One of the core promises of 3D printing has always been the idea that you can have virtually unchecked control over your environment, workspace, and home. The ability to customize our consumer goods, fashion accessories, and even our home decor is one of the more exciting aspects of the future of 3D printing. Despite being a $5 billion industry, in a lot of ways the 3D printing industry is still in its infancy; however, it can still be used to affect our surroundings in some rather clever ways.
Thingiverse user Phathousecat uploaded a very simple design that allows you to take a handful of 3D printed plastic parts and clips and turn them into a striking paper lamp. Using folded pieces of waste paper for both the frame and the decoration is a great way to both provide structure to the lamp and reduce paper waste as well as plastic waste. It also makes the lamp completely personalized and unique, and you can even change the design as your tastes evolve.
“I started to notice how much paper we waste at my art school from printing our projects. We use the printer for all sorts of things and inevitably there are mistakes: misprints, printer errors, tests etc. But the behavior that bothered me most is the attitude that we have towards the wasted paper: almost everyone throws their misprints in the rubbish. None of it is recycled. Almost all the paper is structurally intact and only has ink on it. I came to realize that all this paper tells a story and can have a certain beauty… and it just gets thrown away,” explained Phathousecat when he submitted his design to Reddit.
The modular lamp design contains only a few 3D printed parts. Most of the frame is actually made up of folded pieces of paper. Using paper to construct the bulk of the frame will allow light to pass through the lamp in a way that 3D printed plastic parts wouldn’t. It also allows you to recycle or repurpose paper that would typically be thrown away and wasted.
“I wanted to bring attention to this by giving the paper a different sort of second life. Instead of recycling it to get rid of it like a problem, I saw it as an opportunity. I wanted to reuse the paper in a way that shows its beauty, and I wanted to develop an object that could be shared and ‘recreated’ by others with their own paper,” he added.
The lamp is constructed from a handful of 3D printed parts and the paper frame, which can easily be made by folding the paper over several times. The plastic portion of the frame consists of identical top and bottom parts, a bridge that will attach to the lamp fixture, and some clips to hold the paper in place.
No tape, glue, or fasteners are required to create the lamp or hold it together; however, if you like your design you can always add a bit of glue to make it more permanent. The only part that you would need to buy would be an inexpensive hanging lamp fixture from your local home improvement store, although you could probably easily adapt this design to work as a lamp shade for your existing bulbs. Because the shade is made of paper, make sure that you don’t use it on a lamp that generates too much heat, you don’t want to start a fire.
The design also allows for a wide array of different lamp styles and designs that can be used with different quantities of paper. One of the designs shown here includes 24 individual pieces of paper, and Phathousecat also included a configuration that used only 16 pieces of paper.
And while the project was designed as a way to reuse waste paper, you could always print your own designs, and even use some delicate tissue paper for the outside of the lamp. There really is no limit to what you could do. Feel free to share your ideas for making your own lamp with us at the Paper and 3D Printable Lamp forum thread on 3DPB.com.