Introduction: Lamp

About: Hi! My name is Adriaan and I am from the Netherlands. In my spare time I'm an electronics enthousiast and I design and make woodwork objects. I have a self built CNC machine at my disposal, that I demonstrate …

In this instructable, I will show you how to build this lamp.

This is a beautiful lamp, if I may say so. It is not an easy lamp to make, though, I will be honest.

To make a lamp like this, first of all you should make a design. Secondly, of course, only design a lamp that you can really make yourself, i.e. the materials should match materials that are easy to obtain. The design should be such that you are able to cut or process the material yourself to get the proper end result, without too many problems.

I used a CNC woodworking machine to cut the wood on the front side and the sides of the lamp. In this case, the so called Voronoi pattern on the front and the dynamic looking fins on the side are very intricate and delicate. This will make it hard or almost impossible to cut the forms with a jigsaw by hand.

On the other hand, maker workshops that are freely accessible are popping up everywhere at this moment. It is quite possible to have your gcode design cut for you or to cut it by yourself at low cost. Using a lathing CNC machine for woodwork is real fun! The Autocad files needed are included in this Instructable.

I would like to encourage you to make as much of this lamp by yourself as possible. After all, the satisfaction will be great if you succeed. You may ask me any time to cut out parts for you or ask advise about how to make the parts. When asked, I will happily make those parts for you that you are not able to make yourself, and I will send those parts to you at a fair price. See my blog at or contact me at

Please pardon my English if the terms I use for the wooden details and the equipment are not quite right. English is not my mother tongue.

Step 1: Creating the Front and the Sides

For the front and the sides, a thin multiplex is used (3,5 mm or 1/8 inch). The front side has a so-called Voronoi pattern cut out in the multiplex. The advantage of this pattern is that it is completely organic (no straight lines) and that it makes the look and feel of the lamp very dynamic. It also suggests a 3d effect by having smaller and smaller openings towards the center.

The sides of the lamp have "fins" (like fins of fish), and between those fins, only straightforward rectangles are used. By having extra "lines" on the side, again a 3d effect is obtained. The fins run straight through the wooden holder on top and below the lamp. In order to cut the patterns in the front and the fins you will most certainly need a CNC machine. Most universities in main cities are equipped with a Maker workshop that is usually quite easily accessible to the public. Or, you can try to find a commercial workshop that will cut those pieces for you. Alternatively, you can ask me to cut those pieces for you and send them to you for a fair price.

The front and side panels are included here as Autodesk files (front.ipt and side.ipt).

In the photographs, you can see how they look seperately from the lamp, to get an idea of the size, next to my dog Rikki who couldn't care less (he's interested in wooden sticks though, he has his own dog wood workshop where he grinds them to bits).

Step 2:

The autocat .ipt files for the front and the sides are included here.

CAM instructions are part of the Autocad files. I used a 2.4 mm drilling bit.

The front of the lamp is 500mm by 200 mm, sides are 640mm x 100 mm.

These maximum lengths are longer than my CNC machine (22 cm horizontal range, 35 cm vertical range).

To deal with this, I created several setups for each piece in Inventor, see the screenshot in this step. After each phase, the work piece has to be detached and solidly attached to the CNC table, and care must be taken to exactly reposition (exactly parrallel to the previous fix and with the right setting for the zero coordinate), otherwise it will be visible on the resulting piece.

Three setups per piece sufficed. I used a construction where the work piece was attached to a plank that could slide only horizontally on the CNC work table to obtain better results. After each phase, I could simply unscrew, slide and rescrew this plank. This way I could avoid the situation where the piece would sligthly be rotated or moved vertically, relative to its original position.

Step 3: Create the Wooden Holders

The holders are made of thicker wood (16mm) and they literally hold everything together. They contain recesses for the front en side panels that are exactly the same width als the thickness of the multiplex panels.

You will be able to saw the holders by hand with a jig saw instead of a CNC machine. (is it called a jig saw? I included a picture). The Autocad .ipt file for the holder is included here, as well as a jpg picture with the sizes in mm.

Step 4: Creating the Side Beams

Think you are there almost yet? That's what I thought when I was this far. The frame has still to be created, and the cross beam with the lamp fitting holder where the lamp goes. See the pictures above.

First we'll do the the side support beams.

I made support beams on the side with an oblique notch to support the side panels. Because of the angle of the notch these beams were a bit hard to produce. I finally managed to do this by attaching the wooden beams on a block of wood that had been sawn off on an angle of 30 degrees (or 60 degrees, depends how you look at it).

The side beams on the back are needed to create a frame with the holders that supports the cross beam with the lamp fitting holder.

They both have two recess holes where corresponding bulges on the back crosswise beam will exactly fit into. Of course this extra woodwork on those beams and cross beam constitutes a nice detail - but they are really necessary: if you want to cut corners it is of course possible to attach a straight side beam directly on the side beams by screwing the cross beam without any extra woodwork on top of the side beams.

The side beams on the front provide for extra structural integrity but are not strictly needed, although they give the lamp a very nice finished look. Keep in mind though that they need two slots over the entire length, one of which with an angle of 30 degrees starting from the corner.

Step 5: Creating the Back Cross Beam With the Fitting Holder

The back cross beam holds the fitting holder and goes into the side beams. The fitting holder is exactly the size of a standard E27 fitting (27 mm).

The fitting holder has a gap on the side. This serves to tighten the lamp fitting inside, by tightening a screw on a bolt going through the side of the wood. Take care to create the diameter of the hole in the fitting holder as exactly as possible, to prevent the fitting holder from breaking when the screw on the bolt is tightened. A different approach would be to assemble the fitting holder from two halves, both held together by a bolt. The current diameter of the bolt is approximately 6 mm.

Step 6: Putting It All Together

Putting it all together.

  1. First of all, the panels need to be painted in the right colors. I only painted the front panel
  2. Place panels into the holders

I started with the holders and the panels. Slide the panels into the panel gaps of the top holder, carefully. If needed, sandpaper the gaps a bit. See to it that the holders are at the right place on the panels. If need be, gently add a wooden splinter into the gap to make it fit tighter.

Gently fit in the side beams at the front on the panels, slide them in. Then close off the construction with the second holder.

Slide the side beams on the back on the side panels. This can be done before or after the second holder is in place.

3. Attach the wiring and the fittin

Attach a wire with a switch to the lamp fitting. Add a power plug on the other end.

Attach the fitting holder on the cross beam, and if need be add some wooden splinters to make it sit thight. Push the lamp fitting into the fitting holder and push the bolt through the holder. Put the screw on the bolt and tighten it gently. Perhaps it is a good idea to attach the power wire to the cross beam at some point, to prevent the wire to be pulled from the fitting and/or the fitting or the fitting holder to be pulled loose when someone pulls the wire.

4. Then push the cross beam into the side beams.

5. Attach rice paper

Cut rice paper to the right size and attach to the sides and to the front panels. Use minimum amount of transparent glue to fasten the rice paper. Try to find rice paper with some structure in it.

6. Screw a dimmable LED bulb into the fitting.
These days it is possible to obtain step down dimmable LED lights, about 8 watt, that have three built-in dimming levels: switch off and on and the lamp will go to the next level.

7. Hook up the lamp to the wall

Add two hook screws on the above holder, equidistant from the middle, and two screws into the wall at the same distance, at the required height. Done! Here is a lamp that you will never forget and that you can be proud of!

Step 7: