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how to make your own lava lamp


make a lava lamp

i’m going to try and make the first ever usb lava lamp, at least i think it’s the first, but before i got started, i needed to see if there were any resources on the chemical formulas and the actual construction—turns out there’s a one stop site that has it all.


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reader comments

1. Posted Oct 7, 2004, 10:11 PM ET by John


I don't know if this will actually work. The physics behind lava lamps is that the bulb at the bottom is supposed to heat up the wax, which cools as it gets to the top of the column and falls back down.

LED's are generally pretty cool burning, don't think they'd generate enough heat, even if you fully enclose the light chamber.

I'm also a patent lawyer, I once dug up the patent for lava lamps (expired nearly a decade ago), if you do a google for lava lamp patent or similar, you can get the patent number, then go to uspto.gov to pull up the patent - that'll give you the formula for the mix inside the lamp.

Good luck!

2. Posted Oct 8, 2004, 4:32 AM ET by Matthew Petty

another recipe

Big Clive's site has lots of 'things to make and do', including a lava lamp, and some other more dangerous things.

3. Posted Oct 9, 2004, 12:27 PM ET by Paul b

Great resource..

just go here


4. Posted Oct 11, 2004, 2:29 AM ET by the idle machine

Not only pretty but functional too?

Great site guys, with some very cool articles. I was especially keen to see this one, as a friend & I have been idly wondering about whether it'd be possible to dissipate enough heat via a lava lamp to make for an effective CPU cooler... :)

Does anyone know if there's been any effort made on a project like that?

5. Posted Mar 14, 2005, 6:15 PM ET by Mark Goo

hey hey hey! Thanks for the compliments and link to my site, OozingGoo.com - I first created it in 1996. I used to be obsessed with making lava lamps, and now I understand just how hard it is - much respect to the inventor, Craven Walker. If I wasn't absolutely sure that it could be done, I would've quit many times over.

As far as your cooler idea goes, I don't know enough about computers to know if it is doable - but if it is, it is definitely sellable!

Mark Goo

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