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The best way to experience the world is through interaction, and this stacked lamp just begs for you to play with it. Since there's no wrong way to stack this lamp you can position it any way you want, then change it up whenever you're tired of the design!

Making your own stacked lamp is easy; you can download the templates I created to make this lamp, or you can follow along as I show you how to easily design your own lamp shape and make the templates yourself. The software to design the lamp shape and templates are easy to use and completely free!

I based my stacked lamp from DesignMID's Babele lamp, though I love the design I didn't like the price tag of 660 € (roughly US$750). Luckily you can make this lamp on the cheap with about $15 worth of supplies from the hardware store and some scrap lumber.

Ready to start stacking? Let's make!

Step 1: Template or Design Your Own

You can recreate this exact lamp by downloading the template I made at the bottom of this step, or you can use some very basic tools to learn how to make your own design.

Making Your Own:
Designing your own lamp shade is incredibly easy. I used the small but mighty TinkerCAD to design my lamp shape. TinkerCAD is a free entry-level 3D modelling program, you drag and drop shapes onto a work surface and pull them around to make the shapes you want. Don't let the fact that it's super easy fool you into thinking it's just for kids, there so much this package can do for you, and it's a great way to model out quick prototypes. Did I mention it's free and awesome? You should give it a spin!

After modelling you can break the model into manageable slices with 123D Make, a free program that allows you to convert your 3D model into flat slices that can be cut on a laser cutter, or printed out on paper and used as a template for you to cut by hand.


Download The Template:
If you'd rather skip the computer stuff and get right to making sawdust then you can download the template below.

Applying the paper templates is shown after the tutorial on how to design your own, on Step 15.

Download the stacked lamp template

<p>Most innovative idea in a desk lamp I have ever seen.</p><p>Thanks for this :)</p>
<p>Hi Mike,</p><p>Having plenty of time on my hands at the moment I made one as well. I adapted your design to fit on my windowsill. With 10&quot; in diameter and approx. 14&quot; in heigth it's quite small now but I like it. It took a couple of days to build which is mostly because the rings are made of solid oak. Oak is pretty, but also really hard to cut into circles with a jigsaw. Oh, and drawing the circles by hand takes up some time too ;)</p><p>The slit opening is a bit pinched and I used a LED-bulb to prevent it from overheating. The light is now a bit to much centered at the bottom, even with sanding the tube. I've figured out a solution which I intend to make, with LED-strings on the inside of the tube. That will probably do the trick but for now I'm just enjoying my work :) </p>
<p>Technically I did not build this, it was done byh one of my high school studetns.</p><p>Kelsey is one of my students this is exactly her second shop class. She began this project during the first one after building an amazing gun rack for her fathers hunting cabin.<br>It is the lamp from the &quot;Instructables&quot; web site: <a href="https://www.instructables.com/id/stacked-lamp/">https://www.instructables.com/id/stacked-lamp/</a><br>It has 26 discs stacked on top of each other that all revolve around a plastic cylinder. She planed the boards down to 1/2 attached the paper templates and cut out all of the discs.<br>Several hours of sanding, then a light color of stain and 3 coats of brushing lacquer.<br> Kelsey had her dad help wire it and she made the base more stable.</p>
<p>That's fantastic! Kelsey looks like a great woodworker, I bet she has even more creative projects in the works. </p><p>Thanks for sharing your students' work in the comments here. I'll award you the Pro Membership, but if Kelsey wants to claim her own please have her PM me directly. </p>
<p>I made 2 lamps for Christmas. They are 18&quot; tall (1/2 of 2 1/2 &quot; Clear Plastic Pipe, Amazon $14) and the disks are 3/4&quot; red oak plywood, one painted, one stained. The base disk is glued to the tube, and there are 24 disks (centimeters: 2x 6, 7.6, 8.8, 9.7, 10.5, 11, 11.5, 12, 12.2, 12.4, 12.5 and 12.6). I built a jig and used a table saw to cut the disks (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wxbzrf4z_cg) except I drilled a holes through both disk and moving surface and used a nail for the pivot. I also bolted the square that came with the saw to the moving surface to get a runner to allow the surface to move square on the saw.</p>
<p>Those look great, what a fun twist on the stacked lamp.</p><p>Thanks for sharing a picture of your version, enjoy the Pro Membership!</p>
<p>Hello Mike,</p><p>Your template pdf file has too many slices and they need to tape together, so i tried to design my own and printed it on A2 paper. </p><p>I dont know why your 30W bulb didnt melt the plastic tube! i used a 10W bulb and it was too hot, so i changed to 5W compact light. i think it will be cool if we put a wood stick in the center of tube and tape LED wire light around the stick, uniform lighting from the bottom to top. :)</p><p>They are gifts for my friends. i used soldering-iron to draw their name on the lower slice. Check it out.</p><p>Thank you for the inspiration!</p>
<p>Looks amazing! The lower wattage is a smart idea, and and LED light would be even better. Great suggestions!</p><p>Thanks for sharing photos of your project, it really looks great! Enjoy the Pro Membership.</p>
<p>Hey mike, awesome project. can't wait to get started on it. I, like a few others, can't seem to find 24:1. </p>
<p>If you can't find that part you can complete the radial curve by assembling the rest of piece 24 and scribing an arc with a compass.</p>
<p>i also miss part 24:1 ... </p>
<p>i miss part 24:1 on pattern</p>
<p>Great Project! I could not get the lightblub holder cut small enough to fit comfortably within the lowest ring without destroying the connections - so I had to add some feet (just cut a dowel). Also, I used plywood (the only wood I could find at 1/2 inch width), but want to try to remake it with hardwood. For that one though, I think I will use the CNC machine at the local Maker studio rather than cut and sand (and sand) each piece. Also, HD now has these <a href="http://www.homedepot.com/p/GE-60W-Equivalent-Daylight-General-Purpose-LED-Bright-Stik-light-bulb-3-Pack-LED10S3-5K-96/205783755" rel="nofollow">LED light bulb</a> which fit great but almost might be too bright. Thanks for all your work Mike!</p>
<p>That's a fine looking lamp, and a great suggestion on the LED bulb.</p><p>Thanks for sharing a picture of your version of the Stacked Lamp, enjoy the Pro Membership!</p>
<p>Mike this is awesome. But I printed the pdf of the 'STACKED LAMP' and I couldn't find the piece number &quot;24:1&quot; in the archive. Can you help me?</p>
<p>Has he responded to you? because i just did the same thing and im missing it too</p>
<p>Great Instructable, I changed the design a bit and had a lot of trouble on the way, but all in all I like it! And it's perfect as a wedding gift.</p>
<p>Looks sharp! Hope they liked the present.</p><p>Thanks for sharing a picture of your version of the Stacked Lamp, enjoy the Pro Membership!</p>
Beautiful project. Mine is a lil bit more spartan but I like it..
<p>There's probably better heat diffusion from a squat version like this, which is a great idea!</p><p>Thanks for sharing a picture of your version of the Stacked Lamp, enjoy the Pro Membership!</p>
<p>Thank you so much !</p>
<p>Now I'm instantly jealous. 'Grouchy look'</p>
<p>I drafted a similar design on VectorWorks, imported the file to V-Carve and was able to cut my lamp on a CNC machine. I still need to frost and trim the tube. </p><p>I am very happy with how the lamp looks.</p><p>I had been looking for a reason to build a lamp and your instructable motivated me to get making! Thanks for posting! </p>
<p>That looks great! Digging your CNC, it's HUGE!</p><p>Thanks for sharing a picture of your version, and I like how you pinched the slit opening to grab onto the tube; very smart. Enjoy the Pro Membership!</p>
<p>Can i steal your plan for my cnc? if so send me a link!</p>
<p>Does the PDF i share in the project work? It's a vector file.</p>
<p>Hey Mike!</p><p>This is really an awesome idea to make a lamp! I modelled my lamp different with rhino, I wanted to make it a little abstract, though some of my friends told me that it resembles a beehive =) Everything was fine until the plastic tube, I couldn't find one anywhere, so I bought a clear glass vase and painted it with frosted glass spray paint. After all, we could all use different materials for different purposes, and it turned out to be pretty good I guess =)</p><p> Keep the good ideas coming man!</p>
<p>Wow, that design is really great. The frosted glass looks amazing!</p><p>Thanks for sharing a picture of your version, I really like it! Enjoy the Pro Membership.</p>
<p>Hey Mike, </p><p>I had showed you my glow table, and then I made some of your stackable coasters out of some nice aromatic cedar. I tried this design the other day (needs sanding and staining), but came out pretty well. I went with full circles instead of puzzle pieces that fit together. Tough work with a battery operated jigsaw and drill, but worth it--at least 50 people have liked and commented on Facebook. Keep the ideas coming, dude!</p>
<p>Hey Mike, </p><p>Can you tell me where you got your bulb? I used the same exact tube that you did with a 40W tubular bulb and that started melting the plastic. I went down to a 25W frosted tubular bulb and that one still got too hot that it blew out. Got a recommendation?</p>
<p>I used a tall and skinny oven lamp, rated at 30W. There's enough clearance between the bulb and the inside of the tube to prevent the tube from melting. An alternative would be a glass tube. </p>
<p>Wow, that looks great!</p><p>Thanks for following along and enjoying my projects, seeing how you remake these Instructables is the greatest feeling. Thanks for sharing your version here, enjoy the Pro Membership!</p>
<p>Wow, just came across this! Thank you so much for the inspiration! Going to try it for myself. Way cool.</p>
<p>This is so cool. I would probably sit and play with it all day. </p>
<p>Really smart looking design. The results speak for themselves. Excellent!</p>
I will try with a rgb led strip, controlled with a potentiometer...
<p>I will try it! I have a cnc router, is possible to get the DXF files? </p><p>thanks a lot for sharing!</p>
<p>The DXF file is generated from the 123D Make program and requires input about your CNC router. Since 123D Make is free and the method is described above I can give you the STL file and you can generate your own DXF based on your CNC router.</p><p>The STL file is part of this comment.</p>
<p>Hi, I made the exact same light last year for my resistant materials coursework (gcse). Its a great design, but you have made it differently to me, as I used a laser cutter to make my small rings. mine looks sightly squished due to the light i used. Yours looks great and is a project worth while. For my second piece of coursework this year i made a labyrinth, maybe that might be a good next project.</p>
<p>The squat lamp is cute, and probably throws light better. I like it!<br>Thanks for sharing your lamp in the comments, enjoy the Pro Membership.</p><p>I wanted to build a marble maze desk a while ago, but it seems really complicated. </p>
Seeing the first picture I thought you glued and turned Jenga blocks (:
<p>Maybe next time!</p>
<p>Nice one! Like the potential for mixing it up.</p><p>A couple small ideas:</p><p>There are any number of low energy bulbs out there that don't produce any heat that might be safer to use inside of an inclosed tube. Can have a brighter light that way as well.</p><p>If you use acrylic plates instead of wood and sand the edges, both next to the tub and exterior edge, I think you would get some cool edge lighting. If you only sanded every other one then that would allow you to do the mix and match.</p><p>If you sanded only vertical lines in the inside edge of the plates at 1/6 the circumference alternating with no sanding you could also then mix and match and have hot spots by rotating the different layers. </p><p>This instructable has a lot of potential for variations! </p><p>Thanks Mike.</p>
<p>These are some good ideas. You should try them out and post the results!</p>
<p>wow! It is great looking. Quite a day full of cutting and sanding work but at the end of the day would be immensely happy product. Possibly, those who are blessed with a CNC router can churn it out much faster by a flick of few buttons and mouse moves. Thanks for sharing.</p>
<p>Notched disks should be as acrylic as axial tube... Some faces tinted, some clear white, some opaque, some mirror film covered... Cause wood steals much of light. IMHO. </p><p>Unexpected design, my respect!</p>
<p>clever i like it.</p>
<p>mega . uber . awesome ...</p>
<p>This is so beautiful! Thanks for sharing. I'd love to try it with a few acrylic or plexi discs.</p>
<p>thxs 4 it </p><p>cool</p>

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Bio: I'm Mike and I make crazy things at Instructables HQ in San Francisco. Follow me and try a few of my projects for yourself!
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