This week we have a special advanced 3Doodler project tutorial. Grace Du Prez has fashioned this elegant pair of lampshades using the 3Doodler in combination with a handful of items you can find around the house. By the time we’re finished you’ll have learned how to make your own.

Overwhelmed? Not to worry! We've put together a step-by-step sequence of photos and instructions documenting Grace’s progress. If you get lost simply return to the previous step and refer to the examples.

You'll Need:

  • Your 3Doodler (v.1 or 2.0 - we won't judge)
  • A bunch of 3Doodler plastic strands (mix and match, or go single color!)
  • A hairdryer
  • A wooden spoon (or thin cylinder that is the same size as a wooden spoon handle)
  • A plain lampshade with a detachable frame

Step 1: It all starts with a rectangle

All great masterpieces have humble beginnings, so we’ll start by drawing out a simple rectangular stencil, 3 inches long and 1/3 of an inch wide. After you’ve sketched that out on paper, trace the shape with the 3Doodler and fill it in. Repeat until you have 20-40 rectangular piece to use (the exact quantity needed depends on the size of your lampshade's rim).

Step 2: Does anyone have a hairdryer and a wooden spoon?

Once you have the rectangles completed, it’s time to try a fun new technique. You’re going to need a hairdryer and a wooden spoon or another cylinder similar in size to the handle of a wooden spoon.

Balance one of your newly doodled rectangles over the handle of the wooden spoon (or cylinder) and, using the hairdryer, gently heat it up so it begins to soften (10 to 15 seconds should be enough).

While the rectangular piece it’s still pliable, bend it around the handle of the wooden spoon (or cylinder) so that the two short ends of the rectangle are close together. This should create a teardrop shape where the spoon handle is. Once hardened, the freshly curved plastic should slide off the handle. This technique makes it easy to create smooth and unified curves for all your 3Doodles.

Continue this process for every rectangle you’ve created. Heat, Curve, Remove. If you find yourself short of teardrops later on you can always add more quickly and easily.

As a side note, you'll find hairdryers can be handy for all kinds of smoothening, flattening, and curving effects with the 3Doodler. Once you've completed your lampshade, try experimenting and let us know what new ideas you come up with!

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3Doodler Wooden Spoon and hair dryer 3

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3Doodler Lamp shade tear drop

3Doodler Lamp shade tear drop

Step 3: Find Your Base Lampshade

Once you’ve completed bending all of the pieces into tear drops, you’re going to start joining them together using the frame of your lamp shade. The lampshade and frame can be purchased from any lighting store, IKEA or even on eBay. Make sure to use a lampshade with a detachable frame

Simply detach the lampshade from the frame, and using the 3Doodler, begin to attach each Doodled tear drop together using the 3Doodler, following the contours of the lampshade. Join the tip of one teardrop to the back of another, and make sure to overlap each piece slightly as shown in the photo. Continue this process until you have a full ring. You may have to create and bend more rectangles depending on the size of your lampshade frame. If you are worried about the sturdiness of the ring, simply add more plastic on the back to bind the pieces together. This will be hidden from sight, but will be key to holding everything together!

Step 4: Layer those colors!

Once you have completed a full ring, choose a new complimentary colour and return to step 1 to create more teardrops for your next ring. Ring by ring, build up the body of your lampshade.

When all of your rings are complete, slide the first ring onto the lampshade. PLA plastic sticks well to the fabric, so go ahead and extrude plastic between the lampshade fabric and the first plastic ring to hold everything in place (making sure to touch both with the newly extruded plastic). Make it nice and secure, as the first ring will carry the weight of the other rings.

3Doodler Lamp shade tear drop layers

Step 5: Keep sliding those rings!

After securing the first ring, slide the rest of the rings onto the lampshade in the correct order. You don't need to individually attach each ring to the others or to the fabric, as they are quite snug and should stay in place. You can also swivel each ring round to find the best placement and line up the individual loops. The final ring goes on the top and then you can use more of the PLA to secure it to the fabric of the lampshade.

You're Done!

When your done, simply affix the whole shade to your table lamp or ceiling fixture of choice and Voilà!

blue light lamp

Lamp-Blue-Close Up-72

yellow light lamp

Lamp-Yellow-Close Up

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