100% Printed Flashlight: Conductive Filament And Melted-in Leads

100% Printed Flashlight: Conductive Filament And Melted-in Leads

Conductive filament isn’t an ideal electrical conductor, but it’s a 3D printable one and that does [Hercemer]3D printed flashlight with conductive filaments. Every part of the flashlight is printed except for the 9 volt battery and LEDs. From an electrical point of view, the flashlight consists of a small number of LEDs that are connected in parallel to the terminals of the battery. Switching on and off is done by twisting or loosening a cap to make or break the connection.

The main part of the build is a 3D printed conductive cylinder surrounded by a printed conductive ring with an insulator in between. This disk or pad-shaped arrangement not only forms the electrical connection between the LEDs and the battery terminals, but also physically holds the LEDs. To fix them [Hercemer] He just melts them right into it. He heats the leads with a soldering iron and hot presses them into the 3D printed conductive block. The terminals of the 9v battery will touch the bottom if the end cap is twisted and if they touch the conductive assembly the flashlight will turn on.

The anode of each LED goes to the center, the cathode to the outer ring.

LED cables are melted down with a soldering iron.

A 9V battery pressed to the bottom of the conductive block will light up the LEDs.

Anticipate everyone’s curiosity, [Hercemer] measured the resistance of its conductive block and measured approximately 350 ohms when printed at 90% fill; Lower fillings lead to more resistance. You can see a video of the assembly and see the flashlight in action in the video embedded below.

The heat setting of the LED cables is clever and allows a variety of LEDs to be mounted as needed. It’s similar to brass thermosetting inserts, which work well with 3D printed plastics and could make a good electrical connection even in a similar build.

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