Additive manufacturing, also known as 3-D printing, allows objects of almost any shape or geometry to be manufactured from digital model data. One value of 3-D printing for SSL is the ability to design custom lighting fixtures that match the architectural features of a building and then “print” or manufacture them on-site for quick installation. 3-D printing also can be beneficially utilized at the fixture component level. With 3-D printing of fixtures, heat sinks can be designed to be part of the fixture envelope rather than attached afterwards, which would reduce the fixture’s bulk size and cost and improve its attractiveness. Ongoing LRC projects in this research area include:
Tailoring Material Properties
The LRC team is examining how fixture materials can be customized with the right amount of directional thermal conduction properties, allowing for the production of custom SSL fixtures within the additive manufacturing process.