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The Kerf Table Lamp is a interactive, open design to be downloaded, customized and assembled using medium density fiberboard (MDF) and a simple arduino circuit to control the LED’s.

Using movements of the hand, the lamp is able to turn on, off and change its brightness using an ultra sonic sensor.

In this tutorial we have uploaded a series of 4 different kerf bending patterns that subject diverse moods of light from the conical structure however we look forward to what others generate from our original patterns and design.

The project was part of a Massey University, Industrial Design paper at the Wellington Fab Lab in New Zealand.

Designed by Glenn Catchpole, Janelle Streater, Justin Lim and Jia Fang

Kerf Table Lamp Promo Video

Video of the assembling of the Kerf Table Lamp 

 


Below are 4 of our kerf pattern designs ready to be downloaded, laser cut and assembled


 
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Step 1: Required Equipment

Picture of Required Equipment
IMG_0704.jpg

EQUIPMENT:

CIRCUIT ROUTER (ROLAND)
LASER CUTTER

ELECTRONICS:

SOLDERING IRON
DOUBLE SIDED TAPE
ATTINY45
5V 100mA REGULATOR
4 x RESISTER (0)
6mm DC POWER JACK
2x2 HEADER PINS
2x3 HEADER PINS
ULTRASONIC MOTION SENSOR
12V LED STRIP (12 LEDS)
N-CHANNEL MOSFET
WIRE
12V POWER SUPPLY WITH 6mm ADAPTER PLUG
AVR PROGRAMMER
CIRCUIT BOARD

LAMP FORM:

ARADITE GLUE
JUG (BOIL WATER)
HAIRDRYER or HEATGUN

PROGRAMMES:

ARDUINO
EAGLE
RHINO 5
ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR

Step 2: Designing The Lamp

This step illistrates how we designed and modeled the conical structure of the lamp. It involves using 3D modeling software such as Rhino and Adobe Illistrator. This step isn't necessary for replicating our designs but will give you more understanding as to how we model'd them if you wished to develop one for yourselves. 

Step 3: Manufacturing the Lamp

In the process of manufacturing the structure of the lamp, we used a laser cutter to cur out the segments out of 3mm MDF, a Jug to boil the water and a Hair Dryer or heat gun to dry the damp material.


Make sure the laser settings are strong enough to cut 3mm MDF all the way through, otherwise you may need to take a second pass again which will end up producing burn/smoke marks that will ruin the aesthetic of the units. It pays to do a few tests on the MDF if it isn't something you have laser cut before.

The next step requires pouring boiling water over all surfaces on the arc pieces to soften the fibers to produce a uniform bend. The Segments only need to be soaked under the water for 10 - 15 seconds. If they soak up too much water, the fibres will start to split apart and ruin the aesthetics of your lamp.

Bend the arc pieces into cone shapes. Try not to bend them too quickly, to avoid breaking them. It’s better to use top and bottom circle pieces to help form the shapes.

Once they the cone forms are still moist, assemble them together carefully to retain the lamps full hourglass shape. Take extra-care when meshing the tabs together as they can easily break. Use a hair dryer or heat gun to dry out the damp MDF.

Step 4: Making the Electronics

Picture of Making the Electronics
Circuit_Router_File.png
Step 1. Using the circuit template file you need to mill the circuit with a circuit router by converting this from png into an rml file. This can be done in a software called Fab. You can then upload your image, make the path and continue to make rml.

Step 2. Set up your circuit board securely on the bed of the router making sure it is level and firm with the point of the drill bit. Firstly you need to mill the circuit paths with the circuit file then drill round the edge with the border file. You need to define the type of cut whether it is milling or cut out under the the defaults option. Remember to note down the routers coordinates so you can use the border png file to then cut out the circuit with a drilling bit. It is important that it is set securely for this otherwise it can spin off and destroy your board. 

Step 2. Collect all the electronic parts and solder them onto the circuit board, using the circuit diagram as a guide. it is important to take your time during this process, over heating components with the soldering iron may result in the parts failure. 

Step 3. Attach the sensor to the 2x2 pin header.

Step 4. You need to program the a chip by attaching the AVR programmer to the 2x3 pin header and attach to the USB port on the computer.

Step 5. Attach the 12v power supply into the jack.

Step 6. To program the chip you can use Arduino which is a free downloadable software. Using this, under TOOLS select BOARD and then select the type of board you are using which is defined by the microchip. (ATTINY45 8 MHZ)

Step 7. Under TOOLS select BURN BOOTLOADER.

NB: You only need to do this the first time you upload to your chip. If it comes up with an error, recheck all your connections on the circuit board.

Download the code file for Arduino, verify the code and upload it.
Test your sensor! It should be working


Below are the attached Router .PNG files for cutting the circuit board and the code for programming the Arduino microcontroller 
wilgubeast1 year ago
That's a gorgeous lamp. The picture of all of you holding lamps is really awesome. Thanks for including all of the files!
mreed181 year ago
It's too bad you use MDF, that has chemicals in it and it's not environmentally friendly.
gcatchpole (author)  mreed181 year ago
We tried some different materials such as bendy ply and cross grain ply, however, due to the grain patterns in the wood, even with boiling water to aid in the bending and because the conical templates are curved, the grain start to pull and oppose the curve at certain points around the arc. The form can be constructed using other materials such as plastics or other multi-directional bending substances. Fab Lab Wellington (the workspace we designed the lamp in) are looking into biodegradable and non toxic MDF that is not harmful and completely recyclable as ordinary timbers. It is an interesting subject but that's why the project is Open design, to get others picking up from where we left off to develop and re work the design.

cool! :)

mreed181 year ago
How about basswood? Unfortunately more expensive, but no doubt a great product. Design is awesome by the way!
rbrodie1 year ago
Beautiful design and very cool motion sensor switch! Thanks for sharing.
dimtick1 year ago
Really great design!!!
The design is so elegant. I'm wondering if there is a different way to do the vertical seams on the cones other than the "zipper". something incorporating the pattern that would hide the seam? With the table against a wall the seam is hiddent but if it's out in the open that seam detracts from its elegance.
I also wonder if you can do an option with the light sensor at a different location or from a remote? from a functionality standpoint using the table as......welll.....a table and putting things on it, would interfere with the sensor.
i bet color changing led's would be cool also and add another level of interaction.
just me thinking out loud.

GREAT DESIGN !!!! NICE WORK!!!
tscott251 year ago
This is so gorgeous! But how does someone like me...A housewife make it?
Head to your local hackspace or techshop and use their laser cutter to cut it out. It's just about learning the skills and those places are full of friendly people willing to help (Housewife or not)
HollyMann1 year ago
awesome!