To rethink the form factor of the conventional ‘Edison bulb’ using new manufacturing technology.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
The ‘Printed Bulbs’ series explores new forms for light bulbs using a specialized 3D printing process. Internal bubbles and light pipes are precisely fabricated and embedded inside each bulb to guide and reflect light. The finished bulb is attached to a universally compatible energy-efficient LED light socket.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
Each light bulb can be attached to any existing lighting fixture, such as a chandelier or desk lamp, or used individually as a pendant lamp or free-standing light.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
The project was developed from 2011-2012 in Pittsburgh, USA.
FITS BEST INTO CATEGORY:
Lighting Products and Lighting Projects Design
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
Each bulb is fabricated layer by layer from a digital file using a 3D printing process. The liquid resin deposited by the 3D printer is cured with UV light and hardens into a clear polymer. Mounting hardware are embedded during the print process to attach the LED socket.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
Standard Edison screw mount fitting. Bulb base diameter: 60mm.
Design, light, bulb, bubbles, light pipes, clear, resin, 3D print, additive manufacturing
The ‘Printed Bulbs’ are created using a specialized 3D printing process developed in-house. Within the clear bulb material internal structures are carefully designed to guide and reflect light. Internal bubbles are precisely created by slowly closing up small self-supporting air gaps. Light from the LED is reflected off the bubbles to create unique illumination patterns. Light pipes are used to guide light from point to point using a second material shaped like a hollow tube. Light enters and continuously reflects through the light pipe and exits at the other end. These techniques can be fabricated entirely in a 3D printer to enable new form-factors for lighting design.
Optical lighting elements have traditionally been expensive and impractical to produce in small quantities due to the manufacturing precision and finishing required. Internal forms within a lighting element were also very difficult to precisely control using conventional manufacturing. 3D printing with optically clear material enables a wide range of new forms to be created with a greatly simplified fabrication process.
TEAM MEMBERS (2) :
Eric Brockmeyer and Karl Willis
Eric Brockmeyer + Karl Willis, 2012.