Final Project Report :- How it was made!

As discussed in the Main project report, I have created a tealight holder. The dynamic aspect of the project comes in the functioning of the tealight holder. The shadows cast by this holder look like a fire because of the warm orange color of the flame and the flickering of the flame gives the shadow a movement, making it look alive.

The design of this tealight holder has been inspired by various concepts. This design was supposed to be for a  personal project. I intended to work on it during the summer and creating it out of stained glass to give it a sleek and modern look. Even the organic shape of the sculpture would be highlighted and emphasized when made with a material like glass, because of the smooth curves. I have been fascinated by glassblowing and even presented about it in my graduate presentation and intended to implement one of the techniques (flame working ) to create this shape and form out of glass. unfortunately because of the time constraint for completing the final project, I had to 3D print this design.

The base was designed by simply taking dimensions off of a regular off the shelf tealight. Now the most interesting part of this artifact is the tube like wall of the tealight holder. I had been trying to imagine what the 3D object would be to get a shadow that looked like fire. This might sound completely unrelated, but this design aspect was inspired from a course I had in Fall 2022. The course was on energy conversion and storage, simply put, batteries. Now there is a concept called dendrite formation in batteries that is one of the primary factors for them to catch fires. specifically Lithium-ion batteries. This organic tube like shape is somewhat a depiction of these dendrites. I was drawn to this idea and shape as the propagation of these dendrites is what causes the batteries to catch fire and I have been trying to model an object that can cast a shadow to depict fire.

The dendrite microstructure in lithium metal batteries.

I modeled this dendrite structure in my 3D model and used CAD to extrude these shapes. It was a lot of free modelling as opposed to taking specific dimensions and measurements. The only measurements I took in my project was to set the size of the base which was going to house the Tealight.

The 3D printing did not go as expected, as always. The prints failed multiple times. Initial plan was to print this tealight older in 3 colors, black, white and grey to follow a monochromatic theme and celebrate the play of light and shadows. the white and black prints turned out great but unfortunately the grey model would not print. This could be because of the printing method and/or the material. Primarily, the choice of material was glass, but because of the time constraint and resource unavailability, I resorted to 3D printing. Even in 3D printing, I intended to print my artifact using SLS or SLA, but the printers were booked out throughout the week for the Expo and I had to settle for FDM. The material choice I was left with was PLA. Though PLA isn’t the best material to be used around a flame, the design was well adjusted so that the flame will not come in contact with any structure.



Overall, I am somewhat happy with how the artifact turned out as I will be using these artifacts as a base model or prototype for when I design and model the Tealight holder with glass as I originally planned. They will help me visualize the shape and size of the different components and serve me as a great physical reference. The next step is to paint the middle size in grey. I also intend to use the feedback I received from my peers during the final presentation to create this sculpture out of glass.

Here are the videos for how the light and shadow look when in use. vid1 vid2

click here for the final presentation


Dendrite formation in lithium metal batteries :- (

Previous Post
Final Project Report :- What was made!.
Next Post
Main Project Plans and Inspirations

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.