Lamp shade - first large project

Cat destroyed our old lampshade so I decided to try making a wooden one. Designed on Fusion 360, cut on a Basic Glowforge using 3 full sheets of 1/8" Hard Maple Plywood Proofgrade material. No glue; all 30 parts clip together. It was tough getting everything aligned to clipped together because of the tension in the curved corners. If I had to make it again I would make the horizontal parts that connect to the lamp in the center a little thicker - they are a little flimsy. Would value any feedback or design suggestions.DSC_0047-640x480DSC_0053-640x480DSC_0052-640x480


Beautiful design! :grinning:


Very nice shape and love the use of the living hinge on the corners.


Really increadible design! Amazing use of the living hinge to go around the corners at an angle. I have been working on the idea but you have solved it.beautifly!

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Good thing you didn’t make it out of cardboard because then the cat would have a new bed LOL


Actually I did prototype the entire thing out of cardboard first - it is amazing that Amazon keeps delivering prototype material to my doorstep almost every day :wink:


Wow! What a great design, love the light pattern when lit.

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Really nice. Keep an eye on that cat.

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Lovely! Great design and great work!

This is amazing! Very clever internal supports.

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That’s stunning!
You should thank your cat, because you created one beautiful replacement!


The living hinge looks terrific in the corners! Fingers crossed your cat stays away from this one. :slight_smile:


Very cool! Nice work :slight_smile:

Woa - that’s crazy complicate design. Kudos!

Do you use a specific go to material or seller for prototype materials? I’m still really new to working with GF and building things. I’m worried with my luck I might pick the wrong materials and brick my machine, so I haven’t tried anything too ambitious yet.

You’re not likely to brick your machine if you stay in the “woods and acrylics” range. Anything that emits chlorides (PVC especially) can cause hydrochloric acid to form inside the machine and kill it. Anything that is particularly flammable (some types of plastics, some types and uses of paper/cardboard) can burn your machine (and house? and you?) up. Anything that is melty (HDPE, other plastics) can be a problematic mess. Anything highly laser reflective (copper, some other materials) can damage the optics and/or other aspects of the machine.

Other than that, bricking the machine is unlikely from what I’ve seen. The main issue with lots of “laser safe” materials is toxicity. With good ventilation, this isn’t much of an issue, but things like chrome tanned leather can emit nasty metals, etc. Fundamentally, almost everything you laser won’t be good for your lungs, from clean maple hardwood to EVA foam… sucking down byproducts of incomplete combustion is almost always bad in large quantities. Be careful out there.

My suggestion is to search around the forum for material sources, like “plywood source”, “hardwood source”, “leather source”, “acrylic source” etc. You’ll find a lot of information about what people have been up to.

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As mentioned in the original post, this particular project was made entirely from the 1/8" Hard Maple Plywood Proofgrade material which I highly recommend for the price. The walnut is even better in my mind.

That said, being a woodworker, I have tried cutting a lot of different woods in the machine. Softer woods are no problem. Harder ones like solid purple heart or walnut are difficult and need a lot of fine tuning on the laser strength and speed. Thicker plywoods from regular wood suppliers also require some special attention - a number of them will have voids in the inner layers and some will have different hardness in different places in the wood, so settings that cut in one place may not cut all the way round your design. I have done the cut, flip, cut approach too but aligning the flip cut has proven to be quite a challenge at times. I’ll admit that I have had a couple of pieces start to burn (cutting too slowly and re-cutting tends to be the biggest causes of this), so I have a practice of always watching the machine when I’m cutting something new that I don’t know much about. Even when I know what to expect, I watch via the webcam I set up over the machine.

Hope this helps. BTW the other reply to this also has great information.


Love this lamp shade! Any chance you are selling the design?