Instructables
Picture of Modular Hanging Lamp Shade

This is a hanging lamp made from identical modules. The finished size is just over a foot tall.
It is based on a regular icosahedron, that is made from 20 equilateral triangles.
I made these modules from white card stock. This could also be made from a thin translucent plastic .
The light I used was one I had, a 13 watt CFL equivalent to a 60 watt incandescent bulb.
You will need to use a compact florescent light because the incandescent lights put off to much heat
for this shade.
After I left the light on for a couple of hours the temperature measured inside the top
was about 110 degrees Fahrenheit. The room temp was about 70 degrees, so a 40 degree rise.
This shade weighs less than 3 oz. so I just hung it by the cord, no other support is needed.
The length of the cord is governed by your particular application.
An inline switch is a nice addition to the cord so you do not have to unplug it to turn it off.



Materials Needed

The Lamp Module PDF file
20- sheets 8 1/2 by 11 white card stock
1- lamp socket and cord, an inline switch is optional
1- curly fry light (CFL or compact florescent lamp)
1- 3 inch plastic disc. Cut from a plastic bottle such as milk jug, or a plastic lid from a chip can.


Tools Needed

A printer to print the modules
A craft knife and cutting mat, or if you are really good with them a pair of scissors.
1/4 inch single hole punch or other punch that will reach far enough.
 
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I hope you can see it on the picture. In fact I made the slits where the pieces meet and have to interlock to give them more "space". I am not sure how thick the plastic is, but I would say between 0,3 and 0,5 mm.

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daveda (author)  julia_instructables7 months ago

Thanks for the pictures. I think this looks better in the plastic than the card stock I used. I can see where you made the slits. In the full picture it looks like you have at least some of the interlocking tabs on the outside instead of all on the inside like mine. This may make the stiffer plastic stay together better because these tabs would not have to bend as much. I am going to put one together with all of the tabs on the outside and see how it looks.

Thanks again for sticking with this until you made it work.

Wow, I have to admit it, this took me 2 years to complete! I bought a huge sheet of flexible plastic sheet in a hardware store in Spain, cut the modules and interlocked 4 of them. The fifth one was impossible to interlock as the same or one of the others would "plop out". After all the hours of work and so many tries, I was so dissapointed and put it away. After a couple of months I tried again and cut a slit into the the interlocking parts as I thought it was just to stiff, but no way. Tried the third time yesterday and cut even deeper slits (thinking I would be ruining everything) and it FINALLY worked! I love it, the light is very soft and it looks beautifully.
daveda (author)  julia_instructables7 months ago
I wondered if a material stiffer than card stock would be a problem. Could you add a picture showing where you made the slits? Any idea how thick the plastic you used is?
I am glad that you did not give up and found a way to make it work for you.
Thank you for your post.
Stunning. Also pretty damn cool. And I love the assembly... magic :D
darirose2 years ago
I wonder how well plastic milk cartons would work for the material. I would be concerned about the heat given by the light bulb since this design is quite tight and I'm not sure about the melting point of the plastic used for milk cartons. (CFLs are a great option.)
daveda (author)  darirose2 years ago
For this lamp you have to use a "Compact Florescent Light ". They do not put off much heat. I think the milk jug plastic would withstand this small amount of heat. The vent holes could also be made larger for better ventilation of the shade.
The problem is getting a large enough flat material from the milk jugs. Those in my area have large circular indentations in the two large sides opposite the handle. Let me know if you figure a way to use them.
tackall2 years ago
can you make the shape bigger by adding more pieces?
daveda (author)  tackall2 years ago
Yes it can be made bigger by adding more pieces, but the card stock is not stiff enough to hold the extra weight of the additional pieces. The ideal material would be a translucent plastic that is semi rigid and about 12 mil thick. I believe this would support the extra weight. If you can find the material I can show you how to make it bigger.

Thanks for the question.
J3443RY2 years ago
Very cool...I saw it, printed out the PDF and started cutting out the panels right away, so by tomorrow I should have one too!
Hey, I like your design, I'll have to try this one out. Maybe I could add some cool fractal designs to it and add it to my line of The Playful Geometer's Cosmic SpaceCrafts .  I'll give you a vote for sure.  Along similar lines, you can see my entry here: Quasicrystal Star Lantern .      

I
n terms of lantern-making, I find cardstock is not the greatest because it blocks too much of the light and it looks all splotchy.  I hear polyester film (i.e. Mylar) is good for this type of thing, but I use laminated photo paper and it works pretty well too.
daveda (author)  playful-geometer2 years ago
Thanks for the vote. I have reciprocated.

I agree that card stock is not the ideal material to use but it is readily available and inexpensive so anyone can afford to make this. The ideal material would be a translucent plastic about 10 mil thick.
I like the art on paper, very nice instructable and thanks for the post. congratulations