Introduction: Acrylic & Wooden Chandeliers

Luca Alvergue, an OCAD student, designed and created these amazing laser cut acrylic and wooden chandeliers. He made them using our 3mm TroGlass Clear cast acrylic and Veneer Woods material using the Trotec SP500 laser cutting machine. These lamps can be a wonderful addition to your home or office!

Step 1: Downloading Artwork Files

Picture of Downloading Artwork Files

Download the 3 chandelier types: the Traditional, the Green Lantern and the Pyramid. You can use any design software to open them and print them over to the laser machine's software; JobControl. You can add or delete the pegs on the round acrylic rings, we tend to use about 13-15.

Step 2: Cutting the Wood

Picture of Cutting the Wood

Start by cutting the wood pieces in your laser machine. Our veneer woods come in 12"x24" slabs and that's the size we set for the chandeliers, that is that the height won't be bigger than 24". We use maple veneer for the Pyramid, birch veneer for the Green Lantern and bamboo veneer for the Traditional chandelier with appropriate tolerances in each artwork file. If you're using other materials than our Trotec woods you may need to test out your own tolerances for the acrylic to fit into the wood. We use our Speedy 300 80w laser to cut with 100 power and 1 speed to cut.

You can find our veneer woods here:
https://www.engraving-supplies.ca/engravable-wood/...


Step 3: Cutting the Acrylic

Picture of Cutting the Acrylic

We then cut out the circular acrylic rings that are inserted horizontally throughout the designs. We use our 3mm TroGlass clear cast acrylic for the job using our SP500 200w laser with 100 power and 1.5 speed to cut through them.

You can find out 3mm clear acrylic here:

https://www.engraving-supplies.ca/acrylic-sheets.h...

Step 4: Assembly

Picture of Assembly

Start by taking one vertical wood piece and holding it up right. Then start adding the horizontal acrylic rings starting from the bottom and going to the top. Then carefully add the remaining horizontal wood pieces.

Step 5: Hanging the Chandeliers

Picture of Hanging the Chandeliers

We have professional electricians hanging the chandeliers in our showroom, but essentially all you need is a metal cables and "s" hooks to latch onto the smaller holes at the top-most horizontal acrylic pieces (the special holes are in the artwork file). String up 2-3 cables from the holes onto a main cable and tie it to the ceiling. Then extend a power cable and lamp from the ceiling into the center of each chandelier.

Comments

bpark1000 (author)2017-04-09

One thing about laser-cutting (and for that matter, any type of cutting) Plexiglas is that the cut process makes heat, and that heat melts the plastic at the surface of the cut ("heat affected zone"). On cooling, this zone solidifies, and then tries to contract, but the unaffected plastic "braces" and forbids the contraction, leading to tensile stress at the cut surfaces, and lower compression stress in the bulk behind the cut surfaces.

Plastic, unlike metal, "doesn't like" continuous tensile stress, and will crack in time, especially if exposed to the elements outdoors or bright light indoors. The right thing to do is to anneal the plastic sheets immediately after cutting (many references on the web how to do this). This relieves the internal stress. (This stress can be seen with a polariscope). This requires an oven that is large enough to hold the largest piece, with maximum processing temperatures around 250F. (You can kludge something together to do the annealing, might be a good future Instructable).

You can do other things to lessen the likelihood of cracking. Us only cast, not extruded Plexiglas that is free of internal stress to start with. Have the cutting done in a warm room. Do not cut cold plastic! Cracks will start in sharp concave corners, such as at the root of your mortise joints. (So the advantage of laser cutters "having zero cutter radius" should not be taken advantage of!) Pretend you are cutting with a 1/8" cutter, and add "crack-stop" circles at the root of the mortises. On non-fitting inside corners, put a fillet radius.

You can make a polariscope from a cheap pair of polarized sunglasses. Take the lenses out, and put one lens on each side of the plastic to be inspected, and rotate one lens so the majority of the area is dark, with illumination from behind.

You can take advantage of this project to bring together industrial engineering and art!

Thank you for the detailed comment and the kind words!

mrsmerwin (author)2017-04-02

These remind me of paper sliceforms. They are beautiful. I wish I had a laser cutter. I have a chandelier that needs to be replaced--it came with the house and it is so look ugly.

Thank you for the kind words!

Your welcome. Keep up the good work. Keep posting--I have a feeling that there are a great many ideas still to come from you.

Ohhh we're just getting started! :)

Definitely good to hear. If a student has run out of ideas, there is little hope for his future career.

jinxislonely (author)2017-04-03

These are gorgeous! I'm glad to have stumbled onto this, I'm going to make an attempt to make them as a gift for my mother's birthday, thank you so much!

Thank you for the kind words!

watchmeflyy (author)2017-04-02

Nice usage of acrylic with wood! For another version, trying different colors of acrylic or engraving into the acrylic might beinteresting. Or if you're really up for the work, engraving acrylic and using markers to tint the designs would look pretty great. I'll have to give it a go sometime: thanks for sharing. :)

Yes we've played around with the idea of acrylic at different colors but decided to try and keep it simple for now, almost as if the wood is floating in the air.

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Bio: Trotec Laser Canada provides laser engraving and laser cutting machines for processing a wide variety of materials. Cut, engrave and mark wood, paper, metal, acrylic ... More »
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