I’ve been loving the outcomes of my latest cardboard crafts obsession and wanted to share some of them with you. I wanted to take this simple, low cost, and abundant material that we all have at home and transform it into beautiful lamps and sculptures. I’ve also gotten a lot of questions from family, friends, and other Glowforge owners about how the lamps are made.
I started creating YouTube videos showing my process of designing, 3D modeling, laser cutting, and assembling these projects. I hope these videos can help some of you with your crafts and inspire you to explore new materials !
Good question. The base of the lamp, which doesn’t get as hot as the bulb itself, is held in place at the smaller opening where the cord comes out. The light bulb is LED and sits away from the cardboard by about 1.5 to 2 inches. I haven’t experienced issues with heat from the light bulb on the cardboard.
With that said, there’s likely risks involved with projects like this, so its definitely worth pointing out to anyone thinking of making a lamp shade out of a paper material.
It’s a standard 60 watt LED bulb. I was just thinking it would be easier to show what I was describing instead of trying to write it out. Here are some photos. The idea was to keep the bulb away from making direct contact with the cardboard like a standard paper based floor and table lamp is typically made.
My opinion is that these are very, very appealing. I love the texture of the cardboard and the interplay that results with the light. The spherical lamp is my favorite because of its simplicity. It reminds me of the Phillips Hue Go lamps.
I get mine in bulk from Amazon, but I’ll probably switch over to a local recycling facility in the future. The ones from amazon come with a slight curve at the center, so the material never lays flat. However, it cuts well with the crumb tray pins to hold the material down on the cutting bed
Here’s an interesting note - if you pin the material down on Glowforge’s crumb tray and get it to be as flat as possible (it’ll still bevel up at the center of the sheet) and you run your cuts, the resulting pieces come out pretty flat. I have a feeling it’s just the composition of the material that causes it to buckle.
I haven’t noticed any issues with the dimensions of my pieces nor issues with cutting all the way through. The piece actually “flattens out” when it’s cut and it falls flat on the laser bed. You can see it in the Spherical Lamp YouTube video at around 7:44.
I’d love to see the big project you have in mind. Hope you give it a shot!
That’s a great thought - I tried putting flat pieces of plywood with heavy weights on top of the cardboard for a little over 2 weeks and the pieces still returned to the original warped shape. It hasn’t been an issue for laser cutting and assembling products, so I don’t worry about it anymore