These Upcycled UFO Lamps Are Retro-Futuristic Fabulous

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These Upcycled UFO Lamps Are Retro-Futuristic Fabulous

I am a maker.

I think that I have always been a maker. When I was young, I made things for myself out of anything that I wanted to know more about. As I grew older I made things for other people, out of whatever was most suitable. I spent time as a professional modelmaker working, mostly, for architects, to either develop the ideas or to present them. I began to teach others how to make, and gradually taught more and more until I was teaching full time. Then I talked about making things…

As I talked and watched others making things and helped them to make those things better, I read more and more about why we make things. I have made things for myself, I’ve made things for others, and I now help students to learn how to do and make things so that they can make them for themselves and other people.

The satisfaction of creating things for yourself is a powerful thing. The satisfaction of enabling others to make things is also powerful. For me, one cannot replace the other. What could I do that involved making things? Not modelmaking, I know how to do that, pretty well. I teach others to do that and see the results around me daily. I needed to make things that were original, creative, responsible, useful… and possible with the tiny workshop that I could justify at home, now that I made a living through talking and reading, rather than making.


I present to you “Spacelamps”. These are my handmade lamps using 3D printing to link energy efficient LEDs to materials that have been saved from waste and given another life.

I’m inspired by classic UFO shapes and real spacecraft to design and make lamps from reused and upcycled materials. I use 3D printed parts to link new lighting parts to other materials. This solves the problem of having standard LEDs and wiring but different materials for each project.


I teach at Arts University Bournemouth, on the BA (Hons) Modelmaking course and often use these as examples for my lectures and workshops about 3D printing, craft etc. My students like to see me actually making stuff, not just talking about it! I used to make my living as a professional modelmaker and after teaching full-time for some years longed to have projects of my own to challenge the maker in me again. These lamps grew from me trying to develop something that I could build in my, now small, home workshop to satisfy me and introduce my kids to the idea of making our own things.

I usually have 2-3 of the UFO style lamps in development at a time. They evolve rather than being fully designed first. I react to what materials I can save from being wasted. This is more like making therapy than a serious business!

I encourage others to take inspiration from my lamps and share the 3D print files via Thingiverse. I evolve the designs all the time and am currently planning a Kickstarter campaign for some “Apollo” and “Mercury” inspired lamps that celebrate the first Space Race…

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Will Strange

After 10+ years as a professional modelmaker, Will is a senior lecturer at BA (Hons) Modelmaking and maintains a small workshop to satisfy his need to make. He lives and works in Bournemouth, UK.

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