1$ Desk Lamp




Introduction: 1$ Desk Lamp

Creating a lamp out of only one single dollar may seem challenging, however one can use practically any material found to really make something sleek, stylish, and amazing. The following instructions depict how I created a lamp out of the materials that I found which mostly consist of people's garbage that was sitting outside of their homes or in scrap piles in the studios around my school's campus. The main materials that we will be working with are plywood, wood glue, recycled cardboard, and 3D printed elements.

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Step 1: Sketch

This is a sketch I did to get an idea of the basic end product of the lamp. If it helps you to draw out the design first, feel free.

Step 2: Cutting the Plywood:

We'll begin with the half inch, 24X24in piece of plywood. Start by using a band saw to cut 10, 1/4X16in pieces.

Step 3: Sand the Edges:

This is an important step because not only does it give the stand a sleek look but it allows us to connect the wood at an angle. It will help to draw a line of the angle on the end of the wood to help determine the proper place to sand the wood. So, using a sander place the piece of wood at an angle and sand until you meet the requirements of your drawn line.

Step 4: Make Connections:

Using wood glue connect the pieces of wood so that they look like they are creating a 45 degree angle. It is important that you either clamp or hold the pieces of wood together for at least 30 minutes to allow the glue to set.

Step 5: Connect the Frame:

Once the frames are formed connect them together with a 6/8th of an inch long piece of the plywood. Again using woodglue and clamping for at least 30 minutes for proper setting to occur.

Step 6: Cut and Repeat:

Take four more of your previously cut pieces and cut an inch and a half off of each. This is because it's the "top" part of the stand so when the lamp stands this part will be elevated an inch and a half from the bottom part of the stand.

Step 7: Carve:

In order to have a the wire come down from the bulb without obstructing the the sleek aesthetic of the stand it's essential that a place in made to hide the wire within the wood. Using a hammer and a 1/4in wide chisel carve an 1/8th of an inch into the plywood creating a path for the wire. While creating the path hold the chisel at a 45 degree angle and carefully strip out wood. Because we are working with plywood it should come out quite easily.

Step 8: Wire

Now that we have carves a place for the wire. Carefully place the wire within the carved area. Place a small amount of hot in the carved space flatten out a certain length of wire and glue it down. Keep doing this process until the wire runs to the top of the stand.

Step 9: Design the Supports: 3D Printing

Step 10: 3D Printing: 123D Design

Now it's time to make the support pieces. We're going to use a program called 123D Design. 123D Design is a free application that you can download right from the app store.

Step 11: 3D Printing: Making the Cylinder

Designing the cylinder is quite easy. Within 123D Design there is a top bar with many different options of ways to design. We're interesting in the "primitives" option which allows the user to select multiple different forms to start a design. Click on the primitives icon and select "Cylinder."

Step 12: 3D Printing: Sizing the Cylinder

After you click on the "Cylinder" from the "Primitive" button on the top bar you have to put in the radius and height that you want the cylinder to be. Luckily, for you, I have done all the math for you already. In order for the cylinder to fit nicely inside our base the radius must be 4.445mm and the height must be 8.89mm (millimeters). Now export you file into an .stl this is the only file the printer will be able to understand.

Step 13: 3D Printing: Printing Process

Depending on what printer you have access to will depend on what software you will use to print your file. I will be using a program called "MakerBot."

Step 14: 3D Printing: MakerBot

MakerBot is the program we will use to finalize the printing settings on our file.

Step 15: MakerBot: Add File

To add the Cylinder file go to the "Add File" option on the top menu bar. Then open wherever you saved your .stl file and open the file in MakerBot.

Step 16: MakerBot: Print Settings

Once your Cylinder appears in MakerBot go to "Settings." Depending again on what type of printer or filament you are using will depend on the settings that you choose. However I will explain what setting I used in my own printing process. Also, because we are printing a simple shape that is rather small we don't need "Supports" or many "shells." However do click the box that says "Raft." The raft is a little platform the printer creates for the print to be printed on. Depending on the filament that you have will depend on what you want the extruder temperature to be. The filament should have a recommended temperature range. In my case the filament range was 185-210 degrees celsius. Therefore, I printed at 200 degrees. To see my exact settings look at the image above.

Step 17: MakerBot: Export

Export your file onto an SD card or USB (depending on the printer.)

Step 18: 3D Printing: PRINT

Select the file on the printer and sit back and enjoy. Print each file separately to ensure a higher success for the print. Each print take about 20 minutes to complete.

Step 19: 3D Printing: Removing Print

Use a palette knife to carefully remove the print from the printer. Gently wiggle the knife under the raft of the print until it pops off of the plate. After you take the print out of the printer pry the raft off the bottom of the print. The raft should come off very easily. Then you have your cylinder!

Step 20: 3D Printing: Repeat

To print again go into the printer's options and press print "file.stl" and it will print the file again. Do this a total of four times.

Step 21: Drill

Now, it's time to put our cylinder prints in the stand. Using a 3/8in drill and a drill press carefully, without going all the way through the piece of wood drill into it about half way down. These crevices is where we will set the cylinders. The holes need to be equal distances in length, and equal distances in width away from each other. The first holes need to be 2 inches from the of the wood and centered. The next two holes 6 inches away from the first two holes. Now, simply match the bottom four holes with the "top" part of the stand and mark the wood. Drill the last four holes on the top piece. Put a small amount of hot glue on both ends of the cylinders and place them vertically in the drilled holes and set for a few minutes.

Step 22: Support: Cut

Now we have to cut some more wood! The pieces that we are creating now are just to give the structure more support for the weight of the bulb and shade. So, cut two (in the same dimensions as before just changing the length) 7 and 3/4ths inch pieces which will be used to hold the bulb. Two, two inch pieces to support the shade, and two 1 and a half inch pieces to support the two front angled pieces of the stand. Finally an inch piece to connect the 2 inch pieces.

Step 23: Support: Construct

Now that you have your pieces, using the same gluing techniques mentioned before glue the two 7 and 3/4th inch pieces to the front angles pieces of the stand. Glue the two, two inch pieces on top of the 7 and 3/4th inch pieces at the very end of them. And finally, at 45 degree angle glue the remaining 1 and half pieces in between the front two angled pieces and the back two angled pieces.

Step 24: Shade

Any shade can really be used with this stand. I found this piece of recycled cardboard which works as the shade however anything can be used. The only adjustment I made to the shade was cutting into the shade to made vertical lines for the light to come out in a interesting way. Also I just glued in pieces of wood inside the shade for a place the support pieces could rest on to prevent the shade from going too far down. This adding of the wood inside could be used with any object that you want to be turned into a shade.

Step 25: Enjoy

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    5 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Cheap and asthetic


    3 years ago

    that is sweet! thanks for the great inspuration. love the gruse idea!


    Reply 3 years ago

    Thank you so much

    DIY Hacks and How Tos

    That is a really cool 3D design. I like how all the open space between the bars really emphasizes the sharp geometric angles. It looks really nice.


    Reply 3 years ago

    Thank you!