Author Topic: LED arch lamp  (Read 1758 times)

Offline Frank3k

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LED arch lamp
« on: August 08, 2016, 07:13:13 AM »
My model photography varies from awful to just OK. Part of the issue is uneven lighting.
I saw this arch light project referenced on Paper Modelers: http://www.papermodelers.com/forum/hardware/36555-diy-led-arch.html

A strip pf aluminum bent to shape would be cheap and would work, but it would have to be bolted to the workbench and I didn't want to do that. One of the links above goes to this version on Thingverse that includes the STL files, as well as variations: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1639224/#remixes

I calculated that the total cost for this lamp and its variations was well over $400 on Shapeways (and too big for my work area, anyway) so I decided to make my own. I bought this 5M LED strip with power supply from Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01H8E5Y3I/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=ZKTY2H7H031B&coliid=I25KULWEMV4HS4&psc=1
and a 1/16" x 3/4" x 48" strip of aluminum flat bar from the local hardware store. The LEDs don't get too hot, but a good heat sink will greatly increase their lifespan and reduce any color shifts or brightness drops caused by overheated LEDs.

This is what I have so far. The full arch is 100cm x 55cm  (39" x 21.6"):



Parts:



The aluminum bar (once bent and cut to length) fits into a slot in the arch pieces. The LEDs have a glue strip that would attach to the aluminum bar.

I split the arch into sections that would fit the Shapeways PLA printer bounding box. It still comes out to over $170. The nylon version is a little more expensive at $237. I could print it in steel... but that's a tad out of my budget at around $1500.

Foot detail:



The large hole is 11.4mm in diameter, which is big enough to fit the LED power connector. Since the LED strip can be cut, the power can be taken from the opposite arch foot and extended to a second arch, and so on (for 5m or about 5 arches worth). One power supply can feed all five arches... but I think I'll only need one arch. These LEDs are very bright!
The feet have flat areas under each corner to allow either bolting to a bench or taping/gluing.





Offline Jeffry Fontaine

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Re: LED arch lamp
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2016, 07:47:16 AM »
'Let there be light!' :)

Looks like a great solution to the problem. 
"Every day we hear about new studies 'revealing' what should have been obvious to sentient beings for generations; 'Research shows wolverines don't like to be teased" -- Jonah Goldberg

Offline buzzbomb

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Re: LED arch lamp
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2016, 07:14:03 AM »
How cool, you are a becoming a dab hand at the 3d render business

Offline Frank3k

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Re: LED arch lamp
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2016, 12:35:20 PM »
Thanks! Shapeways couldn't print it with their PLA/ABS filament printer, so I went with the nylon after I added some internal holes to make it lighter.

Offline jcf

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Re: LED arch lamp
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2016, 12:42:01 PM »
Steel, we want steel.  ;D
"Evil our grandsires were, our fathers worse;
And we, till now unmatched in ill,
Must leave successors more corrupted still."
Horace, 65BC - 8BC. Marsh translation.

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: LED arch lamp
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2016, 06:01:46 AM »
Steel, we want steel.  ;D

Bah!!  Anything less than aerospace grade titanium is unacceptable... ;D
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline Frank3k

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Re: LED arch lamp
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2016, 07:51:43 AM »
I finally finished this and it was a huge FAIL. Shapeways couldn't print it in ABS or PLA, so I printed it in their sintered nylon (strong and flexible) and made it black. When I got the parts, there was no way of fitting the aluminum heatsink into the slots. It took me about 15 minutes to get it to move an inch. What happened is that some (a lot, actually) of the nylon powder was still firmly stuck in the slots for the aluminum bar. I tried scraping it out, but the angles made it impossible.

Screw it. I cut the arches (which took a while) scraped out the excess nylon power (it appears that the black is just a paint) and squeezed the sides around the aluminum bar... forming it as I went along.

Here's the result. It sucks:

(yes, my desk is a mess - I have several projects going on - a Raspberry Pi running OctoPi for a Monoprice 3D printer I bought; a WiFi to RS-232 telescope controller that I just finished, assorted test boards and parts bags)

This is a sample of the cuts:


Most of the space between the sides is lost material, the rest is nylon powder I didn't remove.

At least it does provide bright, even white light:


Still annoying, though.

I have several meters of LEDs left over, including 5 meters on even brighter ones. I think the arch idea is good, but 3 or 4 large sheets of bright LEDs should be even better.

Offline buzzbomb

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Re: LED arch lamp
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2016, 09:45:11 AM »
Frank, what a shame, but I suppose from time to time the practicality of an idea needs to be tried.
Still love the idea process and the delivery through 3D technology though

Offline Frank3k

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Re: LED arch lamp
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2016, 10:05:48 AM »
Thanks Brian, it is a learning experience, albeit an expensive one. It looks like a dog's 3D breakfast, but at least it does its primary job - putting down some even light. The aluminum heatsink works well so that's something.

Offline elmayerle

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Re: LED arch lamp
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2016, 11:24:08 AM »
It almost sounds like the arch needs to be fabricated in smaller interlocking sections that can be easily cleaned up and fit for use before being assembled into a solid whole.  In any case, it looks like it does the job, despite not looking as aesthetic as you would wish.