Lately, my dad has been making beautiful carved wooden lamps. And every now and then, he asks me to cut some mirror acrylic on my laser cutter to place into his lamps.
Tonight was one such occasion, and since I was going to head to my parentsâ€™ place for dinner, I thought Iâ€™d take the opportunity of the laser machine being spun up to also make a lamp of my own and test it out with the LEDs that dad has been using to test his lamps. This is the result.
This is a real speed build. While Iâ€™ve been wanting to do something like this for ages, o hadnâ€™t ever managed to bring it to fruition because of the little decisions required. What size should it be? Should I cut tabs for a better piece alignment? What opacity of acrylic should I use? What should the silhouette design feature?
With a tight turnaround time imposed, I threw all those questions aside and went with a simple design. I realised I could also speed up the prototyping by using both the positive and negative shape of the silhouette for the adjacent faces, thus cutting down on wasted test material. The design was drafted on the bus trip home from work, and the light box was test-assembled using sticky tape. Itâ€™s very shoddy but proves the concept!
I was planning to use 2mm white acrylic for the leaf shapes, but it turned out I didnâ€™t have a large enough sheet. By chance, I had a bit of cardboard on hand AND I guessed the correct settings to cut it on my laser cutter. The cardboard does the job fine!
From here – I guess I should properly glue up the box and work out how the light will be positioned and how itâ€™d turn off and onâ€¦ but I suspect that those questions may be left hanging for a while.