How to 3D Print Light Pipes on the Form 1, shared by Formlabs:
Light pipes, also referred to as light guides or light tubes, are commonly used in electronic devices to transmit light from LEDs on a circuit board to indicator symbols or buttons. Light is directed through the light pipe by means of internal reflection on the inner surfaces, so a light pipe should be designed to minimize loss of light over the length of the pipe.
Most light pipes are made from optical-grade acrylic resin, with a mirror-like finish on the outside walls to maximize internal reflections. The Form 1’s Clear resin is a clear acrylate, but it is not optical-grade. Without polishing, even the highest resolution stereolithography parts will not match the mirror surface finish of molded parts.
However, you can produce perfectly functional light pipes on the Form 1. These light pipes can be used for functional prototypes, and depending on the part and the quantity required, they may even be a cost-effective production method.
This guide aims to summarize our findings and offer tips and design guidelines for designing your own light pipes on the Form 1….
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!