Lighting Research Center Lighting Research Center

3-D Printing for Solid-State Lighting

3D Printing

Innovative OLED Luminaire Design

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.

Exploring Innovative OLED Luminaire Design
The LRC explored design opportunities for OLED panels using 3D-printed, modular fixture housing. Sponsored by ASSIST.

The LRC is in the process of establishing an alliance among researchers, manufacturers, and other organizations to help overcome the technical barriers impeding the use of 3-D printing and make it a viable resource for the SSL industry. On behalf of the alliance, the LRC will conduct research, demonstration, educational, and industry-wide consensus building activities to help the lighting industry realize the benefits of 3-D printing and add value for users of solid-state lighting.

For more information about participating with the LRC in its SSL 3-D printing research, contact N. Narendran, narenn2@rpi.edu or (518) 687-7100.

Technical Reports and Publications

Narendran, N. and I.U. Perera. 2018. The value of 3-D printing in manufacturing solid-state lighting systems. Lightfair International 2018, May 9, 2018, Chicago, Illinois

Perera, I.U., N. Narendran, and V. Terentyeva. 2018. Thermal characterization of three-dimensional printed components for light-emitting diode lighting system applications. Optical Engineering 57(4), 041411; doi: 10.1117/1.OE.57.4.041411.

Narendran, N., and I.U. Perera. 2018. Revolutionizing the Solid-State Lighting Industry with 3-D Printing. Troy, N.Y.: Lighting Research Center.

Narendran, N., and I.U. Perera. 2018. Is 3-D printing the next frontier for the LED lighting industry? LEDs Magazine, 31 January 2018.

Narendran, N., I.U. Perera, X. Mou, and D.R. Thotagamuwa. 2017. Opportunities and challenges for 3-D printing of solid-state lighting systems. Proceedings of SPIE 10378, 16th International Conference on Solid State Lighting and LED-based Illumination Systems, SPIE Optics + Photonics, San Diego, Calif., August 2017, Paper 10378-35.

Terentyeva, V., I.U. Perera, and N. Narendran. 2017. Analyzing theoretical models for predicting thermal conductivity of composite materials for LED heat sink applications. Proceedings of the IES 2017 Annual Conference, August 10-12, Portland, Oregon.


Summary Posters

Thermal Characterization of 3D-printed Components (2018) pdf logo

Media Coverage

Press Release: LRC Graduate Student Wins Thesis Prize for Research on Lighting Technology (2018)

Press Release: LRC Expands SSL Research Capabilities to Connected Lighting, 3D Printing (2016)



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