Copper Coil Voronoi Lamp (B22 Bayonet) (Fusion 360) (Meshmixer)

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This unique and lovely lamp attracts intrigue with a warm sense of contemporary Welsh design.

I will explore the secrets of this design with you and show you how to make your own!

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To build this yourself you will need:

1. To purchase materials.

2. CAD skills (Fusion 360) or any other 3D parametric program.

3. A 3D printer or access to printing services.

4. Be proficient in soldering.

5. Confident and proficient in wiring a device that will use mains electricity.

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Supplies:

4 Meters of three core / two core mains electrical braided cable (brown) preferably with ground / earth.

1 B22 or E27 light bulb socket.

1 B22 or E27 light bulb.

1 short length of heat shrink cable wrap.

1 copper plumbing pipe of 10 mm diameter and 2 meters in length.

1 lamp fit threaded tube also called "imperial lamp fitting thread"

1 3D printed voronoi basket base. (10 hour print)

1 3D printed cable clip.

1 3D printed handle.

1 can of metallic brown car spray paint

1 pot of copper enamel paint

1 single small tie wrap

1 electrical plug

Teacher Notes

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Step 1: Coil and Form the Copper Pipe

Straighten the pipe

Before you bend the copper pipe you should first straighten the copper pipe out, this will aid the next few steps.

Solder the pipe

Solder the threaded throat "imperial lamp fitting thread" onto one end of the pipe, this threaded throat is what you will screw your bulb holder onto but don't use a soldering iron for this, it is better to use a blow torch although you may use normal electrical solder. The secret to soldering like this is to use plumbing flux paste as your soldering flux. Fit the throat over the coper pipe, heat with the blow torch and gently melt in some solder then wait for it to cool down before filing or sanding away any excess solder.

Polish the pipe

It is easier to polish the pipe while it is straightened (but you might prefer patina) and it is easier to feed in the electrical cable while the pipe is straight.

Inserting the electrical cable

Once you have soldered the throat onto the copper pipe you will need to insert the cable all the way through the pipe making sure to leave al least six inches of cable hanging out of the threaded throat end for later.

Bending the pipe into a coil

There are many ways to bend this pipe and you are free to do it your
way but I made a jig that would help me coil the copper pipe into the diameter that suited me. If you would like to use this 3D printable jig I will leave a link here. Download it now!

The pipe coiler can be used by hand with or without its levers
depending on how you print it and what material you use. You only need its central (green) barrel if you have gorilla fingers like me. The copper pipe has cable running inside and this makes it less likely to kink while being bent but you will still need to be careful and slow, rolling it against a plank of wood works well.

Before you start to wind the coil make sure to start six inches away from the threaded throat as this needs to be bent inwards on itself later to form the handle and support for the lamp bulb.

The green jig forms a tight coil that you will need to unscrew periodically to be able to form more coils as you go. The tight coil needs to be pulled apart gently to fit your CAD part later.

Once your coil is complete, return back to your threaded throat and bend this over and into the centre of your main coil, a small pipe bender can be used.

Attach the lamp holder

The lamp holder will screw directly into the threaded throat that you
soldered onto the pipe earlier but first we need to trim the wires so they fit into the holder then strip and tin the ends to be able to screw them into the terminals on the lamp holder. Be careful not to leave enough cable length because no more cable can be pulled from the coil.

Step 2: Making 3D CAD Parts

You will need to create four parts that are 3D printable using a CAD program like (Fusion 360)

1. The bottom basket base.

2. The two haves of the handle grip

3. The cable tidy for the base.

I assume you are going to be fairly familiar with CAD so I won’t explain every basic step but will highlight the main procedure using CAD terminology.

Before we start making parts that fit, we always need something to refer back to the main design like a traditional set of technical drawings or raw measurement data from whatever you are working on.

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Extracting measurements

Uncompress your coil by pulling on it by hand so that it expands, the gaps between the copper pipe will be your pitch, you may need to further manipulate the coil by hand until it looks correct.

I recommend using a pen and paper to write down all the measurements you take from the coil.

These notes are something you should frequently refer back to as you work on the CAD model. I also recommend roughly drawing a diagram to help illustrate the locations of your data just in case you have to leave your build for a few days.

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Translating measurements into CAD

The basket base

At the very bottom there is a standing base it is comprised of one solid toroidal shape underneath a basket which is known as a voronoi style. These are essentially two parts overlapping. To make this base, start with the toroid bottom making its inner diameter slightly larger than a bulb then make its outer diameter slightly larger than the copper coil and extrude it about 25mm then put a radius on the outer top edge. On the face that has the radius cut a trench into the toroid so that the cut will run roughly down one half of the shape exiting out of the shape. (this is going to hold and conceal the electrical cable)

The voronoi basket

This part starts out as a solid part, it is a drawing or profile that is swept along a helical path. The profile is made to be slightly wider than the base but have the right pitch and shape to support the copper pipe. It is possible to re-adjust the copper pipe if the pitch is slightly out.

Converting solid model to a voronoi

The conversion of the solid model into a voronoi mesh can be done within a variety of different software programs including “Autodesk Meshmixer” and “Open-source Meshlab”

You will be left with two parts after the conversion, the bottom base and the voronoi mesh.

These two parts need to be unified into one file and there are several ways to do this. You could mesh mix them in Autodesk Meshmixer or you could create a union using a boolean union operation in any CAD program.

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Handle creation

Making the handle is a little different, instead of taking measurements it can be easier sometimes to take a photograph then scale and trace over it. It works well with something you can see has a 2D profile. Any CAD program has the ability to import image files for this technique.

What you should have now is a bare copper coil with a copper loop above the coil where the handle would be just above the lamp holder, take a photo of this part, import it into “Fusion 360” or whatever you use and draw a handle shape that you can see will fit over the pipe then extrude some sides and make a bolt hole for the opposite side, do the same for the counter part or use the part you just created as a base for the counterpart.

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Cable holder for the base

The cable holder restricts the cable preventing it from moving around inside the base and fraying while also being an aesthetic by continuing the design pattern around into a functional part. Its a simple part to make in any CAD program. It is basically a hole in a square.

Step 3: Finishing

I printed the plastic parts with quite a coarse layer height at 0.3mm and although this isn't smooth and is quite obviously 3d printed I chose this coarseness deliberately for this quality. Its an amalgamation of old rustic style with modern 3d printed voronoi and the layering reminded me of metal chain like you find on old suspension bridges. The plastic parts are all sprayed in metallic brown and I emphasised this metal chain effect by dry-brushing it with copper enamel paint.

When the paint is dry, attach the parts to the copper coil. Fit a heat shrink tube over the end of the copper pipe where the cable comes out and runs into the basket base. The base can be delicate, carefully screw the base onto the coil and tuck the cable into the channel inside and glue in the cable grip before secureing the copper pipe to the base using one single plastic tie wrap.

Step 4: Purchase Pre-made Parts for Your Own Build.

Out of convenience because not everyone has access to a 3D printer
you could purchase the 3D printed parts for this lamp rather than make them or purchase an actual lamp. Here is a link to my Etsy shop

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    7 Discussions

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    modellmakerPenolopy Bulnick

    Reply 21 days ago

    Thanks, that's really kind of you! I like your masks too they are a very creative way to use 3D printing.