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Triangulated Lamps

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This instructable describes how to create triangulated lampshades (or, I suppose, any triangulated form) from a simple mesh. This is a little trickier than it might first appear, because while each triangle joins to its neighbors with no thickness in a digital mesh, any built version will need to account for the thickness of the material being used. The connection geometry to ensure the proper angle is maintained between adjacent triangles is also generated in the script and all parts are laid down and outlined so that they're ready to be cut. If you're interested in trying to make your own lamp you'll need the tools and materials listed below:
 
The code and model files on github

Rhino 5 for Windows (sorry, the code's in VB, not Python, so this is a Windows-only project)

Access to a laser cutter or CNC, or an incredible amount of patience, a large format printer and an exacto

A material you can cut on that laser cutter or CNC (I used 1/8" plywood)

Optionally, a thinner translucent material for the interior of the shade (I used translucent yupo)

A glue appropriate for your materials (I used UHU extra)

Some knowledge of 3D modeling is helpful, but shouldn't be incredibly necessary. The code is also fairly simple and should be modifiable by anyone with basic programming experience. This project can vary in time and cost based on the materials you choose, the complexity of your mesh and the digital fabrication technology you use. I spent about $40 on materials and, of course, quite a bit of time writing all the code :)
 
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Vorst932 months ago

Hi, I really like your project. I want to create my own form with a different cad program (Ironcad). The question is, how did you calculate the size/shape of your triangles so that it forms a whole?

jftesser (author)  Vorst932 months ago
Hello!

Unfortunately this project depends on rhinoscript to calculate all of the triangles and their connections so Rhino has to be the cad program you eventually use. However, your base shape is just a triangle mesh so that could be made in nearly any cad program that can export to a format Rhino can read, such as stl, dwg, dxf or obj.
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