Making 3D Lamp Inserts


One of the problems with Veteran Cars is their inability to safely used at night.  All these cars have lamps that either use kerosene or acetylene to fuel a wick - exactly as an old oil lamp does. These lamps look terrific,but provide no light to drive by,  provide little light to make the car visible to oncoming traffic and are a fire hazard.

With that in mind, I decided to make a new, modern LED replacement for the kerosene system in the lamps on the 1902 Delahaye.  It had to be a perfect replacement, easily removable and not damage the original parts in any way whatsoever.  I decided to do this on a 3D printer.

The result was excellent.  The new LED insert can be put into the lamp in under a minute and removed similarly to put the original parts back in for shows etc. The lamps now throw very good illumination onto the street, allow the car to be easily seen, and eliminates the fire hazard.

The original lamp insert is a kerosene tank, with a wick and a dial to control wick / flame height.

I measured all dimensions of this unit, and designed a replacement in a CAD software program called Cubify Invent.  That design was then sent to the 3D printer for printing - an 11 hour print time.

When designing the part in the CAD software, I added a place for the LED bulb on the top, modified the height of the top to ensure the bulb was central in the lamp once inserted, added a place for the batteries in the bottom with channels for the wiring, and a recess for the switch I was yet to design.

The insert was designed to hold the LED bulb holder, the LED bulb, an 8 AA battery pack and a switch.

In order to maintain an absolutely original appearance, I designed and made the switch to look and function exactly as the original wick control does.  Turning the knob would turn the LED on or off.  I made this from brass on my lathe.

The completed unit fully assembled (batteries out for the picture).

Excellent illumination now

Video of the lamp’s operation