Update 3/25/18 Recieved my high efficency LED's and did a bit of testing: with a 2850mah tested cell, charge time 3.5hours discharge on High Setting(1400ma) 2.5 hours, discharge on medium setting 9hours!!
Update 3/17/18 added a new file for the shell that has a cone of support to help print the very tall slender body. End Update.
This is an update to post my V2 of this awesome project. I have changed some purchased components to make this flashlight more reliable, but I haven't yet received my new LED's, yet so the testing results are still TBD.
This Build is slightly more expensive, but the good news is I have made it mostly able to be disassembled, you still need to epoxy the board and solder all connections but other than that, it comes apart! very cool.
other features updated: Adjustable beam angle, Recharge indicator viewing hole, more than 200% the heat sink thermal mass and surface area, smaller button, flex grip handle and lanyard, easier wiring and assembly.
Updated Purchased Parts:
The only three changes to the below Bill of Materials are the LED, LED Driver Board and more copper heat sinks. I chose Cree's most efficient LED line, the XP-E2 r4 mounted to a Noctigon 16mm copper MCPCB (https://intl-outdoor.com/noctigon-xp16-mcpcb-cree-xpe2-r4-1a-led-p-772.html) These LED's are rated for 1A but after research I found that they can be overclocked by 300% safely (just a lot of heat to get rid of) so I chose to run 1.4A boards with 3 or 5 modes. (https://www.fasttech.com/p/1122401) these will also serve as your lights under voltage protection device. Lastly you need these large copper heat sinks as well as the smaller ones listed below. (http://a.co/ae0EfHE)
Updated printed parts
To be safe please redownload all files and delete your old ones. Small changes were made to V1 parts. In order to print this V2 you must be able to print flexible materials!! The lens is held by the hex cover to make it an adjustable beam.
Two heat sinks must be soldered together as shown in the renderings and the heat sink soldered directly to the MCPCB if your using aluminum you have to use the thermal adhesive pads that come with the sinks.
I have left the V1 STLs up so be careful to choose the right files to print.
No need to glue the button down, it is held in place by the soldered wires
No need to glue the heat sinks in, they are held in by the wires, epoxy if you want to.
End Update 3/3/2018
Here is the Version 1 of my Flashlight design. This is a slightly advanced maker project due to the tight soldering and various printing materials. You must be able to print ABS at the very least, NinjaFlex if you want to use the soft button and hex lens cover.
This project is worthwhile if you want to make many flashlights as gifts and such because many of the components are sold in packs of 10 for cost effectiveness.
Caution! The way that these components work together, the highest setting will Burn out the LED at Full Battery Charge!!! I use the lowest setting mostly and even then the heat sink gets pretty hot after a while.
Warning! the Copper heat sink is exposed for cooling purposes and can become very hot. yes I have slightly burned my self sticking my pinky finger in the hole to see how hot it was. It's hot!
List of Purchased Components
Total cost of one Flashlight = ~$10.00 + Printed Parts + You're invaluable Time.
- Print All core pieces out of ABS or your preferred high strength high temp resistant material. -Print all pieces standing on end with a 0.4mm nozzle @0.2mm/lyr (recommended large brim)
- Print the Shell in any material you want, vertically with charger hole down
-Support everything to 55-60° overhang @ 20% zigzag
- I print ninjaflex at 240°C and 8mm/sec speed everywhere. (you have to run a lot of material thru before you push out the last of what ever was in the nozzle before. Just keep trying)
1) Solder a very short lead from the out(-) on the charger module directly to the negative side of the 18650 Cell. Make sure not to install the board too close to the battery, it could short if done wrong. I added a drop of epoxy once assembled to keep the board separated from the battery.
2) Solder a longer lead from the out(+) on the charger module directly to the positive end of the 18650 Cell. This lead should be just long enough to reach, so cut it to length and strip. the wire has to fit in the groove of the battery holder piece so make sure all support or print bumps are eliminated in this groove.
3) Solder a 5 inch lead to the same place as the out(-) on the negative side of the battery. This lead also has to fit into the groove on the battery holder so use thin wires. I used 24 AWG solid for these wires. this wire will go to one side of the switch, doesn't matter witch side.
4) Solder a short flexible length of wire to the same place on the positive battery terminal. place the battery and charger into the battery holder piece. as you slide the battery into place, guide the negative wire out the bottom and the positive wire through the end
5) Epoxy Charge board to the battery holder such that the charger port is flush with the end of the flat plate. Use the same batch of epoxy to ensure the board stays separated from the battery. Clamp lightly in place while adhesive cures. Glue the battery in place if you want to as well. I didn't.
6) Solder the positive wire that is sticking out of the end of the battery holder part to the center plate on the back side of the LED Driver module. Make sure that the LED Driver is totally round by trimming it with a rotary tool. I will not fit otherwise.
7) Solder a 2 inch lead to the outside ring on the back of the LED Driver. This wire will also go to the switch and will be trimmed to length when soldering in the switch.
8) Push the LED Driver into the end of the Battery Holder making sure not to break the connections you've made. The LED Driver Board should be flush with the rim of the end.
9) De-solder the leads from the LED Driver making note witch side was positive and negative. Bend the tips of the leads and hook them thru the notches on the CREE LED and solder them to the LED.
10) Using the provided adhesive patches that came with the Copper Heat Sinks, attach the sink as square and center as possible on the back of the led. this is important to make sure the led is straight, use the break lines on the top and bottom as alignment tools. you can place and replace if your careful. then press it on hard when you've got a good position. Don't bend the copper pin fins.
11)make sure that the Sink fits into the LED Holder part and the leads are only sticking out a short amount before gluing it in place. I epoxied the inside of the four support pillars to the corner pins. Press the assembled LED and Sink into place
12) epoxy the lens into the LED holder, there is a step that will not let it go too far. make sure the Lens is clean to your liking, it will not be removable. nothing is really.
13) Test the polarity of the LED and LED Driver by touching the switch wires together and carefully setting the two leads of the led to where the wires were originally soldered. if no light, try the reverse polarity. once it flashes make note of the polarity.
14) making sure the switch leads are not touching, solder the LED leads to the LED driver. Twist the wires slightly so that the LED Holder and Battery Holder come together (don't glue yet). you can continue testing the connections by touching the switch wires together.
15) making sure that the locking button is depressed (off) epoxy it into place and solder the switch leads to it, polarity doesn't matter for mechanical switches. Continue testing the light but don't leave it on for more than a short moment.
16) Make sure that the Shell part is clear of debris inside. Test fitting before electrical assembly is recommended.
17) Epoxy the LED Holder part to the Battery holder part and quickly insert the entire core assembly into the Shell part and press it all into place. the switch button should appear centered in the button hole.
18) Epoxy edge of bottom of flexible button to the flat spots exposed to the button hole.
Now you've got a homemade 3d printed LED Flashlight!
I cant stress enough not to use the high setting for more than .25 seconds. the light will turn bluish and you WILL burn out the LED. This Flashlight was not meant to be taken apart for repair, unless you can manage to assemble it that way.
I look forward to seeing your makes! That is if you get this made successfully. please let me know in the comments what you think and how it could be improved. I will be working on a bike light that uses an external portable battery pack.
Good Luck and Happy Printing!