Hacking Time for Upcycling [Episode 1]

Last weekend, we had an amazing upcycling hacking workshop with 20 makers, designers and engineers from the community gathering at x.factory (I even listed it as my favorite workshop!!!).

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What makes it special is that all the participants need to use recycling materials and Seeed provided sensors and modules to make their projects. The recycling materials are sponsored by Shenzhen Lvhuan Renewable Resources, a company aims at recycling materials and offering upcycling solutions.

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I was there as the photographer to record the workshop, so I got the chance to witness the creation of 9 very cool projects while taking photos (yeah!!!). Turning some everyday materials into something really cool is super inspiring. Really hope this long/recording article of these projects will get you some inspirations.

[Episode 1: Upcycling to the Light]

The 20 participants were divided into 4 teams. There were two sections for the one-day workshop: one section with a particular topic assigned to make, the other for making at each team’s will.  The assigned topic was to make lamps by using the recycling materials.

After a morning of brain-storming, tinkering, and co-working, they have come up with 5 amazing colorful lamps (Yes, one team even made two lamps when they didn’t have the heart to give up any of their ideas).

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The Little Universe by Team 1


The Little Universe is a gesture-controlled floor lamp with three wooden legs and an artistic lamp head. The lamp head was made of two circular abs shafts, PVC tube, yellow flaxen thread, some led strips, a Seeeduino Lotus, a Grove Gesture sensor.


The project name the Little Universe came from the starry shadow scene looking like a galaxy in the universe when it was turned on. The way how the lamp interacts with you is also cool. You could switch on & off, change the color & brightness of the LED by gesture control. Here is a video of how it works:

What I love about this project is that it could be a really chic decor at home, while it could be more emotionally connected to the one who is using it. This project is live on our Project Hub with a full instruction, check out now!


The Cake Lamp by Team 2

By using the pink polyethylene foamed sheet, Team 2 made it into a lovely sweet cake shape, with a lightbulb hidden inside. This project has no much tech asset with it.


The Cake Lamp was really impressive when it was turned on. The lighting, the shadow, the colors, too sweet not to have a sweet dream if it lights on your bedside.


The Disco Lamp by Team 2

To me, the Disco Lamp is more like a cute robot with two PVC tubes made arms rotating as the lamp was switched on. There are two different light sources inside the lamp: one in the head, which could be changed to different colors by knocking on the left arm, the other in the body, which was controlled by a touch switch.


Materials and components used in this project include PVC tube, translucent paper, led strips, Arduino, two servos, Grove – Touch Sensor, Grove – Sound Sensor, Disco Lamp.


The Trunk Lamp by Team 3

Using the recycled corrugated cardboard, the ingenious teammates of Team 3 made it into a trunk. A Grove light sensor and a servo were connected to a Seeeduino, and were set inside the trunk.


When the sun sinks, the lamp will be triggered on as the room gets darker, with a plant shape shadow swinging driven by the servo. It is a fairytale to me!!!


The Magic Cube Lamp by Team 4


What made the Magic Cube Lamp stand out is the color and the unique structure. If I didn’t get the chance to witness the whole making precess, I couldn’t image how to make a colorful lamp like this out of some translucent plastic film and color papers.


I really enjoyed the workshop a lot, as I’ve witnessed the creation of these 9 cool projects. Nothing makes me happier if you enjoy it as I did. Really hope you could get some inspirations. To avoid making the blog too long, I will save another amazing 4 projects in another post as a new Episode. Please stay tuned for the update.


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June 2018