Modular Tree Lamp - 3D Printed ( or Lasercut )

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Introduction: Modular Tree Lamp - 3D Printed ( or Lasercut )

About: Designer interested to be a part of the maker community

A fully modular lighting system that can be assembled in many different ways to create unique combinations.

This project is part of my Master's thesis and design research about open-design and distributed design.

I want to get a better understanding and connection to the maker community. Therefore I'm looking forward to see how this project will be received. My hope is that someone, somewhere would like to re-create this and hopefully even customize and re-iterate the design.


Important

If you do decide to make one, please let me know! It would be worth a lot to me to have some documentation and proof that someone else have tried it out. Thanks :)

Supplies

3D Printer (or laser cutter although that version is not completely done)

Soldering Iron

Super Glue

Cable - Make sure it can withstand the amperage. The more lights you've used the thicker the wires must be.

I used a 2x0.75mm² cable complete with EU plug.

Knife

Side cutters (For shortening the + leg on the G4 lamps)

Self-threading Screws 2mm x 8-12mm (Optional)


G4 LED Lamps - https://www.amazon.se/gp/product/B07TLJ1QVC

12V LED Driver - https://www.amazon.se/gp/product/B00WWZFVSC

Power Plugs & Jacks - https://www.amazon.se/gp/product/B01A9SNXIS

Magnets 5x2mm - https://www.amazon.se/gp/product/B0837YQ1WX

Step 1:

This is a simple and modular lighting system. Uses standard 5,5mm DC plugs for the power and the parts connect to each other with bayonet mounts. The lamp can be used as a table or floorlamp or mounted to the ceiling.


Step 2:

For each section you’ll need to assemble a male plug to put in one end and 1-3 females, depending on if it’s a one, two or three-way section. Note that the female assembly need a male plug and the male assembly needs a female jack.


Step 3:

The assembly of both the male and female connection is similar. The connector fits within two pieces and is secured by a third that could be either glued or screwed, or both. This ensures that the connector can’t be pushed out of the assembly.

It’s preferable to superglue everything to be sure nothing falls off later.

Step 4:

The wiring is as simple as it gets. The cables need to be 18cm for any of the sections, separate cables for each lead is easier to fit inside the three-way section than a two-lead cable like the one used in the picture. Make sure you don’t mix polarity, using a multimeter is a great way to make sure everything is hooked up correctly before closing the parts and plugging them in.

Step 5:

The lights themselves need some modification of the DC jack in order to shorten it down. It might not be strictly necessary but is needed to get the LED lamp in the middle of the globe.

Cut the jack as shown, cut through the plastic coating until you reach bare metal and pull off the plastic until you can solder the LED pins on the proper lead. +12V goes in the middle pin and the outer acts as ground ( -12V ).

Step 6:

The solder will keep the lamp secured to the jack. Glue the connector to the plastic part and then glue the whole assembly inside the globe.

Step 7:

The base will hold three female connectors and the 12V transformer for the LEDs. Again make sure polarity is correct everywhere before hooking it up to the mains supply.

It’s also a good idea to add some kind of strain relief for the cable so you can’t accidentally pull it out of the LED driver. I’ll probably add this into the model but I was in a rush and as an afterthought I used some discarded support interface structures and some CA glue. If you want the lamp to be mounted in the ceiling you’ll need to print the ceiling base or the middle part for the base that can fit a hook.

Step 8:

There's also some end plugs that can be attached to the spots where you don't want a light source.

Step 9:

Repeat the process as many times as you want so you have enough pieces to play around with them to try different combinations.

Step 10:

I’ve also begun to make a version of the lamp that can be made with a laser cutter and 2mm cardboard instead of using a 3d printer. So far I’ve only made the different 1, 2 and 3-way sections and still need to make a base and a foldable solution for the lights themselves. Could be something like a dodecahedron or similar. I’m not sure when or even if I’ll finish that part of the project, but if I notice that there’s interest for it I’ll make sure to finish it.

It’s more work to assemble this version than using the 3d printed parts but I like the more handcrafted expression as well that it uses no plastic.

1 Person Made This Project!

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31 Comments

0
taichichuanwijchen
taichichuanwijchen

3 months ago

This looks great! Would you be willing to share the designs for the laser cutter? I'd like to give that one a try. Using a plotter and a pile of cardboard.

0
vessladesign
vessladesign

Reply 3 months ago

Thanks, sorry for late reply. I've uploaded the laser files now, though I haven't double checked them so they might not be super clear. But I've used 0.6mm and 1.7mm cardboard and the files are named accordingly.

They are not perfect since I haven't finished them (yet) but they should work out for you. And the thickness of the cardboard might be a bit flexible so it's probably possible to make use of what you've got. But optimal would ofc be to get the correct thickness.

Let me know if I can help you with something. And please show me the results and process if you like :)

0
taichichuanwijchen
taichichuanwijchen

Reply 3 months ago

Unfortunately neither my plotter software (Silhoutte plus) nor Inkscape will open the files correctly. (Cutting)lines are missing or shifted somewhere else.
Would you be willing to convert the files to an Inkscape friendly format? Or just a flat image of the files, so that I can trace the cuttinglines myself.
Thanks in advance!

0
vessladesign
vessladesign

Reply 3 months ago

That's strange, Inkscape should be able to handle dxf files without issues. But I've re-uploaded everything as illustrator files. Inkscape can handle those for sure (I hope) :P Let me know if it works

0
taichichuanwijchen
taichichuanwijchen

Reply 3 months ago

Again, thank you!! Much appreciated.
I had to convert the files to SVG to open them correctly, but now I can start to tinker and experiment a bit. Will definately keep you updated!

0
vessladesign
vessladesign

Reply 3 months ago

Sweet :) I considered svg but it seemed that it would mess with the dimensions.
Glad it worked out for you anyway. Good luck :)

0
taichichuanwijchen
taichichuanwijchen

Reply 3 months ago

First test with 300gsm paper cuts nicely, fits nicely. Needed 8 endpieces to get to the right thickness. Now to figure out the male-female-plugs, and then find the right size for everything. But for that I need the jack plugs, so I can fit it to that size.
But for now, it seems promising. Thank you, this is a really nice project!

20220209_151911.jpg20220209_144009.jpg
0
vessladesign
vessladesign

Reply 3 months ago

Whoa that was fast :D Looks great! Thanks for sharing those pics, it's worth a lot to me for my thesis project as well.
Yeah as you've seen I haven't made a working solution for adding the plugs to the cardboard version yet as I did for the printed one. And the base too is not yet designed. But seeing this gives me some inspiration to continue with that.

The other parts, the 2 and 3-way sections probably need a bit more love as well in order to make them prettier and tight where the parts glue together.

If you design anything by yourself, please feel free to share it!
And if you need any help or want to collaborate somehow that would be awesome too! :) I really want to have a fully working paper solution for this lamp. I find it a lot cooler than a 3d-printed version, both in esthetics and material wise.

Keep it up !

0
taichichuanwijchen
taichichuanwijchen

Reply 3 months ago

I send you a PM this morning, thought it might be a better way to quickly communicate, unfortunately I haven't found a way to send images that way (but may I overlooked).
Anyway, here's a little feedback and/or trouble shooting:

The locking mechanism is really, really tight with paper. I use sheets of 300gsm paper ( so about 8 layers make a nice endcap) and so far I tried 4 spacers and 3 lock-thingies for the male part on a disk. And 2 small and 4 larges holed pieces for the female part. It seems to make the distance, but the lock-thingie-rings are a bit to wide to really turn smoothly (or maybe the rings as a whole).
The wholes in the discs for the magnets, are to large. The spacer rings for the male locking part fall through, so I used the endcaps instead.

The Y-branch fits nice and snug, although I might widen the two holes for the male inserts. And I think it might be a good idea to think about some sort of ring (maybe the endcap without the teeth) to glue inside the three tubes for a bit more structural integrety and I think the fitting where the three branches come together will look a bit nicer/tighter.

Will probably try the other branch the upcoming days, and maybe try and design an inner ring.

20220210_152645.jpg20220210_152650.jpg20220210_152703.jpg20220210_154144.jpg20220210_154604.jpg
0
vessladesign
vessladesign

Reply 3 months ago

Hey, looking good :)
Regarding the tolerances It looks like I've used the same as for the printed version with 0.2mm spacing between the parts. This worked well for me but I lasered mine and that removes some material as well. When cutting like you are I guess you might want some more spacing. I can send you a new one unless you can manage to offset it yourself.

Regarding the reinforcement rings you mention, if you decide you might need some, just consider making the hole large enough on the inside for you to be able to pass the wires through without too much hassle. It can be a bit tricky even as they are now. Do you suspect the 300gsm paper might be too flimsy if there are a lot of branches mounted after it ?

Thanks for sharing the pics and process mate! I'll try to help as much as possible.
Forgot to mention that rubber bands are wonderful in that situation but you figured it out by yourself I see :)

Tolerances.jpg
0
taichichuanwijchen
taichichuanwijchen

Reply 2 months ago

Haven't given up. Life has just thrown a few things into the mix. So I haven't had any time to work on the project unfortunately.
Luckily all the elektronics have arrived in the meantime. So I can start at any time, if I find the time. Sadly the new paper is to thick to cut, so either I use the thinner paper, or I invest in a new blade for my plotter. Not quite sure what I'm going to do with that.
But I'll keep working on it. Just have to find the time to do so.

0
vessladesign
vessladesign

Reply 7 weeks ago

Alright!
No stress, I know exactly how life works and other stuff may need to leave way. I hope you'll get the time and motivation some day.

At the moment I'm working on a new project :) A similiar lamp as this one but for the ceiling and instead of making it rebuildable it will only be modular parts that can be assembled as wanted, So no DC connectors in between every part. Even though I personally love the concept of being able to re-design the lamp whenever. It get's more costly and time consuming. And I think I can get more ppl interested by going this route.
But you'll see soon when I upload it :)

Take care

0
vessladesign
vessladesign

Reply 2 months ago

Hi
Just wondering how the project goes for you :) Or if you have given up, and if so, maybe I can help you somehow?
Cheers

0
taichichuanwijchen
taichichuanwijchen

Reply 3 months ago

No worries, and thank you! I really appreciate it! I can't wait to start working on this. And definately will let you know what the result of this proces will be.

Thanks again!

0
peter.aschwer
peter.aschwer

3 months ago

Hallo,
vielen Dank für die neuen Files. Das hilft mir sehr. Nun kann ich Modifikationen machen wenn und wo ich sie brauche.
Den Fortschritt werde ich gerne posten. Ich brauche aber etwas Zeit.

Gruß
Peter

Hello,
thank you very much for the new files. This helps me a lot. Now I can make modifications when and where I need them.
I will be happy to post the progress. I need some time though.

Greetings
Peter

0
vessladesign
vessladesign

Reply 2 months ago

Sweet, hope they work out,
I'll love to see that progress when it's time :)

Have fun
V

0
peter.aschwer
peter.aschwer

3 months ago

Danke für die Antwort.
Bei dem Druck des "Female_Assembly" habe ich einige Unstimmigkeiten entdeckt.
Das Mittelteil ist um 2,5mm zu kurz und die Endklemme passt nicht auf den Stecker.
Kannst du die 3 Teile als getrennte stl-Dateien einstellen?
Mit Freecad kann ich das Assembly sonst nicht modifizieren.

Gruß
Peter

Thanks for the reply.
When printing the "Female_Assembly" I found some discrepancies.
The middle part is too short by 2,5mm and the end clamp does not fit on the connector.
Can you post the 3 parts as separate stl files?
I can't modify the assembly with Freecad otherwise.

Greetings
Peter

0
vessladesign
vessladesign

Reply 3 months ago

Hi
That's strange. I just fit the pieces together in CAD and they seem to fit together good.
Are your issue with the parts fitting together with the DC plug?
I've uploaded both the Male and Female assemblies as separate STLs now. Let me know how / if it works out for you.

Victor

0
peter.aschwer
peter.aschwer

3 months ago

Sehr schön. Irgendwelche Hinweise zum 3D-Druck bezüglich Material, Druckparameter, Support etc. ?
Very nice. Any hints on 3D printing regarding material, printing parameters, support etc. ?

0
vessladesign
vessladesign

Reply 3 months ago

Of course, I printed my parts in PLA. If you choose another light source than LEDs that's hotter you might wanna print the globes in PETG or something else. All STLs should be oriented correctly already. I used support from build plate and printed everything with 4 walls at 0.2mm LH.