A modern lamp

Made by kbhuwalk · UNLISTED (SHOWN IN POOLS)

Creating an aesthetically pleasing lamp with a modern look

Created: May 6th, 2019


My idea was to create a lamp that used natural elements like wood and had an aesthetic that resembled Frank Lloyd Wright's architecture. I wanted to have the light in the lamp be diffused and almost "pour" out of the wood. 


I started by creating a pattern that I would then cut into 1/8" thick plywood. I tiled this simple geometric pattern over each of the four pieces that would make up the lamp's sides. Once that was done, I started laser cutting the pattern into the pieces of wood. This is where I ran into my first unanticipated issue  — the laser cutting process took much much longer than I expected it to. Each side of the lamp took about 2 hours and I had not scheduled enough time for it.

I tried multiple settings on the laser cutter as I wanted to build the lamp from 1/4" thickness plywood. In the end, I couldn't figure out a setting that would produce the results I liked, so I ended up using 1/8". Looking back, I am glad that I made this decision as the 1/4" plywood might have made the lamp a bit too heavy.


About 10 hours later, when I finally had my pieces laser cut, I started the process to build my lamp. This was the fun part. I got to stain the wood and I had never done this before. I really liked the color that the stain imparted on the wood and I was excited about the end result. I had decided to used transparent acrylic without removing the protective film as I found that this diffused the light pretty well. The acrylic also added rigidity to the structure which helped make it feel more solid.


Once I had stained the wood, and let it dry, it was time to assemble the lamp together. This is where I ran into another unanticipated problem — it turns out that the dimensions of the pieces of plywood are not accurate and the manufacturers take liberty with the sizes. I had painstakingly calculated the dimensions with the assumption that all the dimensions of the raw materials would be accurate.

As a result, when I started gluing the pieces of the plywood together, I found that the parts did not align very well. I also should have used finger joints on the box instead of gluing the pieces together. Gluing was a hard task and took me quite a while to get right. This issue combined with the inaccurate dimensions only exacerbated the pain further.

Moodboard describing the aesthetic for the customer (me)
Screen shot 2019 05 06 at 5.18.55 pm.thumb
Moodboard describing the design inspiration
Screen shot 2019 05 06 at 5.28.20 pm.thumb
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Found In

24-672 Special Topics in DIY Design and Fabrication

· 22 members

Offers students hands-on experience in DIY product design and fabrication processes. Students work individually or in small groups to design customized and personalized products of their own and bu...more


Creating an aesthetically pleasing lamp with a modern look