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Lighting Research Center Expands Lighting Course Content with 3D Printing


Lighting Research Center adds Additive Manufacturing to Course Content of LED Lighting Institute

Building upon the research expansion taking place in the SSL Program at Rensselaer’s Lighting Research Center, the LRC’s biannual LED Lighting Institute is also expanding its horizons with connected lighting and 3D printing for lighting professionals.

Connected Lighting and 3D Printing for Lighting Industry Professionals

The next course at the LRC, scheduled for Nov. 15-17, 2016, in Troy, New York, includes a 3-day seminar for industry professionals. The seminar covers the latest advances in LED and SSL technology. Next to that, it will include new content related to connected lighting and 3D printing – two up-and-coming fields where the SSL industry can add value and reap benefits for producers and the users of their equipment.

3D Printing of Lighting components. Picture: Lighting Research Center.
3D Printing of Lighting components. Picture: Lighting Research Center.

3D Printing of Lighting Components

To support the SSL industry through research that shows the value of lighting beyond energy savings, LRC has set a course in the last year. Embracing the trends toward customization and data analytics, SSL research is now evolving to include new developments such as connected lighting (Internet of Things (IoT), and 3D printing of lighting components. The LED Lighting Institute will highlight these growing trends in the SSL marketplace and help participants learn more about state-of-the-art research in these fields.

LED Lighting Institute teaches the best methods for incorporating LEDs and OLEDs into architectural lighting fixture designs and lighting systems. Picture: LRC

Lighting Beyond Energy Savings

With the core component of this course being LED and OLED technology, those who attend the LED Lighting Institute will learn the best methods for incorporating LEDs and OLEDs into architectural lighting fixture designs and lighting systems, and compare system components from a wide variety of manufacturers to determine operating characteristics, rated life, lumen output, distribution, and other important specification factors. The program culminates with participants designing, building, and evaluating their own lighting fixtures.

Workshop Popularity is Growing

This intensive workshop continues to grow in popularity, so early registration is recommended as enrollment is limited to 30 students. Meanwhile, over 800 people from around the globe have completed the course, which is held in spring and fall each year.

For more information or to register, visit: http://www.lrc.rpi.edu/education/outreachEducation/InHouseInstitute.asp

Lily by Janne Kyttanen: An Ode to 3D Printed Lighting


Lily by Janne Kyttanen: Paving the Way for Things to come in 3D Printing Lighting

In an exclusive movie by Dezeen, released earlier this month, Janne Kyttanen explains how he designed the  flower-shaped ‘Lily’ lamp back in 2002 as a demonstration of how 3D printing could be used to create desirable lighting objects for the home.

3D Printing: From Prototyping Use only to End Product Fabrication

Back in 2002, 3D printing technologies were much more expensive than they are today. The key to the success of this particular product was making it small enough to be affordable, according to Kyttanen himself. On the contrary to what he expected – the fixture was originally designed for private use – the light caused a stir when it was in 2003 presented at Milan Design Week. By showing how 3D printing – previously considered a prototyping technology only – could be finally used to create consumer products as well.

3dprinting-lighting_lily_light_janne_kyttanen_dezeen_duoLily by Janne Kyttanen

Kyttanen’s Lily light, which he designed during his time in his studio ‘Freedom of Creation’ (Amsterdam, NL), is a lamp created by selective laser sintering (SLS). The form reminiscent of a water lily flower. It’s been made of polyamide, a very fine powder used for SLS processes.

3D-printed as a single piece, each Lily light features a series of extremely thin petals.
3D-printed as a single piece, each Lily light features a series of extremely thin petals.

When the light inside is turned on, the petals start to glow and reveal the tiny layers of plastic the lamp is composed of.

3D Printing at Home

While the Lily light itself is not currently available to be downloaded and printed at home, Kyttanen suggests the proliferation of affordable desktop 3D printers in the years since the light launched show his instincts about the future of 3D printing were right.

Lily by Janne Kyttanen - Available in a Floor and Table Lamp version
Lily by Janne Kyttanen – Available in a Floor and Table Lamp version

Lily: Designed by Janne – printed by MGX.Materialise

The Lily light is manufactured by the Belgian 3D printing company Materialise. The product – which comes in a table and floor-standing version – is still available for purchase.

This post was inspired by Dezeen’s article and interview with Janne Kyttanen.

iPhone Lamp by Ivan Zhurba


Iphone Lamp by Ivan Zhurba: Enjoy Task Lighting and Music while your Mobile Phone is Charging

The iPhone Lamp by Ivan Zhurba is a designful eco lamp that can use your iPhone flashlight for reading books , magazines or to listen to your favorite music while the mobile device itself is charging. The lamp is also equipped with a sound amplifier that makes your music sounds brighter and louder. Let’s find out a bit more on this stylish and user-friendly design lighting concept.

Lighting and Charging in one Shot

The iPhone Lamp is an elegant, yet simple arm that holds your iPhone. While hidden in its nook, the phone can be used as a functional task or reading light by activating the flashlight feature.

iPhone Desk Lamp – A clean and mean task light for table top use including an iPhone holder.

Since the bottom of the iPhone remains exposed, a charging cable can remain plugged into it and reproduce some Spotify or iTunes music over Wi-Fi. The iPhone 4/4s and 5/5c fit into the actual design, and a version for the new iPhone 6 is already under design.

iPhone Lamp Design Sketches

AutoCAD 2012 and Autodesk 3ds Max were used to create the initial design sketches, before taking the step towards 3D printing a functional prototype.


When writing this article, I thought also about The Relio Flens and F-Sign Table Luminaires that I wrote about earlier. Clean and smart design, combined with user-friendlyness and ease of use.

3DPrinting.Lighting_iPhone Lamp Book
Reading your favorite magazine or book with help of the iPhone Lamp.

Pictures in this post are sourced from the website of Ivan Zhurba.

Akinori Goto: Exploring the Relationship between Time and Movement


Toki – 3D Printed Zoetrope  Process & Walk Animation

Japanese media artist Akinori Goto designed a brilliant 3D printed ‘Zoetrope’ that, when lit from the side, reveals walking or if you like dancing people. The impressive artwork was on display not so long ago at the Spiral Independent Creators Festival in Japan, where it won various prizes. 

Thanks to the creative brains of Goto, the zoetrope sculpture takes on a new dimension. A flavour of 3D printing makes it even more magic. In the video at the top of this post, Goto explains stepwise how he created the same effect for a previous project, named ‘Toki-‘, a sculpture that instead animates a walking figure.

How does it Work?

Goto started by creating a 2D time axis of a figure outline taking  two steps forward. Thereafter, he converts this progression to a 3D axis, placing it onto a vertical plane. That data is translated into a 3D computer graphic and morphed based on the fourth dimension: time.

Then, the model itself was created using 3D printing technologies and placed on a motor-powered rotating platform. After the 3D printing process and the finishing was ready, Goto took a projector and shines onto to the rotating wire grid. Then, a walking person with an elegant leg lift appears and animates a small ballet dancer.

3DPrinting.Lighting_Akinori Goto_3D printed zoetrope sculpture
A projector shoots sharp concentrated beams of light at the rotating wheel, illuminating the narrow silhouette of the characters.

Zoetrope at 2016 Spiral Independent Creators Festival

The sculpture was submitted to the 2016 Spiral Independent Creators Festival, an open design competition in Japan. Here, it won both the Runner up Grand Prix and the Audience Award.

Akinori Goto – Interactive Media Artist

Goto has more interesting projects in his portfolio. You can view his extensive collection on his Tumblr website.

Latitude Lamp: Solar-Powered and 3D printed by Nea-studio


Latitude Lamp: A Global Lighting Product Customized to Local Conditions

The Latitude Lamp, designed by Nea-studio, is a solar-powered light fixture that emits atmospheric light. The fixture can be fabricated in many different set-ups according to the user’s location or latitude. 3D printing technology was used to convert the initial product idea into a functional prototype.

3DPrinting.Lighting_Latitude Lamp by Nea-Studio (6)
The Latitude Lamp needs to bathe in daylight for eight hours a day, with the solar panel facing the sky.

Solar-Power from Custom Latitudes

The Latitude Lamp is a perfect example of a product that is tailored for use at specific locations. The geometry of the lamp can be automatically updated in a digital CAD file so that the tilt of the solar panel changes according to latitude. By tilting the panel at different angles, the lamp’s capacity for electric power generation is optimized in its perpendicularity to the rays of the sun. The fixture can be used in both indoor and outdoor environments.

3DPrinting.Lighting_Latitude Lamp by Nea-Studio (5)
When getting dark, the lamp will automatically start to light up, glowing gradually brighter from dusk to fall of darkness.

Nea-studio: Model-making, Rapid Prototyping & Materials Experimentation

Nea-studio is a Brooklyn, New York based studio that was founded back in 2006 by Nina Edwards Anker. The focus in their work is on architecture, product- and furniture design, landscape- and urban planning.

3DPrinting.Lighting_Latitude Lamp by Nea-Studio (4)The studio operates in a project environment in which implementation takes place in parallel with model-making, rapid prototyping and experimentation with ideas, materials, and manufacturing processes, such as in this case, 3D printing. The practice maintains a cross disciplinary nature where sharing ideas is an essential part of work philosophy.

Cozi Studio: Breaking Boundaries Through Complex Forms and Illusory Textural Surfaces


Cozi Studio: A high-end Brand for 3D Printed Lighting Fixtures and Furniture Design

The founders of Cozi Studio, named Yuval Carmel and Ofir Zandani, are two industrial designers that combine a multidisciplinary knowledge of manufacturing techniques. Their studio collection is characterized by a unique morphology, achieved by manipulating traditional materials in extreme and technologically innovative ways. Behind each work lays an idea, a vision.

3DPrinting.Lighting_Cozi Studio (7)
Focus Light illuminates surroundings through 3D printed screen.

Complex Planning, Forms and Surfaces

Through complex mold planning, wood press and 3D printing, Co-founders Yuval Carmel and Ofir Zandani have managed to create complex forms and illusory textural surfaces. By combining advanced technologies with traditional craftsmanship, the statement pieces clearly display the dialogue between the nature of the materials and the manipulated forms.

3DPrinting.Lighting_Cozi Studio (10)
Dissonance between Materials, Use and Shape.

Dissonance between Materials, Use and Shape

There is a certain dissonance between the materials they use and the forms they realize. They force you to look more thoughtfully, and question the very object you see before you. What inspires the designers are the challenges of design and production. They strive to break through technological boundaries, and take heir designs to the tipping point where other designers are afraid to go.

3DPrinting.Lighting_Cozi Studio (3)
‘Focus Light’ employs selective laser sintering to generate a flexible and durable three-dimensional piece.

SLS 3D Printing Technology

Out of the various 3D printing technologies, Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) suits best the unique printed fabrics. Working with Polyamide Nylon, a laser beam solidifies powdered plastic layer-by-layer using heat in a controlled environment.

Unique printed fabrics from Polyamide Nylon
Unique printed fabrics from Polyamide Nylon.

The woven segments are built from the bottom-up and into each other,  creating a flexible lace like textile. The different fabrics are  meticulously planned on the computer using 3D programming,  printed and assembled by hand.

3DPrinting.Lighting_Cozi Studio (8)Materials Talk: Creating the Dialogue

The designers aim is finally to create a dialog between technology and craft, between perception and tangibility. Some of the actual objects of the Cozi Studio include the Wrinkles and Early blossom center piece bowls and the Ghost, Focus and Bloom lighting fixtures.

You can see more of their work featured at the Cozi Studio website or Designboom.

New 3MF Extensions Bring Enhanced Efficiency and Manageability to 3D Printing


New 3MF Extensions: Production and Slice Extensions Provide Standardized Tools to Organize and Slice 3D Models

Recently, the 3MF Consortium (3MF) released two specification extensions to its 3MF Core Specification 1.1. The new 3MF Extensions contain a slicing and production extension that allow high-volume additive manufacturing facilities to better integrate and manage their 3D printing operations more smoothly than before.

Moving to Fully Integrated – High End Volume Additive Manufacturing

In addition to the initial launch of the 3MF format, the 3MF Production and Slice Extensions to are significant enhancements that move the industry closer to a fully integrated, high-volume additive manufacturing end-to-end 3D printing solution. Release of specifications like these aligns with the 3MF Consortium’s mission to help improve the efficiency and productivity of additive manufacturing solutions with standardized software.

As founding member of the 3MF Consortium, netfabb supports the standard both, for importing and exporting the 3MF file format,
The 3MF Consortium Founding Members

New 3MF Extensions for Production

Designed for high-volume users such as service bureaus, the 3MF Production Extension makes it more efficient for users to organize and manage 3D printing jobs with multiple parts by keeping them in separate .xml files within the 3MF package, thus dividing the parsing load for large jobs. The 3MF package manages the file hierarchy and relationships among the files, as well as keeping unique identifiers for each part instance.

New 3MF Extensions for Slicing

High-volume additive manufacturing requires practical software that simplifies the 3D design and manufacturing process while fully describing a model, retaining internal information, color, and other characteristics. The actual extensions were developed to solve in a clear, straightforward manner two critical interoperability issues impacting efficiency and manageability in today’s additive manufacturing facilities.

The additive manufacturing industry grew by over $1 billion for the second consecutive year in 2015, according to Wohlers Associates, an independent consulting firm. The 3MF Production and 3MF Slice Extensions are free to download immediately.

Afillia: 3D Printed Polyamide Lights by Alessandro Zambelli


Afillia: Alessandro Zambelli Collection of Luminous Essentials and Airy Voids

Back in 2014, Alessandro Zambelli designed some 3D printed lights for .exnovo. Still, they are a fine example of coming up against the bare essentials. He named his collection of printed pendant and table lights “Afillia”. In botany worlds, where the name originally was borrowed from, it means ‘leafless’. Afillia is surely an apt image for a collection of luminous essentials and airy voids.

Allessandro Zambelli_Afillia_Design Sketches
Afillia Design Sketches

Swiss Pine and Diffusive Polyamide

The Afillia range of six light fixtures consists of three table lamps and three pendant lights. The base or socket ring is made from Swiss pine, a premium wood from the Alto Adige mountains. In line with the region’s ancient traditions, it is hand-crafted. The wood fitting locks on to a light diffuser in nylon fibre (polyamide), using selective laser sintering in professional 3D printing.

Allessandro Zambelli_Afillia_Swiss Pine WoodBetween Stuff and Shape – Air and Light

The centre piece of each of the accessories is the diffuser which embraces and embellishes space. Delicate, lace-like patterns with their geometrical pinholes give rise to two-dimensional origami in thin, curvaceous spirals.

Allessandro Zambelli_Afillia_Pattern
Lace-like patterns give rise to 2D origami in curvaceous thin spirals.

Free to waver at will, the light casts fleeting shadows, then beams into unexpected focus, forming round and bright halos. This is energy in it’s purest fluid form, in the no-man’s land between stuff and shape, air and light.

Allessandro Zambelli_Afillia_Application
Afillia Bedroom Application. Pictures: Yooko.fr

The product range is winner of the 2015 Product Innovation Award and still available for purchase at .ExNovo.

Allessandro Zambelli_Afillia for .exnovoImages in this post are courtesy of Designstudio Alessandro Zambelli and .ExNovo

Lights, Lithophanes & Landscapes by Beth Lewis Williams


Beth Lewis Williams: Exploiting the Traditional and Mysterious Technique of Lithophanes

‘Lights, Lithophanes & Landscapes’ is a collection of porcelain lighting created by Beth Lewis Williams back in 2014. The London based designer and maker is specializing in bespoke porcelain lighting and exploits the traditional and mysterious technique of lithophanes.

3DPrinting.Lighting_Beth Lewis Williams Lithophanes_Pendants
Lights, Lithophanes & Landscapes by Beth Lewis Williams – Clustered Lithopanes Pendants

Traditional Craftmanship meets Novel Manufacturing Technology & Controls

The porcelain lamps are realised using 3D printing technologies and hand carving, and are foreseen with the latest LED and lighting controls. 
The lights explore urban scenes contrasting current social, environmental, and aesthetic scenes with those of the romantic landscapes featured on 19th Century industrially produced domestic ceramics.

3DPrinting.Lighting_Beth Lewis Williams Lithophanes_Cross-Ramsgate
Beth Lewis Williams – The Cross and Ramsgate.

Lithophanes – A 19th Century Passion

Lithophanes were a 19th Century passion and were used with an internal light source diffusing through the porcelain creating a gentle play of shadows exposing beautiful, delicate and sculptural images.

“The porcelain lithophane lights create a gentle play of shadows exposing beautiful, delicate and sculptural images”

The widespread emergence of 3D printed landscape patterns on industrial ceramics was driven by the fashion for Chinese and Japanese porcelain, decorated with idyllic and picturesque landscapes. It was in effect a rural nostalgia, the result of a confluence of technological development and urbanisation. The work of Beth Lewis Williams, in turn, examines intense urban landscapes though the elegiac atmosphere lithophanes create.

3DPrinting.Lighting_Beth Lewis Williams Lithophanes_Tower Block
Tower Block – Illumination switched on and off.

Bespoke Design and Manufacturing Services for Lighting Features

Beth Lewis Williams future work will be structured through a bespoke design and manufacturing service delivering unique lighting features for individual clients. For more work and references, here’s a link to her personal website.

Leti Pendant Light by Studio Macura


Leti by Studio Macura: A 3D Printed Bird-Friendly Pendant Light

Leti is a pendant light designed by Studio Macura back in 2014 with a clipped 3D printed bird on a textile covered power cable. The stylish pendant lights, both functional and elegant at the same time, are available in a variety of colored cables and bird color combinations. We recently rediscovered this Dutch Design piece, and happily share it with you.

3DPrinting.Lighting_Studio Macura LETI_Black&White
Studio Macura: Leti bird lamp Black & White

Leti: Iconic Poetic Objects

The cables come in black, white and red finishings allowing for three monochromatic combinations. For the white version, upto nine color birds can be selected. All of the birdies are created by means of 3D printing. The serene and a bit ‘surreal’ combination of the bird on the cable creates an iconic poetic object which is both out of the ordinary yet very familiar.

3DPrinting.Lighting_Studio Macura LETI_Red_Black bird
Leti: a stylish pendant light with various color birds and finishes.

Combining Materials & Finishes

A simple color matched half dome ceiling rose completes the piece. The bird is made of 3D printed polyamide 3D printing materials, positioned on a textile finished cable. The light fitting is foreseen with a clear glossy globe halogen 28 Watt bulb. Of course, you can use any Ecosaver instead.

Pictures in this post are property of Studio Macura.