3D printing a geodesic dome base for a mason jar style firefly light

We are still iterating on Mason jar firefly lights.  We wanted more light and the most obvious way to do that is to invert the jar so that light shines through the base of the jar.  

I have zero CAD skills and only basic tools like Microsoft 3D Builder. This means I need to mix in publicly available components for any complicated shapes or surfaces.

I resized the same dome and thinned it out by creating a sphere slightly smaller than the dome and then subtracting that from the dome. I then took a threaded model and inserted it through the top of the dome.  and extruded a hollow box into the back of the unit for the battery box. 

The item at the right is the result.   

Previously seen in Joe's modeling app

A previous article https://joe.blog.freemansoft.com/2023/03/3d-printing-battery-box-holder-for.html was about printing a battery box that fits inside the mason jar.  It was simple but wasted much of the light that went through the bottom glass.

The domed shape with the perforations was part of the light in the left of this picture. It felt like something that could be really fun to use for other things.


These images show the final mode.  There were probably 6 components that act as subtraction or void creation elements that you don't see because they were subtracted from the models to make voids.
The model shows the interior is hollow.  Light passing out the mouth of the jar will light up the dome openings.

My Models

  • My 3D models can be found here https://www.thingiverse.com/dolt911/
  • Perforated or geodesic dome base for mason jar https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:5948823
  • Square base for mason jar https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:5933353
  • Dome used as a top for the jar with a finger https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:5935136


  • Demonstrates some of the dome creation, sizing, and thinning https://youtu.be/uktT4sTL7sQ
  • Explains how the square base version was created https://youtu.be/aFF3mHo4--c
  • Slightly more complicated design with space/void creation https://youtu.be/hUzcF0uMplI

Third-Party pieces

Threaded Mason Jar

  • This is the threaded model that I pushed into the lamp bases and tops https://www.printables.com/model/407417-mason-jar-lid-thread-source-files
  • Other threaded pieces I have not used but look OK. https://www.printables.com/model/259245-canning-jar-lids-and-threads/files

Geodesic Domes

  • Domes and half domes with holes in them to be added to models https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1758972/files

Revision History

Created 2023 04 09


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