How to Make a Pine Cone Chandelier

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About: I'm a Product Design student at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad.

This instructable is on building your own pine cone chandelier. This was a very short project. I have taken some references of existing chandeliers to design this. The initial idea for the chandelier was different which eventually took shape of a pine cone.

The whole chandelier is made using 3mm MDF sheet which were lasercut.

I have shared everything so that you can make your own chandelier.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

List of Materials:

  • 3mm MDF
    • Option 1: 1 sheet, 8feet x 4feet (will need to cut into 2feet x 3feet pieces. You will get 5 pieces plus a small piece which you can use in some other project)
    • Option 2: 4 sheets, 2feet x 3feet
  • 17W Off-white LED bulb
  • Bulb Holder
  • Plug
  • 2 core electric wire (white)
  • Clutch Wires
  • Flex Kwik Adhesive
  • Grey Gateway paper
  • 2 clutch wires
  • 4 Washers
  • 2 cable stoppers

List of Tools:

  • Lasercut Machine (I used a machine with a 2feet x 3feet work area)
  • Power Drill
  • 2mm drill bit
  • Plier
  • 120 grade sand paper

IMPORTANT: measure the thickness of your MDF. This is really important to take note because the design has locking parts and we need to accommodate for a thicker material. The slots which I've made are according to 3mm thickness. You can modify the CAD Files according to your material thickness.

Step 2: Design and CAD Model

I used Rhino to make a 1:1 scale 3D model of the chandelier. Then I extracted the 2D drawings and converted into a dxf format for lasercutting.

Once I had the 2D line drawings of the structure and the petals, I arranged them on 2' x 3' sheets in way that there is minimum wastage.

Download the .dwg file to start lasercutting.

You can make changes to the file and playaround with the design.

Chandelier pieces.dxf

Chandelier.3dm

Step 3: Laser-cutting

Before laser cutting just make sure our MDF pieces are of the same size as the laser cutters' working area; i.e. 2'x3'.

I had a 8'x4' sheet so I had to cut the sheet into smaller pieces.

Once you have the pieces ready just place them on the laser cutting machine and make sure the edges match the guide. Set the power of the machine such that it doesn't burn the other side of the sheet.

That's it!! Now stand back and let the laser cutter do the magic.

Collect all the pieces once its done a segregate them according to their sizes. There should be 12 pieces of each size.

Keep feeding the other sheets till the job is done.

Step 4: Sub-assembly

Caution: Do these step before assembling the chandelier or else it will be a bit challenging to do it later!

  • Stick the two pieces of the top disks and the bottom disk to each other using flex kwik.
  • Now mark 2 holes on the top disk on a line passing through the center of the disk. Drill them using the 2mm drill bit.
  • Pass two washers in the clutch wires and the pass them through the holes of the top disk. The washers will spread the weight on the disk.
  • Peel the 2 core wire and pass it through the central hole and connect the bulb holder.

Step 5: Final Assembly

This is the fun part. Now start assembling your jigsaw puzzle to make the whole chandelier. Sand the edges of each piece using a sand paper to smooth it out.

Stick the pieces to the spines.

Install the bulb and use the clutch wires to hang the chandelier.

Important: There are two types of spines which have a subtle difference. Arrange them in an alternating fashion or else the pattern will be disturbed.

Step 6: You Are Done!!

That's it!! Your Pine cone Chandelier is Ready!!

Any questions, suggestions and critiques and welcome.

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    25 Discussions

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    Maker Design Lab

    7 days ago

    This is a great design! I think I might try to make it from cardstock.

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    m.mcclosky

    11 days ago

    Dude! This looks so cool! I don't have the skills, space, or resources, or I would totally try it.
    Amazing job.

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    schuylergrace

    12 days ago

    That's a beautiful piece! Do you know what its finished dimensions are (diameter and height)? It looks pretty large in the photos, but the components look tiny nested on your material for cutting.

    2 replies
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    Yash Chawareschuylergrace

    Reply 12 days ago

    Thanks @schuylergrace.
    The whole structure is 1.5 feet tall and 1.5 feet in diameter.

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    LeslieGeee

    12 days ago on Step 6

    Yash, this is simply elegant and beautiful. The design aspect is exceptional in that you made it appear light and ethereal. I was thinking this would look lovely in an entranceway with a higher ceiling. I was also wondering if you tried balsa wood as your material. I would like to try your design but I have no access to a laser cutter nor do I have the ability for opening your CAD specifications. Is it possible that you have the pattern and dimensions of the pieces in a PDF file that you can share? Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful design.

    2 replies
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    hellokittygirl

    Question 12 days ago on Step 6

    What a great project...very Poul Henningsen; been musing on how to end up with an artichoke pendant for quite some time now

    Please tell me how much this weighs. For health and safety reasons, I just finished working hard to eliminate MDF from my entire house; so, I'm curious if you rejected mediums other than MDF?, and what features of MDF are critical to your design?; e.g. friction for the petal pieces to grip to the spines and stay gripped in; as the moisture level and the parts yaw.....

    1 answer
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    Yash Chawarehellokittygirl

    Answer 12 days ago

    You can use any other material as long as it is 3mm thick.

    I used MDF coz it is fast to experiment with and it has good amount of strength. I used adhesive to stick the petals to the spines coz they might get loose and fall off. MDF doesn't go bad unless it's in contact with water.

    The entire structure weighs around 2-3kg.

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    OskarC5

    Question 12 days ago

    This looks great! I am def gonna give it a try.
    It reminds me a lot of the danish designed lamp by Poul Henningsen: PH Artichoke. There is a slight price difference though :D

    Btw, is it possible for you to make the files compatible with Adobe Illustrator? That's what I using for my school's laser cutter... :-)

    Thanks!

    1 answer
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    Yash ChawareOskarC5

    Answer 12 days ago

    Yes I can make it compatible but I'll need some time.

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    Ohtaror

    12 days ago

    Made it! Or at least a very similar one. I downloaded the design from Thingiverse (thing:2089166).

    Depending on the bulb we get a very sharp shadow pattern on the walls, or not at all. In the photo is a 50W halogen lamp. Now we use a (5W) led bulb with milk glass so the pattern isn't as strong.

    Yours is definitely very nice as well and seemingly a bit bigger.

    IMG-20170925-WA0001.jpg
    1 reply
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    Yash ChawareOhtaror

    Reply 12 days ago

    I have used a 15W soft-white LED light. The light in mine is a bit diffused. I'll try using a halogen light. Maybe I'll get some great shadows.

    Thanks for the suggestion

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    gstarr

    12 days ago

    This is absolutely spectacular! I am so inspired to try this. Thank you!

    1 reply
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    Natalina

    12 days ago

    This is a beautiful design! Thanks for sharing the plans.

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    tonyio

    12 days ago

    Lovely design! I'm envisioning this in frosted acrylic and color LEDs.