HDPE or Acetal Polygon Lamp Shades.

Posted: March 19, 2008 in Acetal, Cool Projects, HDPE

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One simple cut-out shape lets you build all sorts of different designer-looking lampshades! You can make dozens different geometric forms using various numbers of the cut-out shape made from paper or plastic. All the standard mathematical polyhedrons and such are possible. The pieces just fold together by hand into rigid forms, and you can take them apart and build into new shapes any time.  As seen in ReadyMade Magazine, Dec. 2007/Jan 2008 issue and at the Vancouver Home & Garden Trade Show.

Step 1: What you need
You will need sheets of paper or plastic that allow light to get through. The stiffness of your material determines how large your pieces can be – stiffer material for larger pieces and larger lamps, thinner material for smaller pieces and smaller lamps.

You will need a lamp fixture – just a raw socket on a cord. Use a compact fluorescent bulb so you can get more light without melting the plastic.

– HDPE: works well, looks good. Use 0.8mm thick stock for 8cm pieces (measured flat-side to flat-side). That’s about the smallest you’d want to go with that thickness, you could go up to 12 or 15cm with that thickness.

– Acetal (delrin): this seems to be the best choice for looks; it has the purest white color and best light. Use 0.35mm stock for 6cm and 8cm pieces, and 0.5mm stock for 8-12cm pieces, and 0.65mm stock for 12-15cm pieces. It still is a little brittle and harder to work with than HDPE. If you cut this with scissors it will be somewhat tricky due to the brittleness, but possible.

HDPE & ACETAL can be purchased at: www.redwoodplastics.com or www.bcplastics.com

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Step 2
Cut out your pieces

You can cut your pieces in a couple ways:

– trace them out with a marker, then use scissors or a knife. This is slow but can be done easily by anyone.

– make a “cookie cutter” out of sheet metal in the shape of the part. Then heat the cutter with a torch and use it to stamp out the parts.

– use a laser cutter

Step 3 Assemble

Try fitting the parts together! They go together in many different ways. You can make a variety of corners with 3, 4 or 5 adjoining pieces.

Here are a couple of ways to start putting them together. Corners can also be ‘left handed’ and ‘right handed’ – mirror images of each other.
assemble.jpg    assemble-2.jpg

You can make forms with anything from 8 to 100 or more pieces each. The only drawback seems to be that there is no way to make concave corners, only convex corners are possible.

You can see another example below, and you can see more at this site: http://www.iqlight.com
Instructions from: http://www.instructables.com/id/ECXOC9KARDET2JYIBF/

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