Lighting Research Center

Advancing the effective use of light for society and the environment

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Additive Manufacturing for Lighting Consortium

3D Printing

Consortium Activities

In 2015, the Lighting Research Center began exploring the benefits and challenges of 3D printing for lighting applications. LRC researchers used a 3D printer to create the housing for an innovative luminaire design for an undergraduate research project, which then led the LRC to consider whether 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, might have broader uses in the solid-state lighting industry.

After completing several research studies on using additive manufacturing for lighting, the LRC brought together a group of industry leaders, composed of lighting and 3D printer and material manufacturers, to explore the possibility of establishing an industry consortium to lead the transformation of lighting toward additive manufacturing. With overwhelming interest from the attendees, the consortium convened its first meeting in April 2019 and is now setting a course to understanding and assimilating additive manufacturing as a viable option for the lighting, building, construction, and allied lighting industries.

2019 Consortium Project

Case study: Evaluation of the components of an LED MR-16 lamp

The consortium chose for its first project a pilot study that would help its members and the LRC to better understand the needs, possibilities, and present status of additive manufacturing capabilities relevant to lighting fixtures; to create opportunities for consortium member collaboration; and to compare costs and environmental impacts.

The project chosen was to evaluate the performance of 3D-printed LED MR-16 lamp components and compare their performance against traditionally manufactured components. The components chosen to be 3D printed and characterized were a heat sink, a secondary optical lens, and an MR-16 socket consisting of snap bushing and threaded cap. AM manufacturing members of the consortium were given design specifications for each of the lighting components. Members printed prototypes of the components, and LRC researchers conducted the performance characterizations and comparisons against similar, traditionally manufactured components. The results showed that with the right combination of printing method and material, these lighting components could be successfully manufactured with 3D printing technology.

For more information:

Additive Manufacturing for Lighting Consortium Membership

3D Printing for Lighting Research at the LRC


N. Narendran, Ph.D., LRC Director of Research
Tel: +1 (518) 276-7176

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