Thinking Man

This Thinking Man is a “lamp” is made from PVC pipe, some 3D printed shapes, simple electrical switches, wires and LEDs.  It resembles a man sitting, contemplating a slot he has discovered that was cut through the side a mysterious green box resting at his feet.  On inspection, one will notice that the lampshade sitting atop of the man’s shoulders is strangely uneven like a miniature mountain range — enough to give pause to a real person to contemplate meaning.

Later in the day, when the room lights are off and this lamp is made to glow from within, people will be thrilled to discover that the bumps on the shade formulate a montage of faces.  Nerds will (of course) recognize: it is a lithophane!

Find a key on a gift and insert it into the contemplated slot.  It fits perfectly!  Hidden behind each face is small light controlled by a switch in the pandora box.  Each key enables one LED.   The key will illuminate just the face of the intended gift recipient.

The keys are based on the design used in last year’s Motorized Etch-a-sketch


A lithophane is a 3D printed surface that is thin enough to allow light to pass through.  The secret to a lithophane is in the unevenness of the surface material.  If you shine a light from behind, thick areas are dark areas.  Thin areas are bright areas.  The image comes to life out of thousands of strategically placed bumps and valleys.

The lampshade was generate at the following website and a 3D printer with ivory filament.

Online Lithophane Creator

I created the lampshade on this website:

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