Create a lamp with translucent HDPE

Hello, we created a little lamp in order to explore the properties of translucent HDPE. By carefully sorting shredded samples of transparent and coloured bottle cups you can achieve the "liquid like" effect you can appreciate in the picture. It's all about the colours you choose, you can come up with many different tasty plastic juices.




3D Files

Step 1 - Sorting and Shredding

Grab some HDPE bottle cups from your local collection point. In order to create the liquid-light effect you see on the lamp you will need transparent cups and coloured cups. Choose according to your preferences. Sprinkling a little bit of shredded coloured plastic into your mixture will already dye and obscure the final result. Be patient and sort peacefully, enjoy the therapeutic exercise of shredding plastic.

Step 2 - Injection moulding

As you can appreciate in the first picture, the light bulb is standing in between two discs. So, now its time to create the discs by injection moulding. Notice that we have used a mould with a thin wall thickness, 3 millimeters. On the other hand, check out the melting temperatures for HDPE at the Academy. Try different colour combinations. Less than 30 grams are needed per disc, so adding 3 or 4 grams of colour will already "obscure" your plastic juice.

Step 3 - Laser cut

The clamp that holds both discs is made out from wood. We were able to use a laser cut machine at a public makerspace in our city to create a set of wooden pieces. The wood used for this design is 1 cm thick and you can find the CAD drawing at the download package. The clamp has been designed to hold a specific lamp holder and bulb. Feel free to adjust the drawing for the lamp holder you can find at your local electricity supplies storehouse. Later on, the wooden pieces were spray painted.

On the other hand, notice that a little square shaped indentation needs to be cut from the disc so that it pins and assembles to the wooden part. This way you can exchange different discs without glueing them to the wooden part. The aim is to create different lighting effects.

Step 4 - Assembling the light and finding a place for it.

Assembling the lamp should not take you much time, theoretically everything should fit tightly. If your final result is too shaky, consider using some glue to reinforce your structure.

Now you can place it at your bedsite table or on your working desk, even hanging it is an option. Let us know if you decide to make one, we'd love to see your results.

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