3D-print Your Own Lampshade!




What if you could print any thing you would like?
Not just on paper but in 3D!
I designed my own lampshade by 3D printing!
I made this for my final school project as an interior designer.
I did some research on PLA (biodegradable plastic) and 3D-printing and this is the result!

You can easily learn how to 3D-print yourself or you can visit a Fablab (all over the world) where they can help you or do it for you!

Have fun!

Step 1: Make a Design (CAD)

I made a design in Sketchup ( 3D sketchprogram).
I used the shape of a clover and made cutouts in each 'leaf'.
You can also make shapes with two, tree or 5 leaves!
Make sure that the cutouts are big enough to tangle the clovers.

You save the sketchup file as an .stl-file.
This is necessary to insert the design into the 3D-printer.
You will need special software to use a 3D-printer but I used everything in a FabLab.
The software transfers the design into different codes wich are necessary to print.
This implies thickness, heat, speed... of the desirable print.

Step 2: 3D Print Clovers

Now it's time to make the machine work!
Make sure the bed (platform) and the nozzle have the right temperature and position. (60°C bed - 220°C nozzle)
Insert the file, press the 'Print'-button and there you go!
It will be fascinating to watch! It can take a while though...

(Normally you can print 4 clovers at once.)

Step 3: Make Chain

I printed 50 clovers (40 clovers + 10 with tree leaves) to make a lampshade.
You can easily slide them together and make a chain out of it. 
They remain in the best position if you tangle them all in the same direction.

Step 4: Connect the Ends

I you finished the sheet of clovers, you can attacht the ends by putting them together.
Now you have a nice cylinder.
It is possible that the clovers move and don't stay in the exact position.You can push them apart until it fits!

Step 5: Luminaire

I got some help with the making of the luminaire.
I made a small structure which looks a bit like a spider.
We couldn't make it crosswise because the legs wouldn't fit in the lampshade.
We left enough space between the legs so they can exactly fit right between two clovers.
n the middle of the structure we made a small circle wich contains the lamp!

We made a second one with a small adjustment.
The legs run diagonally to the center so the lamp is closer near the table or floor and can shine trough more clovers!

We used a LED, 1W will be enough.
You might want to look for a warm white light, candleshaped or normal bulb, not a spot because it will only give light at 30°. 

Step 6: Hang It Up!

By making a small too with a curl (same material as the structure) you can hang the lamp from the ceiling.
You would also have to make a litlhe curl at the bottom of the structure of course...

Step 7: Nightlight!

You can also use the lampshade without a structure!
Just put a light on the table or floor and put the shade over it!
I bet you'll have a good night's sleep with your selfmade 3D lamp!



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    9 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Great design, like a puzzle?

    When the peices could be made out of plastic bottles, it would be a great example of recycling. One wold propably need a cutting tool, a mold? Do you know about that? I am thinking about this as a kind of development-aid in third worl countries where they may earn money from recycling this way.

    greetings from jan willem

    5 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    No, it is laughable that you consider it recycling to NEED a 3D printer, resources, be online with a computer using power, THEN call it recycling.

    Here's a hint - Recycling a lamp would be using one of the millions of lamps that already exist instead of them going into a landfill. Please don't confuse really being green with token gestures. There's a huge difference.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Although some will take a knee jerk reaction thinking my comment is negative, there is a purpose far more important than making a lamp, that choices like these are where our society is going wrong. We should not expend resources to reinvent the wheel!


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    you appear not to know the difference between recycling, reusing and upcycling of materials/products.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I suggested recycling, others suggest 3D printing. I suggested that one could use garbage plastic to cut the parts out of from which to create lamp shades. Are we more in phase (electrical term) now AcDc? Hope that. Calling 3D printing recycling would have been idiot indeed.

    my awkward english is because i am dutch, snorry, lets all have a good week.


    7 years ago on Step 2


    I would love to see it added to the 3D print group I have just started




    7 years ago on Introduction

    Nice project,

    I would love to see it added to the 3D print group I have just started