they just don’t, sorry. I’m not trying to be a bummer, but I don’t want anyone being upset when they buy these and they never work right.

I’m confused. Are you suggesting that the gifs of them working on the Kickstarter page are somehow fake?

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I have no idea if they faked the images. I’m just saying that you’re not going to see good results from these with candles.

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I discovered these some 4+ years ago when I got a 3D printer. Thingiverse is littered with them and they looked so cool. So, the kids and I printed one up. We waited for the long print, put in a tea candle, and… blurry, wavering, vague shapes on the table that quickly faded to incoherence a few inches from the holder. Not easily daunted after such a long print, we grabbed an LED flashlight and shown it down through the holder and it looked okay. I ran off to my office and grabbed a surface mount white LED (0804) which had been mounted on a small PCB–about as close to a true point source as I can manage. After carefully suspending it at just the rigth point–even a few mm off and the image distorted crazily–we got a decent image with the sharp edges the photos from the article show.

I can’t imagine trying to get a candle that precisely positioned. And evenif I did, it wouldn’t be more than a few minutes before it burnt down enough to be off again.

The problem is the distance between the light source and the holder. If that was larger, then you could use a larger candle and have more ‘sweet spot’ for the illumination. We’re talking something like a foot in diameter, not the few inches these (and the one I printed) were. That might be somewhat practical if also fitted with some kind of height adjustment for the burning taper.

But, that was way larger than my little printer, so we regretfully abaindoned the project.

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