Intro: Modular Hanging Lamp Shade
This is a hanging lamp made from identical modules. The finished size is just over a foot tall.
It is based on a regular icosahedron, that is made from 20 equilateral triangles.
I made these modules from white card stock. This could also be made from a thin translucent plastic .
The light I used was one I had, a 13 watt CFL equivalent to a 60 watt incandescent bulb.
You will need to use a compact florescent light because the incandescent lights put off to much heat
for this shade.
After I left the light on for a couple of hours the temperature measured inside the top
was about 110 degrees Fahrenheit. The room temp was about 70 degrees, so a 40 degree rise.
This shade weighs less than 3 oz. so I just hung it by the cord, no other support is needed.
The length of the cord is governed by your particular application.
An inline switch is a nice addition to the cord so you do not have to unplug it to turn it off.
The Lamp Module PDF file
20- sheets 8 1/2 by 11 white card stock
1- lamp socket and cord, an inline switch is optional
1- curly fry light (CFL or compact florescent lamp)
1- 3 inch plastic disc. Cut from a plastic bottle such as milk jug, or a plastic lid from a chip can.
A printer to print the modules
A craft knife and cutting mat, or if you are really good with them a pair of scissors.
1/4 inch single hole punch or other punch that will reach far enough.
Step 1: The Modules
Print and cut out 20 of the modules.
The cutting can take some time. It will probably take 2 to 3 hours.
The most important part of the cutting is the intersection of the arcs.
If you use scissors this is the easiest place to make a mistake and cut to far.
This is why I recommend the craft knife and cutting mat.
Start your cut at the intersection and cut away from it in both directions.
Step 2: Starting the Interlocking Procces
This is the way two modules are interlocked.
In the second picture I have interlocked two modules using one white and one colored for clarity.
The round tab goes through the opening to the back on both pieces.
The tab is larger than the opening so you will have to bend the card stock to get it through.
Make bends not creases. The bend will straiten out a crease will not.
I have found the easiest way is to put the V where the two large tabs meet into the opening first,
and then the rest of the tab. This is where you may tear one of the pieces so go slow.
After you do a couple it seems to get easier.
The third picture shows what the back side looks like.
Step 3: More Interlocking
This shows 3 modules interlocked. Again with one colored module to show clarity.
Remember the large tab always goes through to the back.
The other picture is what the back will look like.
Step 4: Five Modules Interlocked
This shows five modules interlocked.
There will always be five modules around each point on the shade.
The top tab on the right has to be lifted up over the top tab on the left to interlock these last two modules.
The whole thing makes a cone shape when completely interlocked.
The next picture shows the last two modules interlocked together.
The last picture shows the back side of the five module unit.
Step 5: Vent Holes
In ten of the modules I have punched a single 1/4 inch hole for ventilation.
You can see the position of the punch in the second picture I used for the holes
You can use a different punch as long as the reach is far enough to the position
of the hole shown. This is where there is no over lap of modules.
I put five of these modules together for the top as in the third picture.
The other five are put aside for the bottom.
Step 6: Almost Finnished
This is what you will have after attaching 10 more modules to the top five.
At this point it is kind of floppy but will stiffen up when the last five modules
with the vent holes are interlocked for the bottom.
Step 7: The Finnish
Tucking in the last tab. Take your time so you do not tear any thing.
Step 8: The Lamp Assembly
The plastic disc is actually translucent and does not show at all when this is lit.
I made a cut to the center and then cut a small hole for the lamp cord to go through.
The disc can then be slipped over the lamp cord as in the second picture.
This disc helps distribute the weight of the shade to keep from pulling the lamp socket out.
A word of advise, plug the lamp cord in to make sure the lamp socket switch is in the on position
before installing it in the shade.
You can either put the cord through the top from the inside after you get the top five modules interlocked or
put the lamp assembly through before you interlock the last piece on the bottom.
In this case the bottom is now the top.
As an alternative to the plastic disc a lid from a chip can would work.
Another idea would be to use a small fast food drink lid.
I do not know if this would work as I have not tried one.
Step 9: Final Step
Hang it up, plug it in, enjoy