This Parabolic String lamp is made out of laser cut wood, yarn, and a pendant light kit.
I was thumbing through some vintage interior design magazines and found all these kind of cool examples of Parabolic String Art.
I examined it closely and figured out how the illusions of curves appeared in the string art. I was curious if the same principle could be applied to a curved dimensional object. I tinkered with a few different designs, and materials - the lamp featured in this Instructable was actually the fifth iteration in my design process.
EDIT: I started selling these lamps in acrcylic as kits you can assemble! Support more great projects from makers like me by supporting projects you love and learning something new!
Step 1: Laser Cutting
I designed the lamp, and it's feet in Illustrator. It was a little tricky to figure out a design for the notches along the wheel, I tried teeth vs. holes vs. notches vs. kerf cuts.
It turns out I needed a notched hole for the best way to catch the string. I used a laser cutter to make my cuts into 1/4" plywood, but I think I could achieve the same effect with a band saw and a drill press. (And a lot more time, this cut took 5 minutes on the laser)
I have attached my files to this step -let me know if you need a different file format.
Step 2: Assemble the Lamp.
I used this Pendant Lamp Kit from Ikea. It turns out these aren't sold in California any more, but we had one lying around.
I designed the hole large enough to fit the socket, but small enough to grab the plywood with the coupler in the lamp kit.
Step 3: Fins and Bulb
I added all of the fins to the lamp, one at a time, making sure to connect it all the way into the notches.
After they were all installed, I screwed in the light bulb. Pretty easy step.
Step 4: The String
By far the longest part of the process, was weaving the skein of yarn into the lamp.
I was able to start the weaving with just a single knot that wouldn't slip through the notch in the fin.
I used cheap red craft yarn and wove it up and down each fin, slowly working my way around, over and over and over and over again.
I was able to end with a single knot in the notch, and cutting the extra off. I pretty much used the whole skein for this design.
Did I iterate that this took a long time? It did.
Step 5: Give It Legs
If you want, you can give it legs, they just attach with a tight tolerance in the notch.
Step 6: It Hangs!
I like it better as a hanging lamp. I think it looks more beautiful suspended from the ceiling - it allows the design to sing a bit more.
I will award a 3 Month Pro membership to the first five people that make this project, let me know using the "I MADE IT" button.