Introduction: Floating Pyramid Lamp With 108 Spiritual Symbols

Hello Instructables community! Thank you for checking out my 2nd Instructable. I know what you must be thinking.. 'That's a cool looking lamp!' Yes indeed. Before I go into writing about how to make this lamp, I want to mention that this lamp exists because of my client Barbara Thompson and her vision to create this lamp. These are the written words from Barbara describing how this project all started and describing the meaning of this lamp:

"I dreamed of a lamp. Although the lamp didn't have a shape, I envisioned symbols. My inner voice told me that these symbols would guide to resplendent character, wisdom and purpose. Suddenly, I began to be transfixed by the number 108. Research on this number led me to the 108 Buddhist principles, the adages of character that provide guidance to strengthen against earth's corruptibility and allows cosmic self-realization.

Each step of the way, I was led and synchronicity existed in this journey from start to finish. The lamp kept calling to me to make sure it realized form. I needed someone to engineer my vision. I placed an ad seeking an artist to bring the lamp into form. Kevin answered the ad and his words that he now understood the significance of his grandmother passing the knowledge of bowing 108 times before he entered a Buddhist temple. Kevin turned the vision into reality. The shape of a pyramid came to him and his form represents the struggling human creature seeking to reawaken spiritual knowledge.

The Paradigm Shift lamp is born and its purpose is to be a constant beacon, a faithful reminder of the personal choice to build impeccable character and live it as a shinning example of one person at a time modeling peaceful co-existence where without prejudice everyone is our brother and our sister."

I know..It's deep. Maybe some of you guys are moved. Let's get to it!

There are mainly 4 parts into making this lamp:

1. Engraving 108 symbols into clear acrylic and cutting them into regular triangles

2. Building the triangular-based pyramid top housing.

3. Building the "levitating" base.

4. Soldering and connecting the light source to RGB control panel to power.


Materials needed for..

Part 1:

a. Clear acrylic -1/8 thickness / 32 x 18in.

b. Mirror finish acrylic - 1/8 thickness / 24 x 12in.

c. Acrylic Solvent

d.. Syringe w/ plastic bottle

e. Gila RTK500 Window Film Application Tool Kit

f. Gila LEG361 Heat Control Residential Window Film


Part 2:

a. 3M Clear Tape

b. 80 & 120 grit sand paper

c. 6 x Brass strip 0.16 X 1/4 (0.41mm x 6.35mm)

d. 3 x Brass strip 0.16 X 1/2 (0.41mm x 12.7mm)

e. 80 & 120 grit sand paper

f. Epoxy


Part 3:

a. 12 gauge steel sheet metal (Lower Base)

b. 16 gauge steel sheet metal (Upper Base)

c. 1 inch steel pipe with 1/8 inch wall thickness

d. 1/2 inch architectural bronze angles (x3)

e. 1/4 inch steel scraps (for the false base)

f. Silver solder (for brass)

g. White (flat) spray paint

h. Lacquer spray for Brass


Part 4:

a. RGB Led Strip Light

b. Power Adapter (12V, 2A)

c. RGB Touch Panel Controller

d. Soldering iron

e. Solder

f. Spools of Hook up wires 22Gauge (black, red, color)

g. Helping hands

h. Female DC Power adapter - 2.1mm jack to screw terminal block

Let's dive in!

Step 1: Inspirations (pyramid & Symbols)

Pyramids have been built by civilizations in many parts of the world. For thousands of years, the largest structures on Earth were pyramids—first the Red Pyramid in the Dashur Necropolis and then the Great Pyramid of Khufu, both of Egypt, the latter is the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World still remaining.

At the spiritual level the pyramid is a symbol for the integration of self-and soul. In dreams the pyramid can stand for the death, but it also contains rebirth.

The base of the pyramid stands for the body, the sides show the spiritual attempts, the point symbolizes the harmonious union of the human with the ‘higher self-‘ (God). The primary purpose of the great pyramids was a place for spiritual initiation. It was in the sacred confines of the great pyramids that initiates would undergo the process of attaining real illumination.

The pyramids were chosen because they are an outer symbolism of man’s inner quest. The spirituality of ancient Egypt was concerned with initiates seeking the Divine within themselves. Unfortunately, over time, the spiritual initiates who guarded the secrets of realization, lost influence and over time, the pyramids became used for different purposes. This is why it is hard to find evidence of these early spiritual practices.

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A symbol is a person or a concept that represents, stands for or suggests another idea, visual image, belief, action or material entity. Symbols take the form of words, sounds, gestures, ideas or visual images and are used to convey other ideas and beliefs.

Heinrich Zimmer gives a concise overview of the nature, and perennial relevance, of symbols.

"Concepts and words are symbols, just as visions, rituals, and images are; so too are the manners and customs of daily life. Through all of these a transcendent reality is mirrored. They are so many metaphors reflecting and implying something which, though thus variously expressed, is ineffable, though thus rendered multiform, remains inscrutable. Symbols hold the mind to truth but are not themselves the truth, hence it is delusory to borrow them. Each civilisation, every age, must bring forth its own."

In the book Signs and Symbols, it is stated that A symbol is a visual image or sign representing an idea -- a deeper indicator of a universal truth.

Symbols are a means of complex communication that often can have multiple levels of meaning. This separates symbols from signs, as signs have only one meaning.

Human cultures use symbols to express specific ideologies and social structures and to represent aspects of their specific culture. Thus, symbols carry meanings that depend upon one’s cultural background; in other words, the meaning of a symbol is not inherent in the symbol itself but is culturally learned.

Symbols are the basis of all human understanding and serve as vehicles of conception for all human knowledge. Symbols facilitate understanding of the world in which we live, thus serving as the grounds upon which we make judgments. In this way, people use symbols not only to make sense of the world around them, but also to identify and cooperate in society through constitutive rhetoric.

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*I have attached a PDF file of all 108 symbols and their meanings.

Step 2: Part 1. Laser Engraving and Cutting


Laser cutting is a technology that uses a laser to cut materials, and is typically used for industrial manufacturing applications, but is also starting to be used by schools, small businesses, and hobbyists. Laser cutting works by directing the output of a high-power laser most commonly through optics.


*You need to have an access to a laser cutter, and basic knowledge in illustrator in order to finish this part.

I have attached pdf. file of general instruction on how to use Universal Laser System laser cutter & file of 108 spiritual symbols.

Every laser cutter has it's own dedicated software so the laser cutter that you are using might require different settings than what I did. I used Universal Laser Systems for this part.

Other Informative Instructables in Laser Engraving and Cutting that you can reference:

https://www.instructables.com/id/10-Tips-and-Tricks...

https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Use-a-Laser...

Materials you need for part 1:

a. Clear acrylic -1/8 thickness / 32 x 18in. ($23)

b. Mirror finish acrylic - 1/8 thickness / 24 x 12in. ($18)


Steps:

A. File Preparation

1. Open the symbol laser cut Adobe Illustrator file I have attached (This file can open from CS5 and up)

2. Double check to see the file is in RGB. And also check to see if all the lines of symbols are in color blue for engraving (0,0,255) and triangle lines are in red for cutting (255,0,0)

3. Clink on "Print" and make sure the orientation of the file is horizontal.

4. The laser cutter file should show up in Universal Laser System software.


B. Laser Cutter Preparation

5. Turn on the laser cutter, air compressor and filter.

6. Open the lid of the laser cutter, and gently place your clear acrylic sheet. Material has to be flat in order to properly focus and cut. Use tape to hold material flat on cutting plane if needed.

7. You MUST FOCUS THE LENS with a z-axis indicator. Focusing the lens is imperative for successful engraving & cutting.

8. Click focus view button, then click on any open area in the bed to place the lens where you can measure the proper distance between the lens and the material.

9. By pressing z-axis indicator (which is up and down arrow) in the laser platform interface panel, bring the bed upto proper level between the lens & clear acrylic sheet.

10. Close the lid and you are ready to go!

* You need laser safety glasses in any situation where it is possible that your eyes could be exposed to direct, reflected, or scattered laser radiation. So protect your eyes by wearing laser safety glasses.

C. Engraving & Cutting

10. Double check your file, and double check your file for engraving & cutting (find out setting) and make sure the air compressor & filter machine are both on.

11. Press "play" icon in the software and run the laser cutter.

12. Make sure to monitor when the laser cutter is operating because It pose a fire hazard. Laser cutters use a high intensity beam of laser light that can produce extremely high temperature as it comes into contact with the materials it is engraving, marking or cutting. NEVER operate the system unattended.

13. Once the job is finished, don't open the lid right away and wait for few minutes for the plastic fumes to ventilate through the filter.

*There are burn marks on the edges of acrylic because I set the cutting speed too slow and the power was too strong. You can prevent this by placing scrap acrylic pieces (same thickness) underneath the main 18 inch x 36 inch acrylic and focus the lens to the raised height. Luckily the burn marks are thin enough that It can be covered by brass strips on top.

Step 3: Part2: Building the Housing (Pyramid)

This is a great forearm exercise! Ideally you should make a custom jig and cut the acrylic in 30 degree angles on a table saw. But since we are only making one pyramid, I decided to manually do this. Plus I really wanted to make my forearm buff.

A miter joint (mitre in British English), sometimes shortened to miter, is a joint made by beveling each of two parts to be joined, usually at a 45° angle, to form a corner, usually a 90° angle. In this case we are making 30 degree angle miter joints.

*Make sure you ventilate your working space well and make sure to wear a N95 Respirator since you don't want to be breathing in plastic particles. Personally I kind of like the smell. But not recommended. Sanding the panels this way is similar to sharpening a knife. It will get SHARP. Wearing gloves is highly recommended.


Materials:

1. Clear Tape

2. 80 & 120 grit sand paper

3. N95 Respirator

4. Good breakfast and much time to kill.

Steps:

1. Tape rougher (80 grit) sand paper to a working table.

2. Place the acrylic panel in an angle and start sanding!!

3. Sand side to side. Sand it up and down. Sand diagonally. Get creative.

4. Once you find that it's close to 30 degrees (on all panels), then replace the sand papers to 120grit.

5. Go slower this time to really fine tune the angles.

6. Occasionally place the panels into a pyramid form to check where you are.

7. Once the edges are looking sexy and you are happy, then you are done!

Step 4: Adding Brass Strips to Add Elegance!

You wouldn't want to have a plastic looking pyramid laying around in your living room with all the rough edges showing would you? Nooo. If it's going to be breathing in your living space, it should look sexy!

Sure, It's extra work but It will be worth your time doing this in the end.

Materials:

1.Brass strip 0.16 X 1/4 (0.41mm x 6.35mm)

2.Brass strip 0.16 X 1/2 (0.41mm x 12.7mm)

You can get these from BlickArt or order directly from K&S Metals (www.ksmetals.com) Item # 8231 & #8235

3. Epoxy

4. 3M clear tape

5. 80 grit sand paper

Tools:

1. Something sharp (to scribe on the strip)

2. Scissor (to cut the brass strip in proper length & angle)

3. Flathead Hammer (to flatten the end of the strip)

Steps:

1. Lay the half an inch strip along the bottom edge of the acrylic panel.

2. Using a sharp tool, gently scribe on the strip to mark where you are going to cut.

3. Use a scissor to cut where you marked.

4. Scissor will cause the end of the strip to curl up. And you don't want that. Use flat head hammer to gently tap on a flat surface to bring the curl down.

5. The end of the strip will be pointy and sharp. Gently sand down the tip. (You don't want to sand down too much)

6. Place the strip back on the edge of the panel. Line it up nicely.

7. Tape right above the brass strip. (This step is to prevent epoxy from going over the brass strip after you apply the glue)

8. Apply epoxy on the underside of the strip.

9. Place it right under the tape (#7) and carefully line up the strip to the panel.

10. Cut longer tapes to hold down the strip (using it as a clamp)

11. Repeat the process 2 more times but repeat with 0.16 X 1/4 inch brass strips for the sides. After that, you are done with one panel. Repeat the process 2 more times and you are done!

12. This is a very important step. You should flip all the panels and sand down the opposite side of where the half inch strip was glued (frost effect). This should be done to prevent LED strip reflecting and exposing individual LED light. (it will make the lamp look cheap) Also by sanding down the opposite side let's you not see the glued side of the strip.

Step 5: Applying Acrylic Solvent

We are going to use acrylic solvent to glue the acrylic panels together. Once the solvent touches plastic, the cement melts plastic and evaporates pretty quickly. While plastic in the state of melting and evaporating, the bonding happens in between the two states.

Materials

1. Acrylic Solvent

2. Syringe w/ plastic bottle

3. Clear Tape

Steps:

1. Tape all the sides as tightly as possible.

2. Put the solvent into the plastic bottle.

3. Tile pyramid housing in an angle.

4. Place the tip of the syringe at the vertex point inside.

5. Only few drops are all you really need for each edge.

6. Tilt base side towards you and let gravity do the work.

7. Within a minute, you should have strong bonds in all edges.

8. Remove all tapes.

Step 6: Adding Reflective Film to the Mirror Finish Acrylic.

This is the false base that will hide the wirings & LED strips. After applying reflective film, the underside (mirror finish acrylic) and top surface (reflective film) will both have reflective elements in the panel. This will give the panel's edges infinity mirror effect once the light source (LED strips) hit the side edges. Also top surface will reflect 108 symbols exactly downward. In short, adding this reflective panel will make the lamp look way more intriguing.

Materials:

1. Gila RTK500 Window Film Application Tool Kit

http://www.amazon.com/Gila-RTK500-Window-Applicati...

2. Gila LEG361 Heat Control Residential Window Film

http://www.amazon.com/Gila-LEG361-Control-Resident...

Steps:

Follow the instruction video I have attached. Follow the same steps except you are applying the film on the mirror finish film.

Step 7: Modeling the Parts in CAD Program (Solidworks)

CAD (computer-aided design) software is used by architects, engineers, drafters, artists, and others to create precision drawings or technical illustrations. CAD software can be used to create two-dimensional (2-D) drawings or three-dimensional (3-D) models.

Softwares specialized in surfaces : Alias and Rhinoceros 3D. I hear more of Rhino in France.These softwares are very good at surface design but not parametric. If you need to iterate a lot on your model it can oblige you to redo several time the same operations. It is very oriented for industrial/product designers.

Parametric modelers like Solidworks(what I used for this instructables), CATIA, CREO, Unigraphic, Autodesk Fusion 360 are used by quite all engineers and also used by many designers.

Simplified 3D modeling like Google sketchup and 3DVIA shape are evolving. It is nice for architecture and quick model research.

I used Solidworks in this case to visualize the model that is to be made, it subassemblies and the constituent parts. CAD software helps designer in synthesizing, analyzing, and documenting the design. All these factors help in drastically improving the productivity of the designer that translates into fast designing, lower designing cost and shorter project completion times.

Step 8:

Step 9: Part 3: Building the Stand (Preparing the Lower & Upper Steel Plates)

The purpose of this stand is to hold the LED strips as well as the pyramid housing. By having two plates and a steel tube in between, the form can achieve levitating effect.


*You will need to have an access to metal shop with proper tools to complete this process.


Materials you will need:

1. 12 gauge steel sheet metal (Lower Base)

2. 16 gauge steel sheet metal (Upper Base)

3. 1 inch steel pipe with 1/8 inch wall thickness

4. 1/2 inch architectural bronze angles (x3)

5. 1/4 inch steel scraps (for the false base)

6. Silver solder (for brass)

7. White (flat) spray paint

8. Lacquer spray for Brass

Steps: (Bottom Plate)

1. Scribe a triangle to the dimension (9 inch regular triangle w/ 7.8 inch height)

2. Scribe a 90 degree angle to have a reference

3. Cut the line with Jigsaw. (make sure the clamps are tight and use plenty of oil)

4. Clean the oil off and grind down edges to keep it flat. (give a minute for the metal to cool down)

5. File the edges ( Watch your fingers! The edge could be very sharp)

6. Mark the hole by using the center line as a guide.

Steps: (Top Plate)

1. Do the same as the bottom plate w/ different dimension (12.25 inch regular triangle w/ 10.61 inch height)

2. Also don't forget that It's a thinner sheet (16 gauge)

3. Use straight edge for jigsaw to follow.

Step 10: Preparing the Steel Tube

The purpose of this steel tube is to give negative space between the lower and upper base to achieve the floating effect of the lamp. The hole in the back of pipe is for getting all the wires out (R,G,B, & 12v power) so that wires won't get in the way plus aesthetically the lamp will look cleaner and more elegant in the end.

Steps (Steel Tube):

1. Make where you are going to cut the pipe to length. (1.9 inch height)

2. Cut with bandsaw (Make sure to use safety glasses for you eyes)

3. Deburr the edges so that wires won't get caught or rip from the edges being to sharp and rough.

4. Mark a straight line to the pipe.

5. Mark the holes where the cutouts are going to be.

6. Use center punch for drill to follow later.

7. Clamp the steel pipe in place underneath a drill press.

8. Drill slowly and drill all the way through. (Add plenty of oil)

9. Let is cool for a minute.

10. Chamfer top & bottom. (For hammering later)

11. Clean the metal with acetate.

Step 11: Welding Everything Together

Steps (putting it together):

1. Hole for the top plate is drilled all the way through.

2. Hole for the bottom plate is drilled half way through.

3. Make sure the angle between the pipe and the plate is square. (90 degrees)

4. Tack weld from bottom (one tack)

5. Filp it over and check to see if it's square again.

6. Do 4 tacks this time. (for it to be very secure and stable)

7. Fill it and grind it.

8. Hammer the top plate so that the steel pipe goes through.

9. Make sure the top pipe is 1/4 inch extruded. (for the false mirror finish acrylic to sit on)

10. Do the same thing to the bottom plate.

11. Make sure both planes are parallel. (1 tack in the bottom -> check the angle -> 4 tacks)

12. Spray with primer then spray with flat white as the final finish.

Step 12: Building the Brass Angles

Purpose of building this brass triangular angles is to protect the acrylic housing as well as to hide the LED strips.

Adding the brass angles looks aesthetically more elegant plus the design language matches the brass strips on the acrylic panels too.

I have attached a video on how to solder brass. It's a very good tutorial so watch it and use it as a reference if needed.

Steps (Making the brass angles):

1. Set up Angle grinder to 30 degrees.

2. Set up piece of angle iron against the bench grinder 30 degrees facing the grit.

3. Take the brass angle and slowly push it in using angle iron as a guide.

4. Check the angle. (30 degrees)

5. Repeat the process 2 more times to end up with 3 identical pieces.

6. Check to see if they are identical by lining them up.

7. Silver solder and propane torch was used to solder the pieces.

8. Clamp the the angles on a table.

9. Apply the flux from the top (inside of a cut) and wait for the flux to crystalize.

10. Apply heat from from the bottom with the propane tank.

11. Add the silver solder

12. Once the triangle is made, sand the outer edges.

13. Use scotch bright (synthetic Steel Wool) to clean up the solder and give the angels matt finish. Sand the surface of the brass in one direction.

14. Apply one coat of Lacquer. Wait 30 mins. Repeat the process 3 more times. Apply total of 4 coats.

Steps (Applying epoxy to the stand & brass angles):

1. Clean the working area of dirt, grease, oil, paint, rust etc.

2. After removing the replaceable cap, squeeze equal amounts of resin and epoxy onto a disposable surface and mix thoroughly.

3. Apply with appropriate tool in an even coat on the top surface of the brass angles.

4. Carefully place the brass angle underneath the top plate of the stand.

5. Use 3 scraps of wood with even heights and clamp the brass angle to the top plate.

6. The epoxy set in 5 minutes. Don't remove the clamp until it fully cures (1 hour)

Step 13: Part 4: Soldering LED Strips

Generally LED strips come in a roll. Which means it only comes in a linear manner. So we have to cut the LED strip in proper lengths to the base and place / solder the strips in a triangular manner.

This is a great Instructable on "How to solder" :https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-solder

Use it as a reference if you are not too familiar with soldering.

Also you should know the basics on electronics before proceeding this process.

Here are some informative instructables on basic electronics:

https://www.instructables.com/id/Basic-Electronics/

https://www.instructables.com/id/Basic-Electronic-c...

Materials:

1. RGB LED Strip Light

http://www.amazon.com/SUPERNIGHT-Waterproof-300LED...

2. RGB Touch Panel Controller

http://www.amazon.com/Wall-Mounted-Channels-Contro...

3. Soldering Iron

4. Solder

5. Flux

6. Hook up wires 22Gauge

7. Helping hands

Steps:

1. Unwind the LED strip roll, and measure to proper length.

2. Cut where the scissor icon is located.

3. Repeat the process 2 more times, and lay down the strips on the upper base. Make sure the direction of the LED strips are going in the same direction. It's easy to mess this up!

4. Most LED Strips have a weather proof finishing. Therefore, you need to use a exacto knife to cut away the weather proof finishing at the end where you want to solder.

5. Using a wire striper, expose the wires at the end.

6. Cut the wire to about 1inch to 1.5 inch in length.

7. Dip the wires lightly in flux.

8. Using helping hands, hold the LED strip in place.

9. Place your soldering iron to solder. (Just enough so that it will form a tiny ball)

10. Place the exposed wire on top of the copper coated dot. (R,G,B, V+)

11. Carefully apply solder.

12. Repeat the process until all the strips are connected. Red to red. Green to green. Blue to blue. Voltage in to Voltage in.

13. Take all the wires through the pipe we created earlier. (Yessss. Now is time all the hard work that went into creating the pipe pays off).

Now you are ready to hook up the power and test the LED strips.

Step 14: Powering the LED Strips. Almost There!

We came a long way! Congratulations if you made it this far...haha. I know this instructable is a long one. This is the moment when all the hard work pays off.

Materials:

1. 12V 5A Power Supply

2. Female DC Power adapter - 2.1mm jack to screw terminal block

https://www.adafruit.com/products/368

Steps:

1. Connect all the wires to corresponding inputs and outputs in the back of the control panel.

2. Output (B,G,R,V+) <---connected from LED Strip. Input (V+, V-) <----connected from Female DC Power adapter.

3. V+ is power and V- is ground. Screw in red wire for power and black wire for ground to the control panel.

4. Connect the power supply into the Female DC power adapter.

5. Now everything is ready to go.

6. Fire away by clicking the power button of the RGB controller.

7. Word! The LED strip works. Great.

8. Now let's put all the components together.

9. You are done!

Step 15: Clean Up the Wires by Using Shrink Tube!

Materials:

1. White Shrink Tube

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Raychem-1-4-x-3-in-Heat...

2. Masking Tape

Steps:

1. Use a masking tape to mark R,G,B, & V+ in each cable to not get confused later.

2. Push the cables inside of the shrink tube and cut to the appropriate length.

3. You can use a lighter to shrink the tube but It will leave black burn marks. And you don't want that. It's recommended to use a hair drier, which will take much longer but the tube will be very clean.

4. Using an epoxy, place the female power adaptor underneath the LED control panel. Use tape to "clamp" the adaptor in place.

5. Remove the tape and connect red wire V+ (Voltage in) and black wire V- (Ground) from the adaptor to LED control panel.

6. Reconnect R,G,B, & V+ back to the LED control panel.

7. Congrats! you are done!

Step 16: Experimentation With NeoPixel From Adafruit

At first, I used the very basic RGB LED Strip, then decided to see how the lamp will look with NeoPixel RGB LED Strip to see how the lamp and the symbols will illuminate.

It will be helpful to read this guide underneath that was provided by Adafruit and also you need to know some basic knowledge of Arduino.

Neo Pixel Guide: https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-neopixel-uberg...

Here is a great introduction to Arduino:

https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/what-is-an-ar...


Materials:

1. Adafruit NeoPixel Digital RGB LEG Strip

https://www.adafruit.com/products/1461

2. Arduino Uno

http://www.amazon.com/Arduino-Board-Module-ATmega3...

3. 5V 2A Power Supply

http://www.amazon.com/Gikfun-100-240V-Converter-Ad...

Steps:

1. Do the exact same steps as Step 12 in my instructable but swap the simple RGB LED strip to NeoPixel RGB LED strip.

2. The wires are going into Arduino Uno instead of RGB control Panel.

3. Connect D in (Date In) to Pin 6.//// V in (Voltage In) and + (Plus sign in the adaptor) and one groud (-) to Arduino and another ground (-) to NeoPixel RGB LED strip.

4. Download and Install Adafruit_NeoPixel Library

https://github.com/adafruit/Adafruit_NeoPixel

5. You must use 5V power supply instead of 12V. If you use 12V, it will fry the strip LED.

6. Upload it in Arduino Uno software and fire it away!

Step 17: Conclusion

I want to mention again that I couldn't have made this product without my client Barbara's vision. I feel grateful to share this Instructable to this amazing community. I tried to be detail oriented and thorough as much as possible but I feel that this Instructable can be way better. I will be keep coming back and I'll keep editing and improving the instructions down the road. I hope this lighting design can inspire people to create incredible objects throughout the world. Thank you for reading this Instructable!

P.S. I'm entering this Instructable to Full Spectrum Laser Contest! If you enjoyed seeing the process of making this lamp, please don't hesitate to vote! Once again, thank you so so much guys!

Comments

author
jagrog (author)2016-03-13

Love the lamp and Barbara Davis Thompson. I see my design input in the lamp.

author
bdtcsw (author)jagrog2016-08-16

Hi Roger,

I am just checking in as when I was in Thailand at the Elephant World Sanctuary, I began to have thoughts about you. Are you OK? I certainly hope your health and peace of mind are in top form!

We had the lamp blessed 3x's - the first time at the Temple of the Golden Buddha and the monk was very impressed with the lamp and admired it from different angles! We had a Thai guide and interpreter! She got us the meeting with the monk and then reported his words back to us.

Next, we sat the lamp in a chair during a monk's welcome to Elephant World. And, thirdly, we went to a local Temple and the head monk did a very thorough blessing! I posted a picture of it on FB!

I just got home around 10:30 last night! It was such an amazing trip. Doing the volunteering at the Elephant Sanctuary was hard work! I hoed, planted corn, cut with a sickle bana grass, bamboo and sugar cane, cleaned daily truck loads of either watermelons, root veggies and other melons of pesticides which meant scooping them into a bin of water, letting them soak for 10 min. then transferring them to a 2nd bin, and, finally, putting them in bushel baskets, carried huge bushel baskets of food for each of the elephants, trekked into the jungle to bed the elephants and more...

The elephants are so so remarkable and I must admit I was just a tad afraid of them so I couldn't like hug a trunk...as I saw a few people get "trunked" if they over touched! These beasts are like huge! And they've been through so much after being used in the trekking, logging and entertainment industries! I'm so glad they are being so well taken care of at this sanctuary and others places like it around the world.

Best to you, Roger! Mike and I were just talking about you - Mike was telling me he ordered a watch that fell apart in his hands and I said, "You should have contacted Roger! He'd know how to fix it!"

Anyway, hope you are doing well, Roger! Best to you always, Barbara

author
jagrog (author)bdtcsw2016-09-06

Hi Barbara Davis Thompson-
Wow what a trip you had in Thailand but doesn't surprise me.
I'm ok, in good health and mind. Buying, repairing and selling Apple Macbooks now. Very busy doing that with my other work around here.
Some like your lamp is making progress. You are a wonder doing that work at the Elephant Sanctuary.
After 30 years of being a Microsoft Windows person, I'm now using a Macbook Pro. I have a picture of an elephant as the wallpaper on the desktop.
We have booked a two week Princess cruise next month to New England and Canada.
Tell Mike also to avoid buying a watch from those NY city street vendors.
And best to you always with my love, Roger.

author
bdtcsw (author)jagrog2016-03-14

Yes, Roger, your input was invaluable in me committing to make the lamp a reality and finding an artist with as many talents as an artist and craftsman that you have as an engineer allowed this creation to come to life. Thanks, Roger! I love you!!!

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jagrog (author)bdtcsw2016-06-03

What happening with the lamp Barbara?

Love you, Roger

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bdtcsw (author)jagrog2016-06-04

Hi Roger,

Great to hear from you! I hope you are doing well. The booklet for the lamp is almost complete. New vetted symbols that best represent the universal laws has been completed with the support of a profession of Ancient History at Marist College. Kevin is laser cutting the new symbols for our final Symbol Lamp version. A final paper version of the lamp is being constructed and should be finished in July which will hopefully go into production shortly.. We have applied for a trademark.

It has been slow but then I am not in any hurry! Kevin and I are traveling to Thailand to gift our lamp to the Buddhist Monastery and to have it blessed - to the monastery that cares for the Reclining Buddha which has on its feet 108 mother of pearl symbols to represent the universal laws, which are mostly animals and flowers. We stay in Bangkok five days and then we are being transported to an elephant sanctuary where we are volunteering.

I love all animals and I especially love elephants so we are excited to do service for these magnificent animals. In fact, in tribute to Thailand, we have used an image of two elephants on the Symbol Lamp, one smaller and one larger, to represent the law that says we always have the capacity to grow into bigger versions of ourselves.

Thanks for staying in touch, Roger. I had no idea the Instructables site still took comments, so this is the first I'm hearing about your comment...although I see you have written two with the earliest one written 3 months ago. I'm so sorry your last two replies were unanswered and so happy to answer you now. Love you, Barbara

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jagrog (author)bdtcsw2016-07-25

Please update me Barbara. I need to hear from you.

Love you, Roger

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bdtcsw (author)jagrog2016-07-30

Hi Roger,

Kevin and I are in Thailand! We have had the lamp blessed at the Golden Buddha Temple. The monk who blessed it and Kevin and I with holy water said when he held the paper model, "Wow! There are so many cultures and countries represented!" The monk gave Kevin and I pendants of the Buddha which we are now wearing!

We leave our current rental which is just beautiful to meet with the elephant sanctuary group tomorrow! Then onward on Monday to tend to the giant lovelies!

We have accomplished so much Kevin and I and have had the most amazing conversations on philosophy and how to grow our business while here in this beautiful country with such gracious people. Our website will be up and running with four products by October!

I hope you are doing well, Roger! I imagine your eBay business is thriving! You are so gifted and smart at fixing things! Sending you blessings and love, Barbara

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jagrog (author)bdtcsw2016-06-06

Hi Barbara Davis Thompson,

So happy to hear from you on the work being done on the lamp. I didn't like to think the project was over also you know how much I like hearing from you.

I'm doing well and very busy with my yard work and Ebay buying/selling. Not doing watches anymore. Switched to Samsung Tablets.

Sound like a great trip to Thailand. Wish I was Kevin. Please keep me informed on the lamps progress. Love you,Roger

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jagrog (author)bdtcsw2016-03-16

Thank you Barbara for your kind comment. No emails per K. Please keep me informed on the progress of your great lamp. Love you.

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-Moon (author)jagrog2016-04-01

Thank you for helping and advising Barbara. We will sure to let you know once the lamp is manufacturing and ready for the world!

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jagrog (author)-Moon2016-05-17

Hi Moon-

Please update me on the progress of the lamp. Thanks.

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jagrog (author)-Moon2016-04-01

Thanks. I'm looking forward to the information. Barbara is a great person and one of my favorite people.

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DragonDon (author)2016-03-15

This is an awesome piece of work. Care to make another to sell? :)

Also, I have some pretty big concerns about the labelling of symbols you are using. It would be better for you to give their origins as opposed to try and impose a specific meaning. For example, the OM character does NOT mean 'detachment'. It is far, far more indepth than that. Also, did the electrical symbol for 'ground' come from some other place where you have 'attachment' for it's meaning? Then you have the 'flower of life' imagery with 'contagion' meaning, the symbol for battery labelled as 'energy', a stylized Ankh labeled 'fear', an automotive dashboard Low Tire Pressure for 'increase'....I could go on but it would be pointless.

You talked a lot about symbolism and yet used common computer/automotive/electrical symbols and gave them terms where are either at odds with their original meaning or barely related. This is rather concerning. Actually, I'd be more interested in how these came to be for you. Of course each of us are on our own journey but to change the basic meaning of certain symbols seems incongrous with both culture and history.

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bdtcsw (author)DragonDon2016-03-22

Dear DragonDon,

We take your comments to heart; the work of finding the symbols is mine, not Kevin's. Please remember the lamp is a prototype and by the time it goes to production, the symbols will have been verified to have the closest possible meaning to the concepts the lamp stands for. My intention is to have the widest range of symbols that are inclusive of the All. That is, to use as many images of symbols from as many cultures, ancient to modern civilizations, indigenous to all tribal people, alchemy, all religions and beliefs, spirituality in all its diverse groups and forms as possible. In short, I seek the wisdom of any source that reflects higher principles through symbols such as Buddhism,Taoism, Judaism, Jainism, Yezidism, Zhu Shen Jiao, Zoroastria, Africana, Thelma, Shinto, Sikhism, Shamanic, Reikki, Rune stones, pantheism, occultism, Native American, mysticism, Jei Knights, Islam, Hinduism, Gnostics, Eckankar, Ebionites, Essenes, Druids, Celts, the Mayans, Egyptian, Aztec, Incans, Confucianism, Asatru, etc.

Thank you for sharing. It has helped inform us on making our product as impeccable as possible so that it withstands the strongest scrutiny. Kindest regards, Barbara

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DragonDon (author)bdtcsw2016-04-01

Glad to be of assistance! Symbolism, for me, is an important thing. So much has been lost and distorted that is right in front of our eyes already, wouldn't want to see any more symbols get confused/ruined.

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bdtcsw (author)DragonDon2016-04-07

Dear Dragon Don,

I wanted to reach out to you to ask if you would have suggestions regarding a person you might know who has the knowledge to authenticate the symbols and also if they are public domain. This is my role in getting the Floating Pyramid Lamp ready for production - to finalize the symbols we will be using without treading on anyone's intellectual property and to make sure the symbols accurately represent the Universal principles. I have received many permissions from persons whose symbols are more modern whose meaning exemplifies the Universal principles on the lamp. I want to know of either an expert or a very thorough researcher to work alongside me to authenticate meanings and the freedom for us to legally use the symbols on our lamp. Any suggestions you might have will be very welcomed. Again, we thank you for your invaluable input and comments regarding the lamp. Kindest regards, Barbara

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-Moon (author)DragonDon2016-04-01

Hi Dragondon! Actually my partner and I are working very hard to make many of these so that people can purchase them with an affordable price at places like Etsy. We will let you know once we start manufacturing.

Thank you for your feedback on the symbols. While we were researching the symbols, some symbols had more than 10 different meanings so It was hard to nail down accurately on all 108 of them. Your comment made us realize more to tell the stories behind each symbols better. We are currently working in reverifying and researching the symbols in much deeper depth.

Once again, thank you checking out this Instructable and thank you for your feedback!

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DragonDon (author)-Moon2016-04-01

Sounds good! Looking forward to seeing how this turns out.

Maybe an option to have 'customized symbols' for people to purchase? Let them choose their own symbols(or all the same symbols...whatever). That would be kinda neat and way more personal, not to mention unique :)

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bdtcsw (author)DragonDon2016-03-22

Dear DragonDon,

We take your comments to heart; the work of finding the symbols is mine, not Kevin's. Please remember the lamp is a prototype and by the time it goes to production, the symbols will have been verified to have the closest possible meaning to the concepts the lamp stands for. My intention is to have the widest range of symbols that are inclusive of the All. That is, to use as many images of symbols from as many cultures, ancient to modern civilizations, indigenous to all tribal people, alchemy, all religions and beliefs, spirituality in all its diverse groups and forms as possible. In short, I seek the wisdom of any source that reflects higher principles through symbols such as Buddhism,Taoism, Judaism, Jainism, Yezidism, Zhu Shen Jiao, Zoroastria, Africana, Thelma, Shinto, Sikhism, Shamanic, Reikki, Rune stones, pantheism, occultism, Native American, mysticism, Jei Knights, Islam, Hinduism, Gnostics, Eckankar, Ebionites, Essenes, Druids, Celts, the Mayans, Egyptian, Aztec, Incans, Confucianism, Asatru, etc.

Thank you for sharing. It has helped inform us on making our product as impeccable as possible so that it withstands the strongest scrutiny. Kindest regards, Barbara

author
bdtcsw (author)DragonDon2016-03-22

Dear DragonDon,

We take your comments to heart; the work of finding the symbols is mine, not Kevin's. Please remember the lamp is a prototype and by the time it goes to production, the symbols will have been verified to have the closest possible meaning to the concepts the lamp stands for. My intention is to have the widest range of symbols that are inclusive of the All. That is, to use as many images of symbols from as many cultures, ancient to modern civilizations, indigenous to all tribal people, alchemy, all religions and beliefs, spirituality in all its diverse groups and forms as possible. In short, I seek the wisdom of any source that reflects higher principles through symbols such as Buddhism,Taoism, Judaism, Jainism, Yezidism, Zhu Shen Jiao, Zoroastria, Africana, Thelma, Shinto, Sikhism, Shamanic, Reikki, Rune stones, pantheism, occultism, Native American, mysticism, Jei Knights, Islam, Hinduism, Gnostics, Eckankar, Ebionites, Essenes, Druids, Celts, the Mayans, Egyptian, Aztec, Incans, Confucianism, Asatru, etc.

Thank you for sharing. It has helped inform us on making our product as impeccable as possible so that it withstands the strongest scrutiny. Kindest regards, Barbara

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RichardG150 (author)2016-04-06

Very cool and well executed! Definitely the contest winner in my book!

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CynthiaB47 (author)2016-03-15

I don't suppose that you would build me one and I could purschase it from you as I have very rew mechanical skills?

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-Moon (author)CynthiaB472016-04-01

Thank you! My partner Barbara and I are working very hard to make this lamp more affordable to the people and more efficient to manufacture. Right now, there are too many parts and different kinds of material that It takes too long and would cost a lot to make the lamp. If you leave your e-mail we will get back to you once we are producing the lamp! Once again, thank you for your interest!

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CynthiaB47 (author)-Moon2016-04-01

Cbliss3049@yahoo.com
Too bad that you can't do it this month.
My birthday is April 24th !

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Nreal Spark (author)2016-04-01

Very nice and futuristic looking.

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DejayRezme (author)2016-03-15

Wow that looks amazing. And what a long detailed instructable! I'll have to read this later.

Now I kind of want a real floating obelisk of doom. Could one make this lighter and have it float on a dish with lots of embedded neodyn magnets? Does something like that work?

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-Moon (author)DejayRezme2016-04-01

Thank you! Yea..It's kind of a long one haha.

I thought about magnets too but I couldn't find a way to light 12V-2A amount of power wirelessly to the strip LEDs. I'm sure there's a way to do it but I went to the easy route by giving the design language a perspective illusion that it is "floating".

Thank you for checking out the Instructable and giving an awesome feedback!

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DejayRezme (author)-Moon2016-04-01

Oh right... power. Totally didn't think about that haha! Now I feel foolish :D

Maybe the floating obelisk has a battery and electro magnets and it land from time to time to recharge. But that's getting crazy of course lol.

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Akin Yildiz (author)2016-03-11

amazing work and explanation, thank you for sharing.!!

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-Moon (author)Akin Yildiz2016-04-01

Thank you for your warm & kind comment!

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Raitis (author)2016-03-11

This is mesmerizing to look at!

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-Moon (author)Raitis2016-04-01

Thank you sir! I have checked out your Instructables and you have some amazing designs as well. Keep up the great works and thank you for your kind comment!

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anna0101 (author)2016-03-11

That is really cool! My mom would love this stuff! I like the symbols, that was clever

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-Moon (author)anna01012016-04-01

Thank you! My mum loves this too. This lamp goes to all the beautiful mums in the world!!

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Mahesh JoganiD (author)2016-03-11

where is video of all steps ?

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-Moon (author)Mahesh JoganiD2016-04-01

Sorry, there are some excellent Instructables out there with well edited videos of each steps. I wish I could have done that but I didn't time for this Instructable. I know it's a long "written" one haha. Thank you for checking it out still and I will make sure to make video of all steps for my future Instructables. Thank you for the feedback!

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watchmeflyy (author)2016-03-11

This is beautiful! Your tutorial is nicely written too. :)

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-Moon (author)watchmeflyy2016-04-01

Thank you! You find this vision and design beautiful because you are a beautiful person :)

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MatthewT96 (author)2016-03-13

This product is magnificent! I would like to own one but cannot make it so I will eagerly await for it to be manufactured!

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-Moon (author)MatthewT962016-04-01

Thank you! Yes we are working on the manufacturing process to cut the cost down so that it's more affordable to the people. We are follow up once it's being produced. Thank you for your interest in buying the product. You will own one soon!!

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bdtcsw (author)2016-03-13

The lamp touches my soul and speaks to my higher self. It is impeccable. Thank you, Kevin, for sharing this amazing symbolic lamp with this community and the world.

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-Moon (author)bdtcsw2016-04-01

No, thank you for your amazing vision. I only materialized the concept! I feel very humbled to see this many incredible and positive comments from the world. Thank you for taking me to this part of the world and to these people. This Instructable would have never existed without your vision.

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Najn_arte (author)2016-03-15

WOW! 30 years ago, I also dreamed of a similar floating pyramid. It didn't have the engravings, but each side represented a spiritual value. I feel connected to the person who had the dream and I thank you for finding a way to materialize this concept.

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-Moon (author)Najn_arte2016-04-01

Wow that's amazing! Thank you for sharing your story. My partner and I are working very hard to find a way to efficiently make this lamp and manufacture it with affordable price. We will follow up and message you once the lamp is getting manufactured. Thank you for your warm comment!

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Najn_arte (author)-Moon2016-04-01

Awesome!

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fabianobss (author)2016-03-15

What a beautiful work!!

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-Moon (author)fabianobss2016-04-01

Thank you fabianobss for your beautiful comment. This design speaks to you because you are a beautiful person!

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tillicity (author)2016-03-15

This is absolutely beautiful! A heartfelt thank you to those who collaborated to bring this beautiful piece together. I'm definitely going to try and make this (with a little help from a friend!).

I have made a copper pyramid that I sit in to meditate, so to have this light in the room with the symbols reflecting on the walls will energise and bring immense power.

THANK YOU!

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-Moon (author)tillicity2016-04-01

Great! I'm very humbled to read how this design inspired you to create your own version of the lamp. Please share your own instructable with the finished lamp. I would love to check it out! Thank you for the kind comment!

About This Instructable

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Bio: Hi there! I'm a designer based out of Brooklyn, NY, who graduated from Pratt Institute with focus on Industrial Design. In my spare time ... More »
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