Introduction: Cardboard Dazzling Platonic Solid Lantern
This zebra pattern Lantern is a fairly easy build with access to a Laser Cutter and 3d Printer, it's also a great way to brighten up a space with an attractive lighting fixture. I chose a fun zebra pattern to cut out of the panels, but this will work with any pattern you like.
I also discovered the laser cutter I was using during the project could cut through 2 layers of cardboard, which sped up my cutting time.
• Laser Cutter
• 3D Printer
• Adobe Illustrator
• 3D Printing Software
- Corrugated Cardboard (4' x 3')
- Tissue Paper (white)
- Black spray paint
- Spray adhesive
- 3D printed Connectors (12)
- Light Bulb + Wired Fixture
Step 1: Design Panels
Design 20 equilateral triangles (all one size). I used a border around each for strength holding everything together, but as long as all 3 corners have material connecting them they will work just fine.
I included my .ai design file here if you would like to cut the same design.
Step 2: (3D) Print Connector Pieces (12 Needed)
I have included the .stl files for printing the connectors. A 20 sided icosahedron has 12 vertexes which will connect 5 points.
These connectors will connect triangles of any size, I printed mine at 40mm which works great for connecting panels up to about 12" together.
Step 3: Cut Out Panels
A laser cutter is best for this step, but of course with a printer and some patience you could complete this with a utility knife.
Step 4: Spray Paint Panels and Line With Tissue Paper
Using flat black spray paint spray each panel black on one side.
Once dry, I sprayed the back with a spray adhesive and lay white tissue over top. Give about a minute to dry, then lay the tissue overtop - trim edges with scissors.
The tissue lining is of course not necessary, but gives the lantern a cool ambient glow when illuminated.
Step 5: Assemble Using 1/4" - #1 Size Robertson Screws
Using small 1/4" (length) screws poke holes in each triangle panels's corners (being careful to line it up with the connector's hole). Connect 5 to one connector, then start moving out from there.
The cardboard can be a little flexible, but the more panels you connect, the more rigidity it will gain.
Step 6: Finish Assembly and Install Light Fixture in Top
Once you have connected all of your panels, take a look in any edges a little tape for alignment, I had a couple i taped just to keep everything together.
I cut the last panel from extra cardboard and poked a hole in the middle. After putting the male plug end through the cardboard I added some tape to the inside of the panel to ensure the light cord wouldn't slip through.
Step 7: Hang Up and Enjoy the Light
Find a spot that needs a little brightening and hang up your new light. For bonus points use a smart bulb to really step up your finished product with multi-coloured light shows!
Participated in the
Cardboard Speed Challenge