Introduction: On Edge: Large Scale CNC Milled Lantern

About: Kiana Honarmand is an Iranian artist whose work addresses issues related to her cultural identity, the treatment of women in Iran’s society, censorship, surveillance, and the Western perception of the Mi…

"On Edge" is a large scale CNC milled lantern. I had made smaller laser cut versions but I was interested in making a lantern that can take over and entire gallery/room with its shadows. This is my process of building the lantern.

Step 1: Design

First, you can use any CAD program to design the pattern for your lantern. I used Rhino to create the pattern from Persian Calligraphy. This project uses 5'x5' panel of 0.25" mdf sheets and 7/8" pieces of poplar for corner pieces.

Step 2: Cutting the Design

Using Rhinocam, I generated the toolpaths for cutting the pattern. For this piece, I primed and painted the pieces before I started cutting.

If the pattern is dense and a large portion of the material is being removed, the cut order can be crucial. I started cutting in the center and worked my way to the corners.

Step 3: Assembly and Troubleshooting

After cutting all six panels, I cut 7/8 x 7/8" pieces of poplar for the corner pieces. I glued the poplar to the cut mdf panels.Using insert nuts and bolts, I assembled all sides of the cube. In order to keep the cube on its edge, 2 pieces of 1/4" steel were bent and attached to one corner with bolts.

Step 4: Final Touches

To conceal the corner pieces, they were painted the same color as the mdf panels. Then all pieces were sprayed with Polyacrylic. For the light source, I used a 200w mini candelabra bulb. I needed the smallest and brightest bulb I could find in order to get the strongest shadows.

The wire is attached to side of one of the panels using wire clamps and comes out from the side of the lamp.

The pieces can be stored as flat panels. Assembly only requires Allan Wrenches and takes 2-3 hours.