Sep 6, 2014 | By Alec

This might be a common problem for our female readers who enjoy tinkering with printers, constructions and electronics: your nails keep getting bust up, ruining your carefully created nail polish. Fortunately for suffers of this phenomenon, Adafruit's Becky Stern has come up with a low-cost, home-made 3D printed solution.

Becky Stern is one of the electronic wizards over at Adafruit, and has produced some very inventive creations in the past. Does anyone remember her impressive 3D printed cyberpunk accessories? Anyone who has seen videos or photos of her electronic creations will have noticed that she enjoys doing her nails. To combine this with her tinkering and creative lifestyle, she has already resorted to using UV gel nail polish, an unusual type that is more durable, flexible and lasts longer than normal nail polishes. She calls it 'structural nail polish', which is ideal for just doing stuff with your nails. The only downside is that it requires a large, expensive and unpractical UV lamp system to dry.

This week, she posted a practical solution on Adafruit for all women (and men) suffering from this problem: a small, practical and easily built UV manicure lamp system, which will allow everyone to enjoy the practical comfort of salon-quality nails through UV gel nail polish, without sacrificing money or space. By combining a few Adafruit DIY electronics, you can easily make your own by following Becky's accessible guide. While some soldering and wiring will be required, anyone with a bit of electronics experience and a 3D printer should be able to make this very cool UV manicure lamp system. Anyone who wants to keep their nail polish intact definitely needs to check out this project!

Noe Ruiz, Adafruit's in-house 3D printing wizard, designed a flashy 3D printed enclosure which is freely available on and also included in the helpful guide. It can be made with common 3D printers and is best printed in PLA. It is optimized to be printed without support, and can feature any colour you want; just make sure to print the eyes in a different colour. All in all, the enclosure will take about four to five hours to print.

Aside from this enclosure, you'll need a few items:30 UV LEDs and 30 100-ohm resistors, a half size perma-proto, a slide switch, a Powerboost 500c and a 2500mAh lipoly battery, along with various tools. A complete list of these, along with a link to the Adafruit webshop where you can find them, are included in Becky's helpful tutorial.

Just follow the steps to construct and solder your very own UV light manicure lamp, which is perfect for both travelling or for use at home. The only downside is that these lights aren't as powerful as an industrial UV lamp, so it will take a about five minutes or so to dry your nails. However, the originality, compactness, USB charger and low costs more than make up for that. With this inventive creation, you'll never have to worry again about ruining your nail polish while tinkering with your hobbies. Good luck!

You can watch Becky Stern talking about her creation here:


Posted in 3D Printing Applications

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winoas wrote at 9/6/2014 5:41:14 PM:

Why not print it with glow in dark filament? UV light is the best charger for that material

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