Intro: Laser Cut Beehive Light
This light fixture was designed after a Beehive and provides wonderful mood lighting! With easy assembly.
Step 1: Step 1: Design
I am interested in creating organic-looking shapes and models out of inorganic materials. I started off with a design based off of a model of a beehive hair-do.
Step 2: Step 2: Modeling
I started off modeling in Meshmixer. I used a sphere for the base and used the 'inflate tool' at various strengths to start building up bubbles/'warts'/barnacles. I did not use the symmetry tool because i wanted my shape to be completely organic and unpredictable.
Step 3: Step 3: Materials
I decided to use corrugated plastic (polypropylene) because I really like the look that the light gives it when it shines through. I like the holes that the tubes in the material give off as well as its transparency.
This material comes in several different sizes. I bought a sheet that was 36x24. The laser I was using could only feet sheets of 12x16. So i really got two sheets out of the original piece. I got each 36x24 sheet for about 5 dollars.
I also bought a small 4 inch 40 watt tube light for about 4 dollars.
I got a very simple socket for a couple dollars.
Super Glue was the only thing needed for the assembly.
Step 4: Step 4: Finishing Model/ Setting Up for the Laser
Next, I imported the model created in Meshmixer into 123D Make. I created a preset for the material I was using by measuring all of my materials and saving it into the program.
Then, I chose how I wanted the pieces to be assembled. Stacked Slices looks the best for this fixture.
I then set the size of the material I was cutting from.
After choosing all of my settings, the program spit out a model. I then selected the Hollow tool to allow room for the bulb and the fixture.
The program then gave me model sheets that I could then put into the laser for cutting.
Step 5: Step 5: Laser Cutting!!
The images above are of a test of the light with corrugated cardboard rather than plastic. The settings for the cardboard were fairly easy to figure out but the plastic was another story.
Eventually we found the right settings for the laser to cut completely through the material-
Top Laser only
P 60 S 10 PPI 300
With two passes on each line
Step 6: Step 6: Assembly
Next I glued all of my cut pieces together, in no particular order (as long it created a cylinder) using super glue. I left a few pieces off the top to allow for the bulb and socket, leaving about a 1" hole.
The material used was perfect for the teeth on the socket. The socket and bulb slid into the piece perfectly with no additional materials. The edges of the plastic held the socket in alone.
This also allows the socket and bulb to be removed/separated from the fixture at any time.
Step 7: Step 7: FINISHED!
The finished piece can be hung from anywhere!!