Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Reinventing the Light Bulb… With a Miniature 3D Printed Version of Yourself Inside?

ST Medical Devices

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lightbulbsfeaturedThe light bulb. It is one of mankind’s greatest inventions. Inventor Thomas Edison was the first to bring the electric light bulb into reality, and since then not really all that much as changed. Sure, we have advanced to LED bulbs, which save electricity and last much longer, but some of the trendiest bulbs today are the newly popular ‘Edison bulbs.’

lightbulbs1When it comes to 3D printing, the technology gives designers a means both to prototype ideas and to create unique objects which typically would not have seen the light of day, prior to the birth of these desktop manufacturing machines. For one man, named Richard (Rich) Vinten, and his brother Lance, 3D printing allowed them to reinvent the light bulb, in a way which even Thomas Edison surely never would have thought of.

“I’m a CAD designer for a jewelry manufacturer in the UK, and in 2012 I was asked to create the CAD work for a brooch to be presented to the Queen for her diamond jubilee,” Rich tells 3DPrint.com. “Since then, my brother and sisters have nicknamed me the ‘golden child.'”

lightbulbs3Rich’s brother Lance is a goldsmith and he has a hobby of creating various art pieces in his spare time. He has made a few lamps with objects inside of the bulbs, such as bird skulls and other unique things. He makes these as gifts for friends and family members, but as Rich explained to us, most the bulbs he has created are “quite morbid looking”…and thus their mother isn’t all that big of a fan. Rich had another idea though, one that his mother would certainly approve of.

“I had been scanned a few months ago, so I printed myself on an Envisiontec P4 3D printer, and then gave my brother some silver and bronze casts of myself. He then made a few things out of them; a toothpick, figurines, key rings and had one gold plated and put inside a lamp to give to our mom.”

The two brothers created a light bulb featuring none other than Rich himself inside and ready to be gifted to Mom. Rich, ‘the golden child,’ appears in gold within the newly invented light bulb. As for the bulb itself, we are told that it currently does not light up, but Rich and Lance will be looking to add LED lights to their next iteration.

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The Thomas Edisons of the 21st Century? Perhaps not, but these brothers may just be on to something with their unique creation. Is this the future of lighting? Bulbs featuring our own figures within? It very well may be. What do you think? Discuss in the 3D Printed Custom Light Bulb forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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