Lamp Design Project: Day 12

Day 12:

We assemble the prototype. It gives us a good idea with what we have modled and where we need to make improvements.

Pulling the parts out of the laser cutter.

A modified halftone pattern laser cut into wood veneer to make the lamp shade, it should catch the light just right.

Side View. Seeing what the general proportions of this thing look like. We used green acrylic to prototype with because we had the scrap. The final will be all white maybe.

With the help of some springs and cord, this this stands buy itself, light stays put where you leave it.

Even fully extended, need to work out the base for this thing.

Thats it for today


Lamp Design Project: Day 11

Day 11:

Much of our recent discussion and sketching has begun to focus on the E27 based lamps. In an effort to create a seamless DIY process that we should stick to a standard. It allows for a range of bulb choices (incandescent, CFL, LED) , relatively simple wiring, and a wide selection of available componentry that will allow for modification and exploration.

We have spent time talking about what is need to construct a lamp and why some of the most practical and iconic lamps look the way they do. In able to create a predictable and adaptable lighting environment, the light source must be properly supported and controlled. The 4 bar mechanisms facilitates movement in the Z-axis while a swivel base allows rotation in the XY plane. The arm reaches out from the elbow holding the head; when the system is tensioned with the proper spring rates the lamp will firmly hold the bulb in place, until repositioned by the user.

Some refinement sketches done with some Prismacolor pencils. They are scanned and brought into SketchbookPro.

We start with a side view. The 4 bar linkage becomes implied with 1 rigid wooden member parallel to 1 spring, linked to 2 circular acrylic brackets through wooden dowels. The lamp cord call-out is in reference to a sample we have found in our research

Alternative side view. Beginning to see what the lighting scenarios might look like. Cool blue LED bulb?

A perspective view. What will this thing look like on a table? We are envisioning a spiral of wood veneer as a lamp shade

As well as doing some sketching, we also made a trip to PS1, and fired up the laser cutter!

We are going to make a prototype of the lamp in the rendering. Fed and I have worked through some more rough CAD in Rhino and are starting to experiment with scrap acrylic material. We need to figure out the tolerances of this machine and how they effect the fitment of our parts. If we do it right, everything will snap, bolt, and screw together nicely. Ease of assembly!

From Rhino we export vector line work of our parts to be cut and arrange them in Illustrator. We make a canvas as big as our piece of material and then its a bit like Tetris getting them all on.

Once arranged we send the file over to the laser and hit Go! Check back again to see how we made out once the acrylic fumes settled.


Lamp Design Project: Day 10

Day 10:

At this point in the concepting phase we have two main contenders for the final lamp design. The first is based around the Dioder LED strips and the second is based around a conventional E27 light socket.

For the LED stick design, Fed whipped up some basic geometries in Rhino, an easy to use NURBS based modeling package.
Then brought the models into Keyshot for some rendering. In this way, we can quickly realize a design, down to the details of wood grain or material finish, in a matter of minutes. Seeing these renderings communicates a design intent that would take much longer than if done by hand; marker rendering or prototype.

How about a red acrylic base and black walnut frame? Looks pretty sweet! nice and clean.


At the same time we further refined the E27 socket concepts
The design is highly influenced by the traditional LEKO lamp. We look to bring a modern approach to a classic design. A flexible membrane wraps around the bulb creating a shade.

Exploring the details of the lamp head and other necessary components. Can't forget about
routing the lamp cord, we should celebrate it!

Playing around with proportions and geometries. These sketches look solid but I think we need to prototype this guy in order to fully understand the mechanisms going on here. We are basically creating a sprung four-bar mechanism, this is where remembering what I was taught in Statics and Dynamics class could really come in handy. Oh well there's always trial and error. We shall see how it works out tomorrow.

I leave you with an unrelated, but quintessential, designer's sketchbook page, often scribed out of boredom on a lazy Sunday afternoon: the concept car spread!


Lamp Design Project: Day 9

Day 9:

As we continue the concepting phase of their project, Fed and I have spent a lot of time talking and sketching. Surrounding our selves with our distilled research and reference documents, as well as physical samples of lamp parts and available lighting materials, we are able to quickly generate and critiq ideas between ourselves. Laying out previous sketches and ideas, allows us to see areas we have explored and areas for development. Having the physical lamp component samples allows us to readily mockup realistic size and geometries that we could expect for our lamp.

This was our only purchase from the IKEA trip we made last week. It is an LED based lighting system intended for under counter installation called Dioder.

Fed and I were attracted to the kit because of the slender, modular LED PCB boards, each with 9 diodes, the individual lighsources for the kit. With slight modifications, these could make for a really clean, slender lamp.

And bright!

These next three pages explore possibilities for using the Dioder LED sticks:

Dioder 1/3 - Single stick on a frame, exposed jointery, very straightforward pivoting arm with handle and LEDs on opposite ends.

Dioder 2/3 Other simple ways to hold a single Dioder stick, maybe more!?

Dioder 3/3: The form of the LED stick lends itself to allot of different "embedding" scenarios, think the Sword in the Stone. The act of inserting the stick becomes a physical switch, a new type of lighting experience

Some of the sketches posted on Day 8: will also work with the Dioder sticks, the idea of little modular LED components has allot of appeal.

Fed just started playing with some paper, inspired by a previous "flexible membrane" sketch, toying with different possible lamp shade shapes.

Add a bulb, some cardboard, a stick and voila... a lamp!

Until you knock it off the ping pong table! Score: Floor 1, CFL 0. Remember to handle with care, there's Mercury in there! You can see the light diffusing film we got at Inventables behind the net there too.

After we broke the bulb, Fed and I discussed the direction we wanted to take with this lamp. We looked back to the previously defined requirements; we want a simple lamp, easy to assemble and aesthetically pleasing, a DIY kit-form, product. At this point we have done some exploring in this realm but we need to start moving with a more defined direction. Check back soon to see the steps we take.


Lamp Design Project: Day 8

Day 8:

Fed and Dan are back in 2012! with another lamp design update. We have been ideating and resource collecting for a while now and are starting to lay down some more directed thoughts. At this point we started to develop individual concepts, wether driven by a desired function or form language, ideas are put to paper. Each of these concept pages is a miniature story for a given lamp captured in the moment, through a sketch.

This concept is examining the possibility of a expandable head. The three arms of the lamp head would articulate much in the way that a tripod's legs would. This would allow for the light to be focused or dispersed based on the users needs.

This concept takes a playful approach to the presentation of light, the unzipping of a skin reveals the lamp and ramps up the light.

This study examines possible construction methods, plates of steel or aluminum hold together wooden arms, reflecting back to our "embrace the nature" theme board. Also a few Ideas around LED strips, sticks, and arrays. Very fun and modular feel. May run into wiring issues?

More around LED strips, a flip out, swiss army array. Fold Flat design, reminds me of the old flip out carpenters rulers.

A collection of more loose ideas around the traditional bookkeeper's lamp, with green glass lens and brass hardware. Maybe this could be given a modern approach.

This messy page was done quickly with a sharpie, it shows thoughts around a flexible membrane used as a lamp shade, passed through a weighted base, the slot profile dictating shape.

How can we use simple construction techniques? Geometric shapes that are easy to manufacture, employ simple jointery methods, and provide clean lines are examined here.

We will continue to explore more specific concepts and begin prototyping soon.

Fed and I also recently paid a visit to our friends over at Inventables to check out some possible materials to start prototyping with.

A huge selection of acrylics, we may find our selves looking here to execute some laser cutting ideas we have.

More selections of LEDs, switches and other electrical componentry. The materials on the rolls to the right are very interesting.

We ended up getting a piece of a the light diffusing film to play with.It could add just the right soft touch and organic element to a light shade.

Thats it for today, more concepting, sketching, and prototyping tomorrow.


Hex Goods - A site for designers to sell unique products

At Inventables we believe the world is at the beginning of a new renaissance. We see power in product development shifting from major corporations to individual designers and entrepreneurs. The availability of low cost manufacturing tools and low cost distribution on internet sites are leveling the playing field. Small teams can now make unique high value products that major corporations can’t justify because they aren’t for the masses. At Inventables we understand it is harder for these smaller teams to source materials in smaller sizes and quantities for their new micro-production runs.  We get very excited when we see new companies popping up in this ecosystem and today we found one that we'd like to share.

Zach Supalla, the founder of Hex Goods, an online boutique that features unique products from independent designers.  They seek out the best designers they can find, online and in person, and give them an avenue to feature and sell their products.
Zach Supalla
Inventables: How did Hex Goods Start?

ZS: The idea I started with was different, I was building a brand for high quality goods.  Trader Joes has this ability to have really high quality goods, it's not a brand name per se, but they created high quality generic brands.  I thought there might be an opportunity to do this with hard goods.  The big brands are making marginal decisions to lower the quality but I thought there would be room for someone to take a high quality high value stance.  We're going to build this brand of trust.

Inventables: What made you think about that?

ZS: I started thinking about where does quality come from?  This made me think about all the great hand made stuff that is out there.  The ability to make a great product and market a great product are different skills.  I realized that true craftsmen focus all their energy on making a great product not selling it.

Inventables: Why the name Hex Goods?

ZS: I like having a simple brand with a simple geometric shape so we're sticking with the hexagon.

Inventables: Where will you take it from here?

ZS: In the short run I see it growing in terms of the breadth of the categories we have available.  It's a pretty limited assortment and I focus on uniqueness. The products on the site are pretty different from anything you find in a mass retailer.  In the long run we'll do special collections like Valentines Day collections and such.  In the long term we plan to work with designers on our site to explore larger scale opportunities for their products.

Heritage iPad/Kindle Fire Case made of felt

Inventables: How does it work if I'm a designer and I want to sell my product on Hex Goods?

ZS: Send an email to hello@hexgoods.com and tell us about yourself and your product.  If we like your product and we think it is something special we'll work out what are the terms of buying the product and we'll get information from you and we'll put you online.

Inventables: Do you take inventory?

ZS: If it's something that takes a couple of weeks they would need to be made in advance, if it's something that can be made in advance then on the fly would work.  Moving forward we are taking goods on consignment or drop shipping depending on what works best for the designer.

Inventables: What kind of products are you looking for?

ZS: We're looking for unique products.  We started out with home decor and jewlery and accessories but we will be moving towards more functional products.  We're staying away from apparel but we're focusing on products.  Products that are everywhere aren't a good fit.

The Brigitte Crystal Headband

For Hex Goods the whole business is all about the designer and making them successful in the way they define success.  This can mean selling small quanitites on the weekends or scaling it up to larger quantities we want to help.