Introduction: How to Make a Pine Cone Chandelier

About: I'm a Product Design student at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad.

This instructable is on building your own pine cone chandelier. This was a very short project. I have taken some references of existing chandeliers to design this. The initial idea for the chandelier was different which eventually took shape of a pine cone.

The whole chandelier is made using 3mm MDF sheet which were lasercut.

I have shared everything so that you can make your own chandelier.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

List of Materials:

  • 3mm MDF
    • Option 1: 1 sheet, 8feet x 4feet (will need to cut into 2feet x 3feet pieces. You will get 5 pieces plus a small piece which you can use in some other project)
    • Option 2: 4 sheets, 2feet x 3feet
  • 17W Off-white LED bulb
  • Bulb Holder
  • Plug
  • 2 core electric wire (white)
  • Clutch Wires
  • Flex Kwik Adhesive
  • Grey Gateway paper
  • 2 clutch wires
  • 4 Washers
  • 2 cable stoppers

List of Tools:

  • Lasercut Machine (I used a machine with a 2feet x 3feet work area)
  • Power Drill
  • 2mm drill bit
  • Plier
  • 120 grade sand paper

IMPORTANT: measure the thickness of your MDF. This is really important to take note because the design has locking parts and we need to accommodate for a thicker material. The slots which I've made are according to 3mm thickness. You can modify the CAD Files according to your material thickness.

Step 2: Design and CAD Model

I used Rhino to make a 1:1 scale 3D model of the chandelier. Then I extracted the 2D drawings and converted into a dxf format for lasercutting.

Once I had the 2D line drawings of the structure and the petals, I arranged them on 2' x 3' sheets in way that there is minimum wastage.

Download the .dwg file to start lasercutting.

You can make changes to the file and playaround with the design.

Step 3: Laser-cutting

Before laser cutting just make sure our MDF pieces are of the same size as the laser cutters' working area; i.e. 2'x3'.

I had a 8'x4' sheet so I had to cut the sheet into smaller pieces.

Once you have the pieces ready just place them on the laser cutting machine and make sure the edges match the guide. Set the power of the machine such that it doesn't burn the other side of the sheet.

That's it!! Now stand back and let the laser cutter do the magic.

Collect all the pieces once its done a segregate them according to their sizes. There should be 12 pieces of each size.

Keep feeding the other sheets till the job is done.

Step 4: Sub-assembly

Caution: Do these step before assembling the chandelier or else it will be a bit challenging to do it later!

  • Stick the two pieces of the top disks and the bottom disk to each other using flex kwik.
  • Now mark 2 holes on the top disk on a line passing through the center of the disk. Drill them using the 2mm drill bit.
  • Pass two washers in the clutch wires and the pass them through the holes of the top disk. The washers will spread the weight on the disk.
  • Peel the 2 core wire and pass it through the central hole and connect the bulb holder.

Step 5: Final Assembly

This is the fun part. Now start assembling your jigsaw puzzle to make the whole chandelier. Sand the edges of each piece using a sand paper to smooth it out.

Stick the pieces to the spines.

Install the bulb and use the clutch wires to hang the chandelier.

Important: There are two types of spines which have a subtle difference. Arrange them in an alternating fashion or else the pattern will be disturbed.

Step 6: You Are Done!!

That's it!! Your Pine cone Chandelier is Ready!!

Any questions, suggestions and critiques and welcome.

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