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How are Friendship Lamps made?

How are Friendship Lamps made?

How is a Friendship Lamp made?

Friendship Lamps are made in Wichita, KS by a small team of wonderful people. My coworkers and I put our hearts into every lamp we make (and that's why we sign each one!)

The video is one I took of the process, start to finish. It's sped up and a little cut down, but you can see how we assemble them and the people who do it. Lots of hands go into creating each lamp.

We start with large sheets of acrylic that we buy from a local company. We cut them into more manageable sizes using a saw, then those pieces are put into our laser cutters (lovingly named Daniel and Lilly) to make parts for the lamp.

Daniel with his googly-eyes

The parts are assembled on a jig made by our resident mad-genius and expert-tinkerer, Tom. The sides of the lamp fit together like a puzzle, making them fit snugly and securely. We then line the edges of the lamp with aluminum foil tape which acts like a wire. This is the part that senses your touch!

On top of that, we roll-on a paperless double sided tape. Its sticky and strong, but doesn't have any fumes like glue. We make it look easy, but it takes a lot of finesse to assemble a lamp shade.

At the same time, we assemble the base of the lamp. The injection-molded base is assembled with help from the Wichita Women's Initiative Network, a nonprofit we partner with to help women survivors of domestic abuse. We then program the board, attach it securely with screws and add a power supply. We print the label and stick it to the bottom and sign it.

Next, we bring the two parts together. The shade-maker will glue the shade into the base using a special glue. It has metal shavings floating within, making it conductive and act like wire (just like the tape). The shade maker then signs the label as well and plugs the lamp in to dry.

Overnight, the lamps are monitored to make sure they don't sense a touch. This is part of our quality control, to make sure we don't have any lamps with "phantom-touch" issues. In the morning, we test all the lamps again, touching them several times to make sure they respond to touch properly. If a lamp fails, it's sent back for repair.

Then it's off to shipping! The lamp is ready to go to its forever home. Our shipper inspects each one carefully for flaws and imperfections. We check for scratches, misalignment, and glue issues to make sure only the best lamps are sent out.

During the shipping process the lamps are scanned in (and paired with a buddy lamp, if it's a set of two) and rolled in two layers of bubble wrap. We tuck the cord in to make sure it wont rub against the lamp and scratch it before packing it snugly into the box. Finally we add the accessories, instructions and cables, and tape it shut! We print an order label and send it off to be shipped right to your doorstep.

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