Instructables
I've been working with digital manufacturing start up Ponoko and we've been working on a few ideas of showcase products that can be easily made through our service (such as a wine rack and a spinning top).

I thought of creating a simple but stylish lamp that could be personalized with your own patterns and images. Lamps are great objects because they allow you to play with light and potentially project shapes across an entire room. Laser cutting is perfect for creating this type of object because it allows you to get a really high quality finish and fairly precise detail while keeping costs as low as possible.
 
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Step 1: The stuff you'll need

an assortment of pens or pencils for the sketching/imagining
a computer with a vector software package
a light bulb
a power cord
a light socket
screw drivers
laser cut parts

Step 2: Sketching the concept

Picture of Sketching the concept
I had a few ideas in my head on what the lamp could look like so I sketched up a few of them and chose the one I liked best. Remember your sketches can be as detailed or as messy as you see fit. Personally, I like working ideas out on paper first. For added inspiration head to your local homeware design store or search for images online.

While imaging the lamp I tried to keep in mind ways to keep costs down. The less work the laser cutter has to do, the less it will cost me to cut my lamp out. So I tried to minimize how many individual parts were needed for the lamp as well has many individual cuts the laser would need to make and this helps a lot to keep those cost down.
longyi.kim26 days ago
injector2 years ago
Love the design and the fact your included the cdr files. I made some slight changes to your design, hope you don't mind:

Instead of the corded lamp i used an LED and 2 AAA batteries, i hot glued the battery holder to the inside of the lamp

http://i50.tinypic.com/j5bj80.jpg

I soldered a mercury switch in the ground of the LED

http://i45.tinypic.com/30ju0bn.jpg

but why you ask? simple so I don't mess with the design on the lids (I also made the lid holes 1/2 mm smaller than the plexy allowing me to get rid of the holding tabs)

http://i50.tinypic.com/211ksg.jpg

ok that's all fine and dandy but how do you turn it off? simple the mercury switch only works when it's oriented in a certain angle, the way i glued it the switch will close the circuit when the lamp is right side up when you turn it upside down the LED turns off

ON:
http://i46.tinypic.com/213rxl.jpg

OFF:
http://i49.tinypic.com/15cbzn7.jpg

and there you have it a night light.

again thanks for the design
danemery (author)  injector2 years ago
Great modifications! Thanks for sharing!
jassar2 years ago
it is really very good
bufiejnr3 years ago
Im so excited to see this. Im glad..
jaime105 years ago
that looks cool, I would like to know what the sizes are.
zaar6 years ago
hi, i like to know how you specify ponoko the size of the piezes, thanks a lot
danemery (author)  zaar6 years ago
Hi. Ponoko currently has 3 sizes of material you can fit your designs onto. P1 (181x181mm or 7.1x7.1inches), P2 (384mmx384mm or 15.1x15.1inches) and a P3 (790x384mm or 31.1x15.1inches). You select what size material you want when you are uploading an eps file and choosing the material to make the design out of.
Suppafly6 years ago
how much does something like that cost from Ponoko? Most of the things for sale on there look incredibly pricey for what they are.
danemery (author)  Suppafly6 years ago
You can see the price breakdown if you scroll down the comments a bit. Cheers
bap6 years ago
Great design! Perhaps I missed it somewhere but you might consider including specific information about material thickness and sheet size for those who are still on the learning curve. :)
danemery (author)  bap6 years ago
The acrylic is Arctic Ice 4.5mm thick and will fit onto a 384x384mm (a P2 template) size piece of material. The Hardboard is 4.75mm thick and would fit on the same sheet size. Thanks
paron6 years ago
I realize that there are many CAD programs available, but, please, which package are you using?
danemery (author)  paron6 years ago
I have used Solidworks. Someone told us recently that Sketchup can output an eps, but it seems to be only the Pro version.
gamer6 years ago
nice laptop! i wish i had a laser cutter so i could make anything -gamer
flattop gamer6 years ago
The point of the article is that you don't need a laser cutter. Ponoko will do the setup and cutting and send you the end result. All you need is the software to create the EPS files. BTW danemery, that's a slick way to hold the lamp together.
AK 486 years ago
About how much does this cost? I remember reading about this in the NY Times and verified that stuff does indeed ship out of New Zealand.. so while a test file was <$20 to cut, it was over $60 to ship! Is there an easier way to find a friendly laser cutter?
jdlewis AK 486 years ago
Shipping is the biggest issue our users are letting us know about so we're working hard to make this less of a problem. We do have to ship out of NZ and this does make it more expensive - however it does arrive to most destination within 5-7 days. Solving this problem really requires us to have a point of presence close to where you are. We're working to open a North American bureau first and then to expand from there. We hope to get this online as soon as we possibly can because we'd really like to get people making and know the shipping can turn people off. I'm looking forward to that day very much! :)
randofo6 years ago
I have a laser cutter. How do I make a lamp? I'm confused. I think you should re-title this Instructable. It is misleading.
danemery (author)  randofo6 years ago
You can download the files here and then make the lamp on your own laser cutter. Ponoko can allow people to make things if they don't have their own laser cutter.
danemery (author) 6 years ago
Pricing for this lamp (with flowers engraving) works out like this.
Hardboard - Standard
Cutting cost: $6.08
Material cost: $7.14
Acrylic - Arctic Ice
Cutting cost: $14.24
Material cost: $17.83
Joe4266 years ago
How much did Ponoko charge you?
danemery (author) 6 years ago
Thanks for the comments. I'm glad you like it.
cool :-)
trialex6 years ago
Even though you are using a specific commercial entity, nice explanation and discussion of techniques and the design process.