Step 1: CAD It.
1) I first drew the Overall shape of the lamp that I wanted to create. This was done in Autodesk Inventor 2012. To begin, start a new part which is labeled as an .Ipt file. Inventor automatically knows that you want to start with a sketch, You can then use a combination of the line tool, arch tool, circle tool or whatever you need to get the profile shape you want. When your happy with it, click finish sketch on the upper right hand side and then go the extrusion comm and under the model tab.
2) I then created a sketch on the surface of the first extrusion by right clicking on the face of the extrusion and choosing the new sketch. On the new sketch I chose the project geometry button in the center of the sketch tab, this gives me the profile of the extrusion I just created in my current sketch. from there I just close up the bottom of the box using the line tool and then finished my sketch and extruded that new section in both direction but a little further in one direction to offset the face of the extrusion I just made. If you need to alter your extrusion just right click on extrusion 2 on your design tree which is on the left of your screen and then choose edit FEATURE, it's towards the middle.
3)For the lamp head I simply started a new sketch off the same feature that I created my previous sketch and drew the shape that I wanted to Revolve. Only draw half the shape and then include a line to revolve that sketch around. When you are satisfied with your shape click finish sketch and then choose the revolve command from the model tab. In the dialogue box that comes down choose the profile of shape that you want to revolve then click the arrow next to where it say axis and choose the part of your sketch that you want the profile to revolve around. WARNING a part cannot revolve inside itself.
4. The whole in the box which conveniently holds my cell phone as well as my business cards was made by creating a new sketch on the small flat piece on the top of my base piece near where the arm comes out. I used the rectangle tool to create a shape that I wanted to cut into the box with. Click finish sketch and then choose extrude from the model tab. Select the sketch you just created and then in the middle of the extrude dialogue box pick the 2nd icon with will set the extrude to cut. You can pull on the orange arrow to the desired depth or type it in.
That was it on the modeling side, On to the fun stuff, 123D Make and laser cutting.
Step 2: From Inventor to 123D Make
1) After I finished my model, I went to the upper left hand corner where I choose the drop down menu on the Inventor Logo and hovered over Save As, if you hover it pops up a secondary menu where you should choose save a copy as. In that menu you will want to choose .stl for the file type and then click save.
2) You can download 123D make at http://123dapp.com or choose to upload your file to the site. From here 123D make is pretty self explanatory. I chose to import my file and then chose stacked as my creation option. From there its up to you on size and material thickness. The laser Cutters at TechShop are 18x24, so that is typically what I would pick for the sheet size.
Step 3: Laser Cut
You laser cut from any of your favorite design application including both 123D and Autodesk Inventor, the Epilog runs like a printer driver.
After you load your file and choose your epilog laser preferences for cardboard, (I used 60 for speed and 75 for power with a 500 frequency) and hit print. pick the big green satisfying go button and let the fun begin!
After pulling my sheet out I like to stack the pieces in order before gluing to make my gluing experience more pleasurable. I used Elmers white glue sparingly so it would seal faster.
Step 4: Insert LED Strip
After some fun gluing, I drilled a hold in the back of the head of the lamp and fed my LED strip through it taped it in a swirl pattern on the inside and then attached the strip to a plug and Walla! light.
Simple easy and even fits my cell phone in the pocket. Have fun and come join us at TechShop SF