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Picture of Upcycled Pangolin Lantern
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Learn how to make this modern, artistic, yet simple lantern from recyclables. The design can be resized to fit different materials and accommodate different light fixtures and looks wonderful in multiples as indoor/outdoor lanterns for special events such as weddings.

This lamp is inspired by the highly endangered and yet little known amazing animal known as the pangolin. In Chinese, the animal is known as 穿山甲 ("scales that pierce through mountains") and is mythologized as a being embodying great power to overcome any obstacle. Unfortunately, for this very reason, they are also poached and used in medicine. With this lantern, I also hope to raise awareness about the plight of these wondrous creatures and halt their path to extinction. Go to Save Pangolins for more information.

List of Materials

1. 2 Sheets of 12 x 18" 1mm Cardstock (approx. 300 mm x 450 mm)

2. About 200 Recycled plastic spoons

List of Tools

3. Hot Glue Gun + Glue Sticks

4. Scissors

5. Exacto Knife

Optional Materials

6. Gold Spray Paint

Optional Tools

7. Laser Cutter (if you have access to a local makerspace!)

 
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Step 1: Download the Template for Spiral Core

Picture of Download the Template for Spiral Core

Download the provided template for a spiral sphere. The vector drawing file is named "spiral.ai" and can be opened using Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape (which is a free vector drawing program). It is laid out for a 12 x 20" document because that's the cutting bed size of the laser cutter at my local makerspace.

You will need two cut sheets, or a total of 10 pieces (5 from each cut sheet).

I roughly modeled the slices in Google Sketchup using the "Unfold" plugin and then experimented with different curvatures and widths until I got a nice shape with 10 pieces.

Step 2: Cut the Spiral Core Pieces

Picture of Cut the Spiral Core Pieces
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Once you have downloaded the template for the spiral core, you can do one of two things. You can print out the files in PDF and use scissors to cut or an Exacto knife to carve out the outlines. Alternatively, if you have access to a makerspace, you can use a laser cutter to do the work for you. A plotter cutter will also work fine.

Wow.... that is one amazing lamp :)

cathychen (author)  Tarun Upadhyaya1 year ago

Thank you!

Mielameri1 year ago
Ohhhh brilliant; I would have never guessed it was made of spoons! Looks really good. My first thought when I saw this was, "it's dragon scales!" Lol
cathychen (author)  Mielameri1 year ago

I was thinking the same thing and almost named it Khaleesi's Lamp!

Wow, this looks amazing!

Thanks. Glad you like it!

@cathychen A stunning lamp this is. The spiral core is clearly the key to the beauty on this one. How exactly did you make that? Are you saying that sketchup plugin mimics how a shape would look in 3d? Not used that software b4 before so I am not sure :( Thanks for sharing the shape though. Great Ible.

Really cool...love the background story too! Great job and congrats on being a finalist! :)

cathychen (author)  doodlecraft1 year ago

Thank you. Hope I can win some of the awesome prizes so I can donate them to my local non-profit makerspace. Fingers crossed!