Introduction: Voronoi Diagram Lamp

Voronoi diagram is a really beautiful concept combining maths and arts. It's used in design, visual arts, architecture, can even be spotted in nature (beehives, giraffe hide, turtle shell). It's captivating, especially when combined with vivid colours and light.

I used cheap PVC pipes, some elbow grease, Dremel tool and 3D printing to make this lamp. There are many possibilities- you can use different patterns, different pipe colours and a wide variety of diffuser patterns and colours. And let's not forget about different LED lights. You can go with plain white LEDs, coloured ones, 12V or 5V LEDs connected via USB.


  1. Large PVC pipe; mine is 125mm and 35cm long.
  2. Dremel, preferably with flexi-shaft attachment
  3. Drill bits in various sizes (1.75-3mm)
  4. Printer and PVC glue
  5. Exacto knife
  6. Optional- spray paint
  7. Soldering iron, wire strippers
  8. Glue gun
  9. Scotch tape
  10. 3D printer
  11. Light diffuser- see notes in Step 12

A. 50cm strip 12V LEDs + AC/DC converter

B. 50cm strip 5V LEDs + USB connector; something like this product:

5V strips sometimes come already wired and attached to a controller, they come in white and RGB

C. Lamp kit - two or three core wire, lampholder, plug, threaded rod - you will find everything here:

Lamp stand is 3D printed, but if you don't want to use plastic, you can make a similar lamp stand out of wood.


There are a lot of pretty voronoi patterns available to download online. I provided just a few examples.

  • You don't need any fancy photo editing programs, good old Paint will do the job and scale the pattern up or down and spread it across two sheets of A4 paper.
  • If you are using this template, your design will go all around the pipe, therefore you will need to know the circumference of the tube. Either measure it with a flexible tape or use online calculator to figure out the circumference.
  • My pipe was just under 40cm in circumference, so two sheets of paper covered it perfectly.


Print the templates. Trim and align the sheets and use a glue stick to keep them together.

Since my pipe was 35cm long and paper sheet is only 30cm, I had an excess 5cm that I left untouched to create borders on both sides of the pipe. Borders are necessary to conceal scotch tape or glue you will later use to keep light diffusers in place.

Once your template is ready, mix a small amount of PVC glue and water and apply thin layer with a brush. Smooth the paper onto the pipe to prevent wrinkling and bubbles from forming. Leave it to dry for 1 hour.


If your Dremel has a flex-shaft extension, use it instead of the main body, it will be easier to hold and manoeuvre. For smaller holes I used regular drill bits for metal (sizes 1.75-2.5mm), for larger parts I used Dremel routing drill which is 3mm.


First things first. This is a messy job, so preparation is the key, otherwise you will end up like me and spend a lot of time getting bits of PVC out of your hair and wool sweaters.

  • Have a vacuum cleaner and a rubbish bag at hand before you start cutting.
  • You don't need to have a workshop to make this project. You can do it in the house, the PVC dust doesn't fly around the room, it pretty much only sprays within 2-3 feet of the main action.
  • It's not difficult, but a bit mundane, so I'd recommend putting some headphones on and running music or ebooks in the background.
  • You can't forget to wear a face mask and eye protection, stray PVC bits fly everywhere.
  • If you have long hair, wear hair protection as well.
  • Wear clothes with short sleeves (it's easier to clean bare skin from PVC dust), no difficult to clean fabrics. If you have them, go ahead and use plastic coveralls. I admit, after the first round of cutting I had to clean my clothes from top to bottom before I could take a break and so, the next few tubes I cut while wearing a large garbage bag with holes for head and arms cut out. It saved a lot of time afterwards.


Hold the drill bit at a 90° angle, the straighter you hold it, the neater the holes will be and your clean up will be minimal.
Punch a hole at the edge of the pattern and slowly trace the shape with the drill. Repeat and repeat...

Overall, preparation, cutting and clean-up took me 2 hours (for the large tube).


There is an option to do a slightly different project without Dremel. You could use a regular drill with really small drill bits and create a design with small dots (dot art).

Or use different size drill bits together with a holesaw kit and make a bubble-like design.


Once cut, peel the paper from the tube and, if necessary, use a small drill bit to correct any mistakes.

Use a coarse sanding pad to sand the inside of the tube until it's smooth.

At this point I like to dust the whole tube and give it a rinse.

If there are still any remains of the glue use dish soap and a sponge to clean it up.

If you have any manufacturer's markings on the tube or stubborn glue spots (from PVC, tape or manufacturer's stickers), use nail polish remover (acetone) to clean it up.

Dry the pipe and go over the cut-outs to see if there are any more snags. If there are, use a thin tipped scalpel or exacto knife to cut them out. It's very easy, just tedious if the design is very elaborate.


There are two options here:

  • Simple lamp stand
  • More complicated, hollowed lamp stand

The hollowed design allows you to fill the cavity with things like rice, pebbles, sand or whatever you have on hand. That extra weight provides extra stability if you have a tendency to knock things down, you have small children or if you have cats.

I'm providing STL files for this exact pipe- 125mm. It's very easy to make it from scratch or adapt the designs to your needs. All you need are exact measurements and a bit of experimenting.

The tall tube running in the middle of the lamp stand is perfect for using LED strips. You can coil the strips around the tube and distribute the light evenly across the length and all sides of the lamp. If you want to use a regular lamp, you will have to modify that tube and make space for a threaded rod.

All parts have 1.2mm wall thickness and 20% infill. Hollowed stand has to be printed with supports.


Spray paint the lamp stands and pipes if you want to. PVC pipes can be spray painted easily, but you might want to do it in 2-3 thin, even layers applied at all angles to make sure paint reaches every nook and cranny.

There is an old instructable that shows you how to make PVC pipes look like wood, take a look at it if you want to give your lamp an awesome wood look-->


Both the hollow design and regular lamp stand come with wire holes.

Simply thread the wire through the hole and use hot glue to secure it to the stand and prevent it from tugging on the led strips.

If you are using the hollowed version, you have to flip the stand upside down at this point and use hot glue to attach 3D printed sticks on the inside of the entry hole.
Now fill the cavity with your choice of material. I had an old bag of expired rice, so I used that. You could use dried beans, mix a batch of plaster or cement, use sand, salt, pebbles or stones.
Once filled, use hot glue to attach the flap.


Choose white or RGB LEDs, 12v strips with AC/DC adapter or 5v that can be plugged directly to the USB port. Some come with remote or a switch already wired, some come without. If you don't have a remote or your lights don't come with a switch, you might want to change the lamp stand design to accommodate an off switch, which you will have to wire to the led strips as well.


Coil the LED strip around the tube and secure it with hot glue.

Use more hot glue to secure the tube to the base.

Solder the LED strip and the wire.


There are a few materials to choose from:

Basically anything and everything as long as light can go through.

Some materials, like paper or thicker plastic sheets are rigid enough to just tape to the inside. Some, such as tissue paper or crepe need an added support. Either tape the thin tissue paper to a sheet of white paper or to a transparent sheet of flexible plastic.

Cut the paper to size and use scotch tape to carefully attach it to the inside of the tube. The great thing about using tape is that you will be able to come back and change the diffuser if you grow bored of the old one.

Place the 3D printed topper on top of the pipe and fit the bottom of the pipe into the lamp stand. No need for glue, it should fit tightly and securely, and best of all, it will allow you to disassemble it, change the lamp stand colour and/or paper in the future.


Some visual examples of different diffusers.


PVC Speed Challenge

Second Prize in the
PVC Speed Challenge