What price on priceless?

Given our shiny laser cutter, we’ve all been finding things to make with it, from desk ornaments to lens cases. Whilst I was wandering around the uk board games expo I spotted a stall selling laser-cut assortments, including lamps such as the ones in this photo:

Stand at the expo

Stand at the expo

I wanted to make myself a lamp based on these but pulling from my favourite computer games, much as I have seen on a tee-shirt I own that pulls from the Zelda games (I eventually found this later – http://www.zeldauniverse.net/2013/12/09/qwertee-offering-zelda-themed-t-shirt-for-a-limited-time/ ). I started by trying to find the teeshirt in question to see how they did it and happened upon a portal tee-shirt :

https://www.qwertee.com/product/aperture-science-testing-since-1947

https://www.qwertee.com/product/aperture-science-testing-since-1947

https://www.qwertee.com/product/aperture-science-testing-since-1947

This caught my attention and I decided that actually a lamp based on this would make a wonderful father’s day gift. A couple of years ago I bought a whole load of small portal-related items for my dad and doubled the quantities so I could have them too! This year I have done the same as I made myself a lamp and him one too.

I sat down with the boxmaker and took inspiration from the tee-shirt to create the lamp I imagined in my mind, and in one afternoon created the base lamp. Then the next week repurposed some very cheap RGB LED strip lighting into an LED light stick for the centre and cut the second lamp.

The total cost of parts given we had some MDF stock and translucent perspex lying around in the space was probably in the realms of £10 and a day’s work for me (soldering the light stick was more effort than designing and cutting the lamp). The resultant present however is unique and a thing of geeky beauty. This photo really doesn’t do it justice and is simply a normal lamp inside not the finished RGB item but hey, it’s still awesome.

Final lamp

Final lamp

My next steps are to wifi-enable my own lamp so it can do clever things like turn on when I arrive home, glow appropriate colours when I receive mail or am mentioned in irc, when a new TV show is downloaded or for other events such as the hackspace being open.

All of this would not have been possible had I not been a hackspace member, and I am happy to pay my membership fee knowing how much I enjoy making these things and the reactions I get from people I give them to.

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