By combining multiple 3D printing techniques, designer Charles Fried created a stunning desk lamp that incorporates hand-tooled, aircraft-grade aluminum; high-quality walnut; 3D printed steel coated in 14k gold; and the latest in high tech OLED lighting technology.
Fried’s lamp was inspired by the very technology that created it, and he wanted to explore how much of a market-ready product could be 3D printed. The base was 3D printed in a castable material that burned away cleanly, once the mold was filled with aluminum. The knob that controls the lamp, and the pivot hinge that controls its arm, were both 3D printed in steel and then plated in 14k gold from Shapeways. The rest of the lamp was then machined from aircraft-grade aluminum and high-quality walnut.
But Fried also used 3D printing to prototype several iterations of his lamp design. The use of rapid prototyping allowed him to try several different configurations of each component, and decide which of them made for a better product when integrated with the advanced OLED lighting technology.
The knob and the pivot mechanism were both generated with unique geometry for each piece. Using an algorithm developed for the project, the ideas was for every 3D printed gold component to be different for each lamp produced. Obviously, that level of individuality is unachievable with traditional manufacturing techniques, but the versatility of 3D printing is slowly making that a real, and affordable option.
Here is a video detailing the machining of the aluminum parts and an explanation of his design process:
This 3D printed OLED desk lamp is, unfortunately, not available in any stores at this time; however you can email Fried and request one be created for you. You can find out more about the lamp and all of Fried’s 3D printed and designed projects and creations at his website.