Backpacker Turns Balloon and 3D Printing Base into Portable Light

When out on the hiking trail, eliminating bulk in your gear is essential. Now, one intrepid backpacker has used 3D printing and a balloon to create a featherweight portable light source perfect for long-haul hikers.

Maker Alexey Zhukov says he got his inspiration from a birthday balloon.

“It was like a bolt from the blue!” he said. “I knew a balloon would be a great shade for my lamp. The next steps were ideation and prototype development. I had a few prototypes with different functional principles but in the end I decided to work with CO2.”


While not experienced with 3D printing, Zhukov said he found the support he needed to make his design work.
” I used Rhinoceros to create the 3D model and then I was ready to print,” he explained. “This was my first experience with 3D printing but Google and Netfabb provided me with all the support I needed to make it work.”

The device uses LED lights and CO2 to make it all work.


The principle is simple,” Zhukov told 3D Print. “The lamp [will] give light in relation to how much you inflate the balloon. You can also use different balloons if you want different colors of light. It’s great for camping or just for a romantic evening picnic.”