How to Make [almost] Anything

Nathan Melenbrink

Press-Fit Lamp Shade

This design for a press-fit construction kit for a lamp shade uses 1/16" chipboard, with all pieces fit into a single 18" x 32" cut sheet with minimal material waste. The panelization varies around the surface such that it allows for a number of different lighting conditions. As each piece is unique, it requires a numbering system to identify each piece within the assembly.

  • Materials: 1/16" Chipboard
  • Tools: Epilog 100W Laser cutter
  • Software: Rhino, Grasshopper
  • Year: 2014

Project 01a
The numbering system seems to follow no pattern whatsoever, but at least remains consistent between the 3D model and the 2D cutsheet.
Project 01b
The lamp shade can be rotated along its axis, or flipped upside down for varying lighting conditions.
Project 01c
The overall form of the lamp shade as well as paneling and intersections were generated using Grasshopper for Rhino
Project 01c
The scale and density of the paneling was adjusted so as to occupy an entire 18x32" cut sheet.
Project 01c
Because of the radial nature of the intersections, it was necessary to cut wedge-shaped notches in all of the horizontal panels. Otherwise they would not be able to slide between two verticals.
Project 01c
A total of 180 pieces were laser cut and organized for assembly.
Project 01c
The intention was to assemble the entire 360 degree form row by row. However, it turned out to be easier to assemble two halves.
Project 01c
Assembly of the first half (I found the missing piece later)
Project 01c
Completed assembly, after stitching both halves together with the remaining pieces. Fabrication and assembly time, including laser cutting, sorting and assembly, was about 3 hours.
Project 01c