Interplay Lighting is an Eatonton, GA, United States-based manufacturer of 3D printed decorative lighting fixtures. Passionate about light, they love to play with light and reveal its power and beauty in ways that have never been done before. Interplay is anti-mass-produced, soulless, generic lighting, and tries to establish a new standard in elegant and customized lighting to fight ‘old-school’, ordinary, and cookie-cutter lighting.
25 Years Breakthrough Lighting Experiences
The team at Interplay Lighting has a proven track record of creating breakthrough lighting products for over 25 years renowned firms, such as Cree Lighting. They hold dozens of patents on some of the most significant lighting innovations over the last two decades.
With the introduction of the 3D printed lighting concept, Interplay is providing access to a new range of commercial lighting, architectural lighting and residential lighting solution taking benefit of unparalleled design freedom.
3D Printing Your Light Imagination
Today we’re able to print our imagination in ways never dreamt of before. 3D printing technologies make it possible to create designs traditional manufacturing processes can’t. The results are stunning designs that capture the magic of light in ways that haven’t been seen before.
The layerwise building process of most 3D printing methodologies create fabric like appearances that looks soft, but are incredibly durable. And with countless material and color options, there is a look that’s just right for your setting to be lit.
“Give your home an instant upgrade with unparalleled lighting that makes people say “Wow!”
The company is another interesting start-up in the lighting arena that utilizes the power of 3D Printing to create unique and customized light experiences.
Interplay just launched a series of pendants and desk lamps based on the classic medium-base socket/cord/canopy design. You can visit their offering and easily buy via the online store.
We have added them to our ‘to watch’ list and will share more news upon availability!
Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a leading safety science company based in Northbrook, Illinois,recently published its research findings detailing the effects of 3D printing on safety-critical polymer performance properties. The UL 3D Printing Research study findings have been used to develop a framework for evaluating and qualifying materials, helping stakeholders across the additive manufacturing (AM) supply chain to mitigate risk and deliver quality and performance.
UL 3D Printing Research Study
The key topics UL investigated include flammability, ignition and electrical properties of samples that were 3D printed against samples manufactured using conventional, injection-molded methods. UL Researchers identified significant safety and performance variations and concluded that performance ratings from traditional manufacturing techniques cannot be applied when the same material is used in a 3D printing process to print a 3D part.
UL Blue Card Certification Program
In response, UL has developed a certification program for plastics for additive manufacturing (Blue Card), The UL Blue Card presents the data necessary to ensure the integrity and usefulness of materials intended for 3D printing and 3D printed components and products. A Blue Card is automatically issued when a material intended for 3D printing receives a UL Recognized Component Mark.
“UL Researchers identified significant safety and performance variations and concluded that performance ratings from traditional mFG. techniques cannot be applied IN 3D pRINTING”
UL Certified AM materials are published in UL’s publicly available Product iQTM database, making them searchable to thousands of manufacturers looking for a certified 3D material. By using an independently tested and certified 3D material, end-product manufacturers can save time and money certifying their end-products or systems. As Blue Cards are specific to a 3D printer, a 3D printer manufacturer can also certify material for explicit use on his equipment.
Designed by Ammunition and made possible by Gantri’s radical approach to manufacturing, three new collections of lighting are now available for people seeking a better approach to design, craft and sustainability as they shape and illuminate their spaces. Named ‘Carve’, ‘Gio’ and ‘Signal’, the three collections are inspired by Gantri’s 3D printing platform and the intricate, organic and unexpected possibilities it provides compared to conventional manufacturing.
The Collection: Designed by Ammunition – Fabricated by Gantri
Sustainably produced using a corn-based material and manufactured in California, each light is 3D printed on-demand, hand-assembled and finished, in a process that feels less like industry and more like artistry.
Featuring table, floor and wall-mounted lights, the lighting range includes next collections:
1. Signal Collection
The Signal collection features louvered slats that are fused to the main body of each light through 3D printing technologies. The slats were inspired by the functional aspects of exterior architectural louvers used to bring light and air inside.
2. Carve Collection
The Carve Collection’s monolithic forms and seamless surfaces feel carved from stone rather than assembled like conventionally manufactured objects.
3. Gio Collection
The Gio Collection is inspired by Italian Lighting Designs of the 1970’s that sought to remake and refresh historic archetypes through new materials and processes. The unique character of the lights came to life by manipulating and rationalizing classical geometric elements so they interact with each other in playful ways.
Ammunition and Gantri Designer Toolkit
In addition to bringing floor and wall lighting into the Gantri platform, Ammunition also worked together to create an improved process and toolkit that makes it easier for any designer to make use Gantri. This major update offers designers the freedom and flexibility to create while maintaining Gantri’s high standards for materials, additive manufacturing, packaging, pricing, shipping, and user experience.
Germany based lighting manufacturer OSRAM approached XTPL, a technology provider of ultra-precise printing based in Wrocław, Poland for a cooperation in the field of additively fabricating conductive connections. OSRAM is looking for effective technological solutions to address the challenges connected with the manufacture of future generations of lighting elements, and it is the XTPL printing technology that might provide a answer to their needs.
XTPL and OSRAM Cooperation
OSRAM has decided to cooperate with XTPL to evaluate the technology for creating specific conductive connections. XTPL is a company developing globally innovative, additive manufacturing technology that enables ultra-precise printing of nanomaterials with a precision of 1-8 micrometers.
Additive Manufacturing Technology for Various Applications
The unique XTPL printing system allows for precise deposition of an in-house formulated nano ink on a variety of substrates to obtain conductive and nonconductive submicron structures. The potential industrial application of the XTPL method in the lighting industry is proof of its platform character which allows it to be used in a number of fast-growing high technology industries.
The purpose of the agreement signed by both partners is to confirm the parameters of the technology developed and commercialized by XTPL and to assess the possibility of implementing it in OSRAM’s production processes.
OSRAM and its Track Record in the Lighting Industry
OSRAM is a global player in the lighting industry. Together with GE Lighting and Signify, it is one of the three largest manufacturers of lighting equipment in the world. The enterprise also develops and manufactures optoelectronic materials. OSRAM operates as part of a corporate group which in the financial year 2018/2019 generated revenue of nearly EUR 3.5 billion. The group has a highly developed research and development arm with almost 18,000 patents and patent applications in its portfolio. In 2019, OSRAM allocated more than 11% of its annual revenue to R&D activities.
Solutions for Displays and Smart Glass Industries
A solution similar to the one sought by our partner has been partly developed by XTPL during work on a technology dedicated to repairing open defects in displays and the smart glass industry. As a result, XTPL can start cooperation with OSRAM at the proof of concept stage, without first going through a several months-long research project related to the opening of new application fields. For many years, the lighting industry has been looking towards increased use of light-emitting semiconductor materials that convert electrical energy into light energy. They are used in LED lighting and OLED.
The Global Lighting Industry
The size of the global LED lighting market in 2019 is estimated at almost $70 billion, and is expected to be driven towards $100 billion by 2023, which means a rapid growth of 9% (CAGR 2019-2023). This makes it a very interesting and promising sector for the Polish company.
At 3DPrinting.Lighting, we’re following these interesting cross-market partnerships with great interest and will report upon further developments once they appear.
In its latest designer collaboration with Batch.works, UK start-up Plumen pushed the boundaries of sustainable design to bring a range of 3D printed lamp shades to the market. The shades are made by using recycled plastic filaments from water bottles, fridges and other sources of plastic pollution.Here are some further introductions to the stunning decorative lighting collectionof Plumen 3D Printed Lamp Shades.
Collaboration with Batch.works
Batch.works was established back in 2016 by former architect Julien Vaissieres. The aim of his newly invented company has been to create affordable and eco-friendly products, making the most out of 3D printing, most notably its speed and efficiency. Recently, Batch.works cooperated with five different design studios to create the Plumen 3D Printed Lamp Shades collection. The collection was inspired by everything from the Bauhaus movement to geometric forms of the Art Deco era.
Here are some of the highlights of the Plumen 3D Printed Lamp Shades Collection:
Ribbon by BOLD
‘Ribbon’ features a fluid surface that bends over itself. The space created within the shade is filled with light, revealing and emphasizing the different volumes created by the enveloping surface. The vertical lines that run through the shade, combined with the horizontal layers characteristic of the 3D printing technologies used, amplify the idea that a piece of textile has solidified around the light to direct and enhance it.
NEO by Matthias Lauche
One other pendant fixture in the 3D printed range, named ‘Neo’, is based on geometric forms of the Art Deco era. Its designer, Matthias Lauche, has been taking familiar, historic shapes and cast them in a new role using 3D printing. Two shades stack on top of one another to fit and frame Willow’s delicate silhouette. The dual nature of the shade means several color combinations are possible.
HIVE by Luke Deering
Following his earlier successes, designer Luke Deering was asked by Plumen to create another bespoke shade for the bulbs collection. The result was a biomorphic, recycled 3D printed shade called ‘Hive’.
Housed within the tessellating hexagonal design, the fluid shape resembles the flight path of an assiduous bee conducting its admirable work, or the softer curves and calmer light of the other version.
Biodegradable materials: Recycled and Recyclable
The new Batch.works lampshades are all made with a filament supplied by Amsterdam’s social enterprise Reflow, which recycles and repurposes plastics that would otherwise be sent to landfill or incinerated. They’re also 3D printed to order at Batch.works, significantly lowering the amount of produced waste.
Closing the life cycle of the design, when you’re finished with them, they can be recycled with the rest of your domestic plastics, ready to be reinvented once more.
We’re delighted to see inventive start-up companies like Plumen breaking a lance for biodegradable lighting solutions. So Signify did with launching its recent services for tailormade 3D printed luminaires using recycled CD’s to create distinctive light shades for its users to demand.
We’ll keep following the Plumen team with great interest, keep our eyes open and inform you about further releases in 2020…
The Rensselaer Lighting Research Center (LRC) has partnered with Eaton Corporation on a research project to develop a complete, additively manufactured, integrated LED-luminaire. Under funding from the US Department of Energy (DOE), the project will address the main barriers to widespread adoption of additive manufacturing technology (also known as 3D printing) as applied to solid-state lighting solutions.
3D Printing a Fully Integrated Luminaire
Over the next two years, the project partners will conduct material science, electronics, printed optics, and advanced manufacturing research to investigate the transformational potential of a fully additively manufactured, LED integrated luminaire, with a focus on reducing the cost of the luminaire’s dominant subsystems.
The project, led by Eaton, was competitively selected through the DOE’s Solid State Lighting R&D Funding Opportunity program, and draws upon the LRC’s growing expertise in the field of 3D printed lighting research.
Fire Farm, an innovator in decorative lighting, recently launched an entirely new 3D printed lighting collectionat Boutique Design New York. The 2019 ‘Fire Farm 3DP Collection’ builds from explorations in 3D printing technology showcased in Adam Jackson Pollock’s commissioned light-sculpture installation, Spark, for American Family Insurance.
Exciting Debut Fire Farm 3DP Collection at BDNY
Blinded by science, the mad Fire Farm scientists unveiled the amazing new 3D printed chandeliers at BDNY. Boutique Design New York connects the most inventive manufacturers and the most influential design minds in the hospitality industry. The Fire Farm team experienced two days of incredible excitement around the groundbreaking silky crystalline fixtures created entirely using inventive 3D printing technologies.
A New Dimension to Innovative Lighting
Working with a crystal-clear recyclable resin that has a higher light transmission than glass and none of the fragility, these new designs are dynamic lightweight solutions with incredible detail and texture. The material and production process imbues these shades with an emissive light quality that is unique and unachievable from any other traditional fabrication process.
The shapes in this collection range from smooth and organic to faceted and crystalline demonstrating the broad range of expression now possible. The fixtures range in scale from small mini pendants up to tall pod-shaped pendants.
Fire Farm Expandolier: Innovation at Great Heights
Fire Farm has taken this innovation to greater heights in the Expandolier family of chandelier pendants. These ultra-tall pendant fixtures are perfect for bringing drama to vertical spaces. Offering simple geometric profiles that include circular, ovoid, square and triangular shapes, they can be mixed and matched to create larger compositions. The pendants are designed as articulated and tapered segments; both upward and downward tapered pendant options are available to create even more diversity when suspended together from a central canopy. The 3D printed pendants are also ultralight.
Fire Farm’s 3DP Collection is powered by standard E26, Edison-style base bulbs ready to accept dimmable LED lighting solutions, easy on energy consumption, cost and future compatibility. The 3DP Collection is a smart, beautiful, diverse, durable, easy to install and maintain, a lightweight and shipping-friendly solution to project lighting needs.
We at 3DPrinting.Lighting will keep following this interesting Iowa based lighting firm closely. The entire Fire Farm 3DP Collection can be discovered at the Fire Farm website.
Recently, researchers from the Singapore University of Technology and Design and Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, China, announced a breakthrough in the digital fabrication of microlens arrays using oscillation-assisted Digital Light Processing (DLP) 3D printing method.
To date, producing microlens arrays has proven to be difficult, according to the researchers. The current manufacturing technologies are time- consuming, have high process complexity, have a lack of fabrication flexibility, and face difficulty in consistency control.
Now, using a novel process of projection lens oscillation, the research teams have been successfully testing an approach for producing microlens arrays with proper surface smoothness using DLP 3D printing.
Micro Lens Arrays – A gentle Introduction
A microlens array (brief: MLA) consists of multiple micron-sized lenses with optical surface smoothness. An MLA has a supporting substrate with often individual lenses of about 10 micrometers on it. It is formed in a one-dimensional or two-dimensional direction. Today, MLA’s have become an important micro-optics device used in various compact imaging, sensing, and optical communication applications.
With the exception of Netherlands based Luximprint, a global leader in Additive Optics Fabrication, most traditional 3D printing methodologies have been unsuccessful in fabricating any optical component thus far, due to the presence of coarse surface roughness in 3D printed objects.
Projection Lens Oscillation
In this new approach, the computationally designed grayscale patterns are employed to realize microlens profiles upon one single UV exposure which removes the staircase effect existing in the traditional layer-by-layer 3D printing method, and the projection lens oscillation is applied to further eliminate the jagged surface formed due to the gaps between discrete pixels.
Digital Light Processing for Details
DLP 3D printing is a process that uses a digital projector to cure photopolymer resin and produce 3D printed parts. It is often used for highly detailed 3D printing, and is considered a faster method than Stereolithography, a similar 3D printing process. Although DLP 3D printing offers great flexibility in the fabrication of microlens arrays with different sizes, geometries, and profiles, it has been unable to produce parts with optically smooth surfaces.
To overcome this, the SUTD and SUSTech researchers suggested integrating DLP 3D printing with mechanical oscillation and grayscale UV exposure. Oscillation helps to remove the jagged surface formed by discrete pixels in a 3D printed part, whereas the grayscale UV exposure removes the staircase effect common to 3D printing, where layer marks are visible. The result is an ultrafast and flexible fabrication method for microlens arrays with optical surface smoothness.
3D Printing Smooth Microlenses
Although the research team has specifically adapted DLP for producing microlens arrays, various other 3D printing technologies are already suited towards its production.
For example, Germany-based Nanoscribe manufactures two-photon additive manufacturing systems that are capable of producing microlens arrays.
Also, for larger types of lens arrays, Dutch service provider for printed optics Luximprint offers optical quality lenses straight from the printer with zero need for post-processing.
Economic Viability & Effectiveness
To prove the viability and effectiveness of the approach, the research team has conducted detailed morphology characterizations, including scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy. Results suggested that the integration of projection lens oscillation with DLP 3D printing reduces surface roughness from 200 nm to about 1 nm.
Wrapping it all up, we may fairly conclude that, although the new DLP 3D process is still under investigation and not commercially available yet, the initial results are promising, and we can’t wait to see the first 3D printing devices entering the market.
Signify, the world leader in lighting recently unveiled its facilities to 3D print light shades and luminaires in the Netherlands and plans to establish Signify 3D printing factories in the US, India and Indonesia. Over recent years, the company has perfected this highly flexible, more sustainable form of manufacturing, using a 100% recyclable polycarbonate material. It allows luminaires to be bespoke designed or tailored to customer’s exact needs and recycled at the end of their life, supporting a circular economy.
3D Printing for a Lower Carbon Footprint
Signify’s investment in 3D printing further illustrates the company’s commitment to better serving its customers while reducing their, and its own, carbon footprint. A typical manufactured luminaire (excl. electronics and optics) has a 47% lower carbon footprint than a conventionally manufactured metal luminaire. Nearly every component may be reused or recycled, supporting the concept of a circular economy.
“A typical manufactured luminaire has a 47% lower carbon footprint than a conventionally manufactured metal luminaire”.
Signify is the first lighting manufacturer to produce 3D printed luminaires on an industrial scale, reinforcing our position at the forefront of lighting and sustainable innovation. Printing luminaires provide a more flexible, fast and more environmentally friendly way to manufacture.
It is now possible to create new, or customize existing designs, that fulfill customer needs quickly without huge investments and long development cycles. Users can have their ideas brought to life in a matter of days rather than months and printing requires less energy.
Signify 3D Printing Facilities – Global Expansion
Signify already has a 3D printing facility at Maarheeze in the Netherlands. It aims to have up to 500 3D printers of different sizes with the ability to create luminaires up to 60 cm height and width. In January 2020, new Signify 3D printing facilities will be operational in Burlington, Massachusetts, US, serving both professional and consumer markets. Additional facilities in Noida, India and Jakarta, Indonesia will follow quickly after. LED lights will be integrated into the luminaires at all these sites.
Lighting for a Circular Economy
3D printing has been around for a while, but these range of 3D printed luminaires are the first real retail lighting application that improves the sustainability of our stores and are extremely complementary to corporate sustainability strategies. The potential for the printed fittings is enormous, both from an energy and cost-efficiency perspective. They are printed on demand to fit perfectly without need for adjustment or cutting into our ceilings. Users can also return them to have them recycled and new designs printed, enabling us to be current and topical.
Albert Heijn, the Dutch supermarket chain, started using bespoke decorative pendants to enhance the atmosphere in its fresh food sections in over 100 stores in the Netherlands in 2017. Luminaires were printed in the style of fruit. In the meantime, other designs were deployed in multiple stores, in sections such as frozen food and coffee areas. The supermarket is able to refresh the designs by simply returning the shades to Signify which shreds them and prints new designs.
Online Tailor, Print and Deliver Fast Service for Consumers
Yesterday, Signify also announced the rollout across Europe of the world’s first online service to enable consumers to tailor decorative luminaires. Included in the range is a customizable Philips LED table lamp made from 24 recycled CDs.
In 2018, 79% of Signify’s sales comprised sustainable revenues. The company is committed to be carbon neutral in 2020 and was recently named Industry Leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the third year in a row.
Trends in Lighting, the international show for Architects, Lighting Designers, Planners and Investors, is running in parallel with the established LED professional Symposium and Expo in Bregenz, Austria, at the heart of the European Lighting Industry. Luximprint, Dutch service provider for additively fabricated custom optics, decided to use the event as a launching platform for one of its latest technology advancements: Optographixby Luximprint.
Optographix by Luximprint
In addition to its primary business of optically functional 3D printed optics, Luximprint offers now 3D printed optical graphics: Optographix. The novel solutions enable interior and lighting designers and anyone involved in branding and interior design the possibility to start working with the ‘medium of light’ in a different way.
Marco de Visser, Co-Founder of Luximprint explains: “Optographix offer the international design community new ways of engaging with light. By using novel 3D printing technologies, translucent media and optically clear or colored resins and combine them with day and artificial lighting, surfaces are brought to life and start to create compelling and stunning light effects“.
Trends in Lighting vs. LED professional Symposium
For Luximprint, both leading lighting events in Bregenz are of great relevance. This year, Luximprint will be presenting printed LED optics at the LED professional Symposium. An interactive lecture will teach an audience of industry professionals how ‘Additive Optics Design and Fabrication Pave the Path to Novel System Design and Lighting Applications’. Seen from a purely functional perspective, the messaging is most relevant to engineers and designers of functional lighting systems.
The TiL 2019 program, at the other hand, explores a new horizon for lighting. The show has, for the third year in a row, created an outstanding event program, dedicated to bridging the gap between architecture, application, design and technologies.
Optographix, which are considered as a ‘first-class lighting novelty’ are basically produced with the same printing process as printed optics. The optical translucency of the structures, critical for creating optically functional textures and typography, is created by applying the same optical resin formula in the printing and combining it with unique graphical 3D design methods. It is a perfect fit with the TIL 2019 visitor profile.
De Visser continues: “Optographix are a great new tool for brand enhancement and artistry, as they open up doors to applications and design spaces that were not accessible before”. When considering light as a medium rather than a static light source, suddenly, new ways of designing with light become within the reach”.
Lightly Technologies and Physionary
During the exhibition, Luximprint will be flanked by two more interesting lighting start-ups: Lighting Technologies, inventor of the revolutionary thin and powerful LED panels and Physionary, the Dutch design collective behind the groundbreaking Faceted Lens Technology.
Hikari SQ – Building Blocks for Lighting and Fixture Design
Lightly’s Hikari SQ LED panels at the one hand, go very well together with Luximprint Optographix. The powerful yet smooth light output are excellently suited as backlighting for Optographix. The fully controllable, ultra-thin and easy-to-integrate panels are a preferred choice by todays designer community.
Faceted Lenses: Light Where Needed
Physionary Design Software, on the other hand, is of great interest when it’s been used in the combination with Luximprint Additive Optics Fabrication technology. Where optical 3D printing breaks down the barriers in traditional lens manufacture, such as long lead times, tooling and inventory, Physionary software does so for the optics design part of the process. The combination of both novel technologies is extremely powerful as it is now possible to create custom optics for any particular project case in a matter of days.
We will be following the further path of those interesting lighting start-ups with great interest, and keep you posted in case of new breakthroughs!
The powerful decorative and functional ‘start-up collective’ can be visited from September 24th-26th, 2019 in the Bregenzer Festpielhaus at booth #S3 – #S5 and #S7.
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