Design of the Week: Lily Lamp

By on October 24th, 2016 in Design

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 The famous 3D printed Lily Lamp
The famous 3D printed Lily Lamp

This week’s selection is now-historical Lily Lamp by well-known 3D designer Janne Kyttanen.

Kyttanen was one of the very first artists to experiment with the new technology of 3D printing almost 20 years ago. One of his first successes in the field was this week’s selection, the Lily Lamp. 

To celebrate the longevity of this famous design, Dezeen produced a short video on the piece, with an interview with Kyttanen himself. 

 Janne Kyttanen speaks
Janne Kyttanen speaks

Kyttanen explains: 

The Lily light is the first highly commercial 3D printed lighting product. 

One of the challenges when we were designing this product about twenty years ago is ‘how do you make something that’s commercially viable while everything so very, very expensive. 

My whole inspiration here was to create something that was really, really small, but yet something that would give a really big impact into a space. 

 The 3D printed Lily Lamp's
The 3D printed Lily Lamp’s “teeth”

And he’s quite right here: this design is straightforward to 3D print (at the time using nylon SLS powder-based 3D printing), and today using a variety of 3D printing processes: It really doesn’t even need support structures to produce. 

The design is also “sparse” in that the total volume of material used is relatively small compared to its overall size. In this way Kyttanen devised a shape that was economical to 3D print – and is still so today. Or at least until 3D print vendors stop charging by volume.

 The 3D printed Lily Lamp mounted and lit
The 3D printed Lily Lamp mounted and lit

In the video, Kyttanen explains that his original vision was to have the Lily Lamp able to be produced at home by anyone with a 3D printer – and the design is certainly congruent with that goal. However, at this time the 3D model has not been released and as a result you cannot 3D print this model on your own. 

However, it is definitely available as a purchased 3D print from i.Materialise, where it’s listed at €391 (USD$430) for a polyamide version. 

Via Dezeen, Janne Kyttanen and i.Materialise

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!