Step 3: Add the Copper Tape

The LEDs are all mounted on the upper-most "fins" of the lantern. So, that is where the traces must lead. Also, it's important to realize that all the traces meet in the same place - this means that with the proper planning, the LEDs can be arranged in a series configuration that uses a minimum of copper (and, ahem, effort).

Each of the three sides of the lantern will have a different pattern of traces. Start with the side that has just two short strips. As you can see in the photo, the strips should be laid parallel to the middle fold, about 2mm apart, and reaching from the tip of the fin to about a centimeter beyond the fold. Flatten the copper using the handle of a pair of scissors, or some other smooth, rounded object.

Now move on to the next side of the lantern. It will have one short strip, like the first side, and one long strip that goes all the way down to the base (where the battery will eventually connect). Place the short strip first, in the same manner as the first side (about 1-1.5mm from the center fold). As you may have guessed, this strip should line up perfectly with one of the strips laid out on the first side.

Now lay out the long piece. It starts out in an identical manner to the long strip, but continues down the edge of the lantern. Where necessary, fold (but don't cut!) the copper foil to make turns as necessary. With 1/4" wide copper foil tape, you could only have to do four folds to reach the bottom of the lantern.

Flatten the copper foil with scissors.

Now, the third side. It is essentially a mirror image of the second side. Lay out the copper foil in a similar manner to the second side, but the long piece of copper should travel down the opposite side of the paper. Flatten with scissors.

Lay out the three sides of the lantern with the points inward. It should be easy to see how this will work: the three LEDs will align for a series circuit at the top of the lantern, and the matching copper foil traces will connect the circuit between the three sides. But wait! The two long traces will short together! Indeed they will - an insulator is needed between these two traces.

Pick one of the sides with a long trace, an grab a roll of tape. It doesn't really matter what kind - packing tape, Scotch tape, masking tape. Just as long as it isn't conductive. It should be a light colour though, to a void the chance of seeing it through the paper. Lay down a layer of tape along the entire length of the long trace, leaving just a small exposed section at the base where the battery wire will be soldered to (that will be insulated later.) Make sure the tape covers to about 2mm beyond the fold at the top fin, so it doesn't short together at the top. If any tape is hanging over the edge of the paper, trim it off with a knife or scissors.

As with the copper foil, flatten the tape with scissors to remove any air bubbles.
Very nice instructable!!! Very inspiring!!
Hi, bravo! welldone...that's really amazing...thank u
very Beautiful
Thank you!
This is a bad design.<br>The Led must have a resistor in series to limit the current.<br>
Ordinarily I'd agree with you. But in this case, with the forward voltage of the LEDs equal to the battery, there is no need. Perhaps a few ohms of resistance - but that's taken care of by the resistance of the copper foil, and the internal resistance of the 9V battery.<br><br>I left the lantern running for a full day and nothing blew up, so I'd say it's quite safe.<br><br>Thanks for calling me on it, though!
The forward voltage of the led is 3 V. If you put 3 led in series it would be more less equal to the battery. Indeed the copper foil and battery have a resistance. <br>But for other people trying to make this project using other leds with different forward voltages should check how to connect a led properly.
Definitely. Beginners should check out this excellent <a href="http://led.linear1.org/led.wiz">online LED calculator.</a> You simply enter your power supply, number of LEDs and LED voltage, and it does the rest - even drawing a neat little diagram!<br> <br> (The above calculator says I need a 1 ohm resistor)<br>
This totally looks like a ribcage! All it needs is something to suggest a spine, and maybe the collarbones and shoulder blades!
I'm sure I've seen a Halloween decoration made like that before. Can't find anything on Google, though.
ever thought of spray painting it a metallic color? don't know the electrical implications or hazards involved.... but probably not too hard to work around.
Well sure, you could spray paint it any colour you like. I doubt that it would make much difference electrically. Of course, you'd want to spary it before laying down the traces.
I really like it.<br><br>Reminds me of Star Trek, somehow ...
Hey, to me, that's a big compliment! ;)
You can also do the scoring with the &quot;backside&quot; of the X-acto blade. It works wonders.
Nice , you is sure cheaper ;)<br> <a href="http://www.ponoko.com/design-your-own/jewelry/kinema-pendant-luminaire-4710">http://www.ponoko.com/design-your-own/jewelry/kinema-pendant-luminaire-4710</a><br>
Wow, very nice! Cheaper, yes - but also not made of brushed laser-cut aluminum. ;)<br><br>(As a side note, it should be possible to make that design in the link out of paper...)
Cool ;)
Wow, this is really amazing !<br><br>Did anybody manage to find printable designs for which this method could be adapted ?
I looked around a bit but found nothing (at least not from the creator of the original design I based my lantern on). I had to design my own pattern.
thanks for sharing this awesome project...<br><br>i planned to buy a lamp shade this month but after going through your instructables i changed my mind. instead, ill be building this project this week end... <br><br>are there any other designs available on line?...<br><br><br>thanks! more power!!!
Sure, give it a try! The paper costs less than a dollar so you've got nothing to lose, even if it doesn't end up working.<br><br>I searched a bit for design files and templates, but couldn't find any. So, I made my own. If you visit the links you'll find a Flickr set of all of Miyamoto's creations - perhaps you could figure out how to recreate of of them!
It looks gorgeous!
. Wow!
So, are you going to make one, too? ;)
.&nbsp; Probably not. :(&nbsp; I have next to no artistic ability.<br>
Hey, that part has been taken care of! If you can handle an X-acto knife and a soldering iron, you can do it. :)
I really like the &quot;Rib Cage&quot; look of the shade
simple and beautiful. Congrats
My top two goals for this creation. ;) Thanks!
You Sir, be awesome. <br> <br>Thank you for sharing this :)
Thanks, and you're welcome!
creepy cool! the lamp is reminiscent of a rib cage and the shadows look like spider webs. You should enter this into the Halloween contest!
Hmmm, I'm not sure it would qualify. Perhaps with some modifications it could... I'll think about it!

About This Instructable


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Bio: By day, Jeff is the Jack of All Robots at Clearpath Robotics. By night, a mad scientist / hacker / artist / industrial designer wannabe!
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