I recently had the task of shopping with my wife for lighting for our new home. Our home, which we have been building for some time, needed some finishing touches for its industrial design theme, and ultimately it was this lighting that was the key element that ended up bringing everything together. I must admit, it’s not easy trying to find just the right lamps, chandeliers and other lighting elements for a new home, but eventually we ended up accomplishing this task and so far we have been relatively happy with our choices.
When it comes to 3D printing, there has been a trending theme as of late, with designers from around the world beginning to use the technology to create some really incredible and unique lighting pieces. 3D printing allows for the fabrication of designs which would pretty much be impossible to create using other means of manufacturing. Thus it makes for the perfect complement to a designer looking to innovate amongst the rather stagnant lighting design space.
For one young product design student at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University School of Design, named Hannah Lee, 3D printing provided the perfect solution to creating a one-of-a-kind lamp, that is targeted toward children between the ages of 4-11. Best of all, it looks like a giant strawberry!
“The conception of my lampshade design was all but linear,” Lee tells 3DPrint.com. “Just as a lamp shade itself, I gravitated towards a no-waste light bulb package design that could convert to a simple lamp shade. On the other hand, I wanted to fully utilize the charisma of the 3D print process. Umbrellas and 3D printed blooming flora lampshades were…critical sources of inspiration during brainstorming because of their strong user-oriented and exceptional 3D printed outcomes. Then finally through the sheer work of timing and sentimental attachment, I discovered that the distinct fleshes of chopped fruits would make an eclectic collection of lampshades projecting different shadows lines of colors onto walls.”
Lee used Solidworks to design and model her 3D printable creation, before 3D printing all of the pieces on an FDM 3D printer, which she prefers to other 3D printing technology due to the fact that it is both low cost and very effective in “getting the job done.”
At the same time, Lee was working on a budget, so she needed to 3D print a scaled down model of her full size design. She did this using KISSlicer, and the scaled down version measures just 66mm in length (50% of the original size). It consists of 8 individual parts, and a circular hinge with a diameter of 42mm.
“The strawberry lamp shade has an umbrella-fold system with 8 section shades that can be easily maneuvered up and down, individually for different brightness levels,” Lee tells us. “It also simultaneously generates interesting light effects projected through inner fruit flesh as well as the outer cut-out details of a strawberry. So the key design components are the hollow-shelled layers.”
Her scaled down design cost $321 to create, and took a little less than 18 hours to print out. It makes for the perfect manual dimming chandelier or floor lamp, as each of the 8 sections can be opened or shut to let in a differing amount of light.
This is just one more shining example of how China and Hong Kong are really turning toward 3D printing, not only for medical uses but also within the field of education.
“In spite of the all the redundant world news trends, I must underline how Hong Kong’s neighbor country, China’s flourishing economy, has paved the way for innovative opportunities and global attention to the School of Design,” Lee explains. “On top of the extensive range of 3D printing technologies in Design & Engineering faculties, our students and professors thrive on China’s fast speed mass 3D printing solutions for design projects. I’m excited to see what’s more in store for the future of tech design bonanza. “
What do you think about Hannah Lee’s unique 3D printed strawberry shaped lamp? Discuss in the Fruity Lampshades forum thread on 3DPB.com.