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….
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