Instructables
Picture of Parametric Twisted Lamp
This is a parametric pendant lamp shade created with Grasshopper (www.Grasshopper3d.com), which is a graphic programming environment plugin for Rhino.  This instructable will cover how to manipulate the shape and design of the lamp using the included Grasshopper definition, as well as how to laser-cut the design, fold and assemble it.  If you do not have access to Rhino and Grasshopper, you can skip to the cutting and assembly portion using the included Illustrator file with 3 lamp designs.  If you do not have access to a laser cutter, but have a lot of time and patience, you can print out the designs from the included PDF and cut them out by hand.  

All files are free to share, distribute, and learn from under the Creative Commons License.

This instructable was created at TechShop San Jose (www.TechShop.ws)
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Form Development

Picture of Form Development
At the beginning of the Grasshopper definition, there is a group of attributes which manipulate the overall shape and size of the lamp.

The first curve manipulates the length and scale, in an exponential function. The second curve manipulates the shape of the swell, in a sine function.

The number sliders then divide that form into helical strips, and subdivide those strips into planar surfaces.

"Sides" changes the number of strips, "U div" changes the number of subdivisions or facets, and "Offset Holes" changes the size of the triangular holes in the facets.  

Step 2: Interlocking Tabs

Picture of Interlocking Tabs
The design uses interlocking tabs to connect the strips.  There will be no glue or fasteners necessary.

"Tab Depth" extends the tabs outward from the lamp, "Tab Width" changes the shape of the tab from rectangular to trapezoidal, and "Tab Angle" changes the width of the base of the tab.
noparkmonkey6 months ago

I don't know much about grasshopper, but shouldn't I be drawing some curves or points or something in rhino first in order to utilize the definition? If so, what do I draw, and what components to I associate them with? Thanks!

Aaron Porterfield (author)  noparkmonkey6 months ago

Sorry about that. I just updated to the latest version and found the problem. There is no need to reference any geometry in rhino. Find the 4 list items in the second group and make sure the list numbers are set to 0, 1, 2, 3, in order. It should work after that.

Hope you enjoy it! Cheers!

Capture.JPG
Norahbelle made it!2 months ago

Thanks for the great template.
I used wallpaper samples.. had to size the panels to 15 inches..
It looks wonderful!.
Using tweezers was helpful in putting together the final pieces.
Is there a 3d application that is less complex than Rhino3d for making other paper shapes?

lamp_paper1.JPGlamp_paper2.JPGlamp_paper3.JPG
Aaron Porterfield (author)  Norahbelle2 months ago

Wow, that's beautiful! I love the wallpaper idea!

Try out Autodesk's 123D apps http://www.123dapp.com/

I know 123D Make will cut a 3d model into paper panels. It could be fun to make some shapes with Meshmixer or Tinkercad and bring them into 123D Make.

Also check out http://shapeshifter.io/ for some fun shapes.

aong48 months ago
Thank you! I don't have a $5000 laser cutter, but it was a great project for my Silhouette Portrait! Unfortunately I folded it inside-out at first (yes, there is an inside and an outside), so most of the tabs are inside. Very fun!
CIMG4717.JPG
Aaron Porterfield (author)  aong48 months ago
That's awesome! Thank's so much for posting a picture! Yes, sorry, there is an inside and outside, but it looks great with the tabs inside. You can always disassemble it and fold all the tabs to the inside.
craftyv8 months ago
This is great unfortunately I am technologically challenged and have none of the equipment anyway. I would love to buy one. Beautiful.
Johnkaye craftyv8 months ago
Quoting the caption from the first photo, " If you do not have access to a laser cutter, but have a lot of time and patience, you can print out the designs from the included PDF and cut them out by hand."

Aaron, thank you for creating an excellent project using high tech and not leaving out the people without access to it. Cutting out a project such as this used to be done by hand for the pure pleasure and challenge of doing it. Same with wood working. With the availability of laser cutters and CNC mills this aspect of craftsmanship is being lost. However it is being replaced by the wonderful, mental, software skills that people like you possess.
craftyv Johnkaye8 months ago
Sorry I missed the advice. I didn't read it because I was daunted by the complexity. Usually I look at the pictures first to see the basics and only read it thoroughly If I want to attempt it. I agree I can do it by hand. Thank You.
Johnkaye craftyv8 months ago
Your welcome! There are also paper/card stock/vinyl cutting machines available here: http://www.silhouetteamerica.com/select-a-silhouette. They hook up to a computer and with an inexpensive software add on can read Adobe Illustrator files. A project as big as this one would probably need to be cut in sections and joined.
Aaron Porterfield (author)  Johnkaye8 months ago
Thanks for the kind words John. I'm glad you appreciate it. I hope to create more instructables that utilize computational design for the purpose of sharing and teaching, and hopefully making something useful. I think instructables is a great platform for this and digital fabrication is a great means of making things accessible to the community.
Aaron Porterfield (author)  craftyv8 months ago
Yes, it can definitely be done by hand. I was limited to an inkjet printer and xacto blade for a long time myself.

To build this one at full size, it will either have to be printed on separate sheets and attached by adding tabs, or you can have it printed directly on cardstock on a large format printer at your local print shop. The AI file and PDF are set up on 12x24 inch sheets to fit most laser cutter beds, so you can have it printed on 18x24, or if they are capable, print 3 on a 24x36 inch sheet.

Glad you like it and hope you get a chance to make one!

P.S. I am in the process of putting together an online store, and will have links as soon as it is ready!
very nice!!!
Aaron Porterfield (author)  rsantos e cruz8 months ago
Thank you!
hometownbetty8 months ago
Wow, I am super impressed! Looks fantastic!
Aaron Porterfield (author)  hometownbetty8 months ago
Thanks!
Arghus8 months ago
what if you leave the tab on the inside when you assemble, wouldn't it look more sleek?
Aaron Porterfield (author)  Arghus8 months ago
Absolutely. The only problem is when the folds are very tight, it can be difficult to reach the tabs on the inside, especially on the last step when you close it up. It might be worth trying one with extra large tabs that would be easier to reach on the inside.
Aaron Porterfield (author) 8 months ago
Thanks! Glad you like it. It would be great to see some derivatives come from it!
lebowski8 months ago
Very cool!
rbrodie8 months ago
Nice GH definition!