Introduction: Hexagonal Lantern - Template for Lasercut

About: Lofoio is a makerspace, or better, a shared workshop, in Oltrarno (Florence), near S. Spirito square. Founded in 2014, it's a home for makers, hobbists, newbies and crafty people.

This is a basic template we developed in our workshop for Xmas 2020

It's a hexagonal based lantern which can be adorned with patterns or colored sheets (plastic or paper).

We tried some patterns, as shown in the photos. (credits: bimbimkha)


For this project you will need:

- 3mm plywood

- a computer

- a laser-cut (or a printer and a fretsaw)

- nanoCAD 5 (for editing)

Glue is not needed!

Step 1: Download the Files and Set Up Your Lantern (for Laser Cut)

As illustrated, the lantern is very simple and it's made of three essential parts:

- the base

- the top crown

-the six side panels

An additional element was added to the design after the first trials: it's a ring-shaped element useful to collect melted wax dropping from the candle, so to avoid it dripping out from the base. It fits exactly inside the shape of the top crown, so it doesn't require extra plywood.

The overall cutting area fits in a 400x300 mm rectangle.

To edit the design and adding some patterns we suggest using a free software like the basic version of nanoCAD (link for download).

The drawing of the leaf we used was originary made by bimbimkha.

Alternatively, you can let the sides empty and close the lantern with colored PM-MA (plexiglass) rectangles.

Step 2: Cut the Plywood (lasercut)

Depending on the laser cutting machine you are using you will need to set the right power and speed.

In Lofoio we have a 60W Co2 laser cut, and for 3mm plywood we used this setup:

- Power: 20%

- Speed: 12 mm/s

If you don't have a laser cutter look for some maker space or fab lab in your area! If you live not too far from Florence you can cut with us!

Step 3: Assemble!

To assemble the lantern first fit the bottom finger joints of the sides into the hexagonal base.

The sides will tend to fall apart, so be cautious to let them stand while you are trying to fit the top crown on the top finger joints. You don't need to glue these parts, as once all the parts are joined they will block mutually.

The only part which needs to be glued is the wax-collecting ring on the base.

Than you just have to put a nice candle inside the lantern!

You you cut the PM-MA rectangles, glue them onto the inner face of the sides.