Introduction: Multifunctional Lamp

Originally I created this for my
A- Level DT project, but I thought I may as well share it on here, skipping the boring bit about research and whatnot obviously. Also, just bear in mind that is my first Instructable so any help would be great.

The aim was to save space on my desk as i have far too many gadgets and stuff on there, like speakers, a lamp, my phone charger, an alarm clock. But it can be used in other places too, and it has proven to save space for me.

Step 1: The Thinking

I tried designing a bunch of different designs keeping in mind the components I wanted to put inside, as well as the ease of the build, originally i wanted to hand carve the lamp out one piece of solid wood, preferably oak and hollow out the the interior to fit the components, but for various reasons (I wasn't allowed to), that and it would've probably taken too long, but anyway.

I wanted the lamp to combine as many things as possible, for example it obviously it had to be a source of light, I wanted it to be able to charge my phone, play music and possibly have a clock built in, however i never got round to actually doing that, which i thought i was a shame.

Step 2: The Building

After trying out various different methods of construction such as bending wood using steam, I decided to build it using layers, I designed the layers using 2D Design and had them cut using a laser cutter, in total there were about 15 3mm layers of MDF, giving it a depth of about 4.5 cm, the advantage of construction through layers was that all of the components I used inside could each have its own mount or cut out which I could include into the design of each layer, such as the dock for example, I measured it out before hand and then made a cradle to fit in about 12 of the layers, so that it could simply sit in, without the need for sticking it or creating another mount, the same principle also applied for the light fitting, light shade and speaker.

Using layers allowed me to design and a more interesting shape that would have otherwise been difficult to replicate using solid wood, that would have involved lengthy amounts of sanding and far more effort, this was also more precise and I could always re cut the layers should something happen or even make a new lamp altogether.

After having cut the layers out, I then went on to do the complicated wiring. So basically I got a light fitting that’s connected to a motion sensor which I placed on the side that meant I could turn it on how you would a hand dryer. I also had the phone dock which was connected to a scavenged USB charger with a USB splitter that also powered the speaker ( I should add the speaker has its own internal battery so even if you turn the mains off, it should still have enough juice for another 6 hours or so), the dock had a 3.5mm aux output which was connected to the speaker, so to sum up, you put your phone in, it charges as well as outputting sound to the speaker, I also joined both the light and the USB charger into one cable which went out of the lamp as one cable for all connected to a standard 3 pin plug.

The light was just i standard light fitting i got from eBay and an LED bulb to go with it. At first i used LED strips, but they proved to be too weak and feeble so i got rid of them and went with eh more powerful bulb. when designing the lamp, i specifically made indents to put some shades for the lights, i just used 3mm tinted acrylic, also cut using the laser cutter, which was a big advantage as it meant i could easily control the sizing and make sure everything fit together perfectly.

After having finished the internal aspect of the lamp, I then sealed off the lamp and used wood filler to fix any discrepancies and then using a belt sander and files made sure the entire surface was smooth, I also applied wood filler on top of the dock so that it would blend in better with the rest of the lamp.

After sanding and smoothing, I then went on to the final touches, ie painting. I could've gone out and bought some proper paint, but i happened to stumble upon a bunch of paints at home, I went for a metallic red, either that or white, but i thought red would be more creative, if only i had found some green...., i applied 3 layers in total which about an hour or two drying time in between each one, as well as light sanding using wet and dry paper to ensure a smooth finish.

All in all it cost around £60 including all the components, i should mention that i already had some of the stuff that went into it so technically, it should be a bit more.

Step 3: Final Build

Well I guess thats most if not all of it, here are some pictures of the finished thing including a few in situ shot, thanks for reading, if you see anything wrong or think i missed something or any improvements, feel free to just comment.

DIY University Contest

Second Prize in the
DIY University Contest