Printing your Flashlight
Before starting, you’ll want to download the files appropriate for your printer and skill set.
• If you want the simplest approach to printing, you may choose to download the file that is the entire flashlight model in one STL, titled “FlashlightKitAsOneSTL.zip”. Using this model in your slicing software, you can prepare it for your printer, then while printing, you will need to pause your printer just after the walls and circuits begin printing, change filament, and resume until completion.
• If you are familiar with combining STLs into your slicing software, you may prefer to download and use the flashlight in two STL files, titled “FlashlightKitAsTwoSTLs.zip”.
• Finally, if you intend to import the flashlight design into your own 3D modeling software for modification, you can download it as an ISO 10303-21 (STEP), IGES, and Geomagic Design file in the archive titled “FlashlightKitOtherFormats.zip”.
Printing your Functionalize LetterKit flashlight is as easy as 3D printing almost any other part. The one difference is that your flashlight will print with two types of filament, a normal PLA insulator, and F-Electric conductive material. All you need to do is start your print using the normal, colored PLA material, pause your print after 1.2 millimeters of PLA have printed, change the filament to F-Electric, and continue the print until it completes.
Pausing the print
Your method of pausing the print in order to change material can vary, depending on the slicer you use and your model of printer. If you have a printer, such as a Makerbot, Dremel or AIO Robotics Zeus, which have a “pause” button or a way to manually pause as it prints, you can simply wait until the printer has begun printing the walls and circuits of your model after finishing the base, pause, then change filament. Don’t worry if you don’t change at exactly the right place, which would be after one full layer of the wall and circuits are printed in PLA. Changing at any time after the wall and circuit printing begins and before two layers have finished should be fine.
If you have a slicer that allows you to change filament at a certain point in the print, you can create a sliced model with the pause built in.
We recommend and use print settings of:
Layer height: 200 micron (0.2 mm)
Print temperature: 220C
Bed temperature: 60C
Print speed: 20% slower than your usual “draft” print speed
Assembling your Flashlight
After you’ve finished printing the top and bottom of your flashlight, carefully remove them from the printer build platform. Lay them out similarly to the photo below, along with an LED, short lead wire to the left, and a battery, positive electrode down. First, bend the longer lead in an accordion-like way, so that it will fit under the battery. Then, snap the LED into its place with the shorter lead tucks into the channel on the left and bent around the corner where the top will snap into place.
After preparing the LED, it’s time to insert the battery. Carefully place the 2016 coin cell battery, positive side down, into the 3-pronged battery holder over the bent LED wire. Snap it into place. If the bottom was properly printed, the battery should be held in place by the 3 prongs.
Then, starting first with the corner of the flashlight with the snap clip close the top of the flashlight over the bottom, catching the shorter LED wire between the top and bottom in the snap clip. Ensure that you close all of the top walls over the bottom sides. At this point, you may still have a gap under the snap clip.
You’re almost there. The last step in assembling your flashlight is to make sure that the light is snapped tightly into place. Using the edge of your thumb, press down on the clear part of the LED, so that the edge of the LED snaps over the plastic edge of the hole in which it fits. Once that is done, your flashlight is complete!
This work by Functionalize Inc. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.