Intro: Levitating Rebel Lamp
I love magnets and the powerful things they can do. This is not a long instructable or a complex build. In fact, it is not a build at all, but simply a minor modification of a commercial product in a rather overly complex way to make a conversation piece even more noticeable. Basically, I took a commercial levitating lamp which I found on-sale (otherwise could not afford it), used my laser cutter to cut out a Star Wars Rebel symbol out of some chrome adhesive material and updated the lamp.
Step 1: First Get the Lamp
This is a levitating lamp which uses electromagnets to suspend a small disc about an inch and a half above a lighted platform. Very cool. On ebay it runs for about $100. I found it on sale on Amazon, but it only came in black. Not that I'm complaining, but some of the other options are usually designs which cause a neat effect when the disk and lampshade are put into a spin. So, I purchased the black one and did my own adjustments.
Step 2: Next Get the Film
I used a Chrome Mirror Silver Vinyl Wrap Sticker Decal Film Sheet from Amazon which costs about $13.
Step 3: Next Get the Symbol
OK, I admit that probably 90% of my personal "killing time" projects try to incorporate something of Star Wars in them. Either that, or something of dragons (for my wife) or princesses for my daughter. My son likes Star Wars too so that makes his projects easy. So, I needed a good symbol to start with. After much deliberation, I picked the symbol of the Rebel Alliance. I also decided to use a secondary symbol of the Empire which will come up later.
Step 4: OK, Here Is Where I Over Complicated Things
Simplier is typically better. However, I purchased a 40W laser cutter and love using it as often as I can.So, I plugged the Rebel/Imperial clipart into the cutter and put down a section of the vinyl to cut them out. However, to use the image (which is a JPG) I had to first convert it to an SVG file. For simple images such as this the conversion is not difficult. I went to an online conversion site found here. I converted the jpg to svg which allowed the laser to cut out the images. I had to adjust the laser's intensity and cut from the back of the vinyl in order to make it turn out perfect. But in the end, it worked pretty well.
Step 5: Placement
The trick to putting the sticker on the lamp shade is to pick a spot that is noticeable, but which will not look odd as it rotates. Also, I needed to pick a spot so that the Rebel and Imperial images are on direct opposite sides of the lampshade.
Step 6: Lights
The lights are only the part of this thing. It is a lamp after all. But it designed more to levitate the disc than to light a room. It's still really cool. I've placed the lamp in my office and it definitely is an attention getter. I'll post a video later so you can see it rotating.