Columbia University GSAPP (Kim)

Kimberly V.K.H. Nguyen



Feb '12 - Apr '13

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    Kimberly V.K.H. Nguyen
    Feb 29, '12 5:20 AM EST

    I spent the weekend in FabLab (aka woodshop) to make a prototype for a metal lamp (inspired by a flower bud) with my group members (Phillip Crupi, Alexandra Milo, and Jessica Kuo). 

    It began with the conversion of our Rhino/Grasshopper files into a software called Mastercam:

    This is the Mastercam file.  You have to tell the machine to cut all the holes first, then cut out the piece.  

    Then we used the CNC router with 1/4" and 1/8" drill bits to cut the design into 1/16" aluminum sheets:

    The metal router (*note - cannot use aluminum in plasma cutter):

    An easy mistake to make is not setting the z-depth low enough to cut through the material.  We had to reroute this piece:

    Then we mapped each of the bending angles and noted the pressures used for the brake press:

    After that, we cut a jig to bend inner tabs at 110 degrees by hand:

    Using clamps and mallet with the jig:

    Learned how to use the metal brake press:

    The main component:

    Fine tuning:

    Assembly with nuts and bolts:

    Installed top piece with bulb fixture, and sewed table cloth strips inside to diffuse light:

    Tada! It's a Bud Light:


    Our first prototype next to its rendering:

    Though not perfect, the prototype is not too far off from our digital model.  For the next one, we would try to minimize the number of angles, exploit the stitch patterns at bends, and reconsider the fabrication tolerances on tab connections for a more seamless product.  


    • looks pretty awesome...whats the light source and how is it integrated into the design?

      Feb 29, 12 10:12 pm  · 

      Very Nice work!

      Mar 1, 12 4:04 pm  · 

      Thank you! 

      @Harold - The light is just a spiral CFL bulb, attached to a socket and threaded pipe that goes through the top plate :)

      Mar 4, 12 4:27 pm  · 

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About this Blog

This is a journal of my adventures at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (GSAPP) as I pursue my M.Arch degree. It includes images of my projects, classmates' work, some thoughts, and grad-student daily life.

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