At 3DPrint.com, we love lamps. And lampshades, and lighting, and we’re not afraid to admit it. We especially love them if they’re 3D printed, so the work of architect and designer David Münscher is right up our alley. Münscher recently designed and 3D printed the lovely ION lampshade, along with its smaller counterpart, the ION-S, both of which were modeled after a classic lampion shape (hence the “-ion” name). A lampion, traditionally, was a small oil lamp; the shape can also be found in paper Chinese lanterns.
Paper, in fact, was one of Münscher’s key inspirations.
“I wanted to create a timeless lampshade, that would be minimal enough to fit into a variety of interiors and at the same time have enough character to make it iconic. From an early stage I had 3d printing as the production method in mind, since it would grant me the most liberty for producing and distributing an item like this,” he tells 3DPrint.com. “However the actual design and form finding started out with some folds in paper. By creating curved folds the paper starts to round itself along the crease creating very aesthetic shapes, which are at the same time very rigid. This rigidity of the form turned out to be perfect for 3d printing, since it let me create a relatively big volume, while reducing the overall thickness of the shade to a minimum. The resulting 3d print then feels really paper thin and lightweight. This ‘weightlessness’ in combination with the layer structure of the production process create a bizarrely natural feel for the finished product, although a lot of digital work went into it.
All process and design work aside, what counts in the end is the object standing for itself of course. And in that regard I believe I succeeded in keeping the original idea intact and unbiased in the finished lampshade.”
We certainly think he succeeded. The ION and ION-S lampshades have a very classic, delicate look that could easily be mistaken for paper. Both lampshades are made to cover pendant lights, and can stand (or hang, rather) on their own or be combined with others to create a room full of softly glowing orbs. The lamps have a magical look to them, resembling white or glowing pumpkins, or, depending on how you look at them, sea creatures.
The ION and ION-S can also both be adapted with the use of a lamp stand to serve as table or floor lamps. According to Münscher, the 3D printing lines show through when the lamp is lit, giving the shade the appearance of fabric. The ION lampshade measures 285 x 200 mm and weighs 140 grams. It can be purchased from Münscher’s Shapeways shop for $235. The ION-S measures 200 x 155 mm and weighs 70 grams. It’s available from Shapeways for $149. Both lampshades are 3D printed in white strong and flexible polyamide.
Again, we have a strong appreciation for works of art in lighting form – there’s just something about the use of light to enhance the beauty of a shape, and 3D printing allows for more creative shapes than other fabrication forms do. While these might be the first lampshades that Münscher has 3D printed, we hope they won’t be the last. Discuss in the 3D Printed Lampshades forum at 3DPB.com.
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