Friday, August 31, 2012

Desk Lamp - New Project

During my last semester at school I discovered the need for a desk lamp. The one I used during the semester was chunky and didn't quite have the reach I needed to light the center of my desk (I put the lamp's base on one of my speakers). I also burned myself a few times on the light housing. As usual I figured I could do better.

These were a few of my design thoughts:

-High power LED (More light, less heat, nearly unlimited lifetime, less power consumption, smaller, lighter)
-LARGE (My computer setup is around 80" wide)
-Light weight (The lighter the arm is, the smaller the base can be without the lamp tipping)
-Cool looking (who wants an eye sore on their desk?)

I actually came up with this a few months ago, but I hadn't decided to make it until the past couple days.

Here's a few quick renders of the lamp in a few positions.

This design has a swivel base to give the lamp more flexibility. The light is held by two parallel arm segments. No matter where the light is positioned it will always be parallel to the base of the lamp. I found a really cool led strip that is a 10 watt LED, so it should easily light up the desk and maybe even the room. I made sure the base was large enough that the lamp would never tip, even when fully extended. The base is an 8" diameter piece of aluminum. The current base will weigh over 9 pounds while the entire arm and light should only weigh a little over a pound.

I started with the arm because the pieces were small and required little material removal. The long pieces used for the parallel arm gave me an excuse to use my 40" calipers (I had been itching to use them to make an actual part).

 These parts could have been made a lot faster if I had a machine that could accept bits larger than 1/8"...
I am fortunate that my CNC mill is very accurate and always seems to hit its dimensions without any need for cutting and measuring, but it's sooooo slow.

All of the arm pieces are made from 1/4" square aluminum. Each one has 1/8" press fit stainless dowel pins.

Each segment of the arm has 1/4" aluminum tubing to keep the wires hidden and protected. The tubing is .035" wall, so it doesn't add much weight at all.

The arm has nearly zero play in the joints. Even the slightest touch to one end will cause the other to move as well. The two end pieces are always perpendicular to each other. It's also symmetrical which makes it harder for me to assemble it incorrectly =D

The arm is held in place by the clamping force from the center joint's plates. This picture also shows the size of the lamp.

So far the lamp seems really solid even though it's made from such tiny aluminum rods. It should be a nice addition to my desk once I finish the base and LED housing.

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