Introduction: Build Your Own Compact 3D Printed 100w Flashlight!

So after watching diy perks video on his 100w flashlight i got inspired to build my own. In the effort to spend less i decided to salvage or print most of the parts for the build. My version is based around a circular fan/heatsink salvaged from an old computer, these should be fairly common so you can easily follow along! The stock intel cooler should work if you scale down the handles.

The light can be fully controlled (on/off,brightness) from a 2-hand configuration or easily be carried with one hand like an old school lantern. The total cost of the project should be <30$ unless you buy a high quality led. This guide assumes that you have some basic knowledge of electronics, but could also be good first eletronics project if you have access to a 3d printer (you can also get the parts printed at 3D hubs). Lets get started!

If you feel that this instructable is a winner, click the "vote" banner above and vote for me!

Step 1: Components

Before we start building we need the parts and the tools for the job. I wont provide links as they tend to expire on sites like alliexpress and ebay. Most of the parts should be available from the usual low price Chinese sellers.

3D printed parts:

The parts can be downloaded from thingiverse here.
If you dont have acess to a 3d printer, check out local printers on 3D hubs and makexyz or shapeways.

The parts can be printed with a Coarse layer high as they are low detail. I would recommend a layer height of 0.3mm if you use a 0.4mm nozzle. print at 100% infill. The parts should take about an hour each. Abs or petg should be used.

you need:

4x adapters
1x left hand handle
1x right hand handle
1x battery mount

I would recommend that you dont use my led driver bracket as its can only be mounted on my specific fan/heat sink combo. If you dont want to design your own bracket you can print an extra battery holder and place your controller board on top of the heatsink.

The knob i used wasn't designed by me but can be found here.

Electronics:

1x 100w led - Can be found for about 2usd. sort by most orders to find the best ones. I would recommend a cold white but warm white (and other colors) works just as well.

1x 100w led driver - A generic board thats widely available. Both the single blue potentiometer and double is ok. This part is required as it boosts the voltage from the battery to 32v.

1x battery - 8 AA batteries does work but i prefer lipo or li-ion batteries.

1x meter of <16awg wire - I prefer silicon insulated wire for high amperage applications but any wire will work.

1x battery connector - A connector of some sort should always be used. I prefer xt60s.

1x toggle switch - i prefer the red 2 position switches. They are rated for 5A and should be sufficent for this project.

1x meter of ~ 20awg wire - For the regulating circuit.

2x 11k resistors - For the regulating circuit.

1x 10k potentiometer - For the regulating circuit.

Hardware:

1x led lens - should come with a reflector, a glass lens and an metal plate

4x m3 10mm screws and nuts - to connect the metal plate to the heatsink

1x tube of thermal paste - any version will do

1x pack of zipties - atleast 20, to mount the handles and secure the wires

Other useful parts:

1x Velcro - to make sure that the battery doesn't slide out

1x battery strap - to secure your battery to the battery holder

1x super glue - to mount the regulating circuit

1x hotglue - to secure the led

Tools:

  • Soldering iron and solder - to solder the led and the regulating circuit
  • 3D printer - to print the parts
  • pliers - to secure the zip ties

Step 2: Wiring Up the Electronics

First thing we have to do is solder wires to the led. The polarity of the led can be found by hovering over the image above. Twist and tin the wires and then stick them trough the hole in the protruding tabs on either side of the led. I would recommend that you cover the tabs and the exposed wire with either hot glue, superglue or clear nail polish. I prefer nail polish as it dries fast and can easily be removed if something has to be resoldered.

Next thing is to Solder the battery connector. Depending on the battery you can use different connectors but i always recommend that you use a xt60 pair. Always have some way of fully disconnecting the battery when working with high output batteries like lipos and li-ons.
Cut two 30cm wires and solder them to your connector of choice. Cover the exposed connector with glue or heatshrink.

Cut the positive cable 2/3 from the connector and solder on the switch (as shown above). Make sure that you cover up the switch. Also make sure that your fan cables (+ and -) can reach your driver board.

For the regulator circuit i would recommend you to watch diy perks video as he does a great job of explaining it. You can find the video here!

Technical specs:

1A@ 30-32v
2,5A - 3A @ 12v (trough the led driver)

light @ low power - 1600 lux
light @ high power - 22000 lux

Note: Lux and lumens is not the same thing, my readings are in lux taken by a lightmeter.

Step 3: Putting It All Together

Note: As i mentioned in step 2 the bracket i made is very specific to my setup and if you not 100% sure that it will fit, i would recommend that you instead print another battery holder and glue your led driver to it. The second battery holder can be placed on top of heat sink without modifications.

Attaching the led

  1. Super glue the reflector to the led.
  2. Screw on the 3D printed adapter to the heat sinks sockets screws.
  3. Put a dab of thermal paste on the led and press it on to the heatsink.
  4. Add the glass lens and the metal plate on top of the led and screw the metal plate to the adapters.
  5. Make sure that the led is secured under the lens. If the led moves around, put a dab of glue between the led and the heatsink.

Attaching the handles

So now we are going to attach the handles and the battery holder to your heatsink. We do this by threading a zip tie trough the channels of the handles. Start by threading a zip tie trough the battery holder and attach a second zip tie to the one you just threaded. Dont tighten it more than a couple of "clicks". Pull that zip tie trough one of the handles (make sure that the hole for the potentiometer/switch is pointing towards you) and add a third zip tie. The handle should now be locked by zip tie 2 and 3. add zip tie 4 and 5 and guide them trough handle 2. Zip tie 5 should now be able to lock with zip tie 1.Put your heat sink in the middle of your loop and start tightening the zip ties on by one.

Finish it up!

You are almost done!

Attach the switch and the potentiometer to the handles. potentiometer on the left, switch on the right. glue the resistors and the blue potentiometer to the handle.

Plug in the battery and try it out! Make sure to not point the light directly at anyone.

Step 4: You Are Done!

Hopefully by now you have your own Portable sun! This project is not only a great flashlight, its also works great as lighting for filming/working at night.

If you found something confusing, please tell me in the comments below and i will try to help out!

Comments

author
JoseM258 made it!(author)2017-01-18

Hi. This is a great instructable and I really want to do it but I do feel that a few more pictures about the assembly process wouldn't go amiss.

Do you think you could provide some pictures showing how the potentiometer, the resistors and the switch look on the handle? Also pictures with a deeper depth of field and a picture of the side with and without the battery attached. Also the capacity of the battery.

Sorry if I am asking for too much. Thank you very much in advance

author
HasseB made it!(author)2017-01-18

Sure! i will update the instructable tomorrow.

author
JoseM258 made it!(author)2017-01-19

Wow!! Thank you!

author
HasseB made it!(author)2017-01-19

I added some more pictures to step 3. If you fell that something else is missing dont hesitate to comment.

Also, if you feel that this instructable is a winner i would appreciate it if you would vote for me by pressing the "vote!" button in the right upper corner!

author
JoseM258 made it!(author)2017-01-20

Thank you! They've been helpful. I'll let you know if I'm stuck. I've voted too!

author
JoseM258 made it!(author)2017-01-26

Hi, me again. Could I have an in-focus picture of the last picture on step 4?

That would be the back of the potentiometer, and the front if you can. I'd like to see what you've done with the components. Thank you!

author
HasseB made it!(author)2017-01-26

I simply glued the loose components to the handle after connecting them up but i would recommend that you cover it in either heatshrink or electrical tape.

author
AlexH18 made it!(author)2017-01-19

Any part numbers or models of the parts you use would be helpful. This is a great idea!

author
HasseB made it!(author)2017-01-19

Thank you!

The parts i used can be found at step 1 under electronics. The components are no-name parts from from china so they dont really have part numbers.

author
vince086 made it!(author)2017-01-16

Any tips on finding the 100w led driver? Searches on Ebay only find these metal "boxes". From your description it sounds more like a boost converter, is that what I should look for?

author
HasseB made it!(author)2017-01-18

Try "dc-dc 100w","100w boost converter" or "100w constant current" should give you the right results.

author
RadarRon made it!(author)2017-01-14

Wow, it looks powerful, Powerfully cool!

100 watts is the power consumed by the LED, but how many lumens does it putout? If you had the power drawn, we could better decide what type of runtime we could get for a particular battery configuration. Lastly, could you provide any more information for the sourcing of the lense?

author
HasseB made it!(author)2017-01-15

I added the power draw under "Step 2: Wiring up the eletronics" at the bottom of the page. I will add readings from a light meter later today.

The lenses can be found under the name 100w led lens or 44mm lens. I bought mine from aliexpress but they should be available at eBay too.

author
Modern+Rustic+Workshop made it!(author)2017-01-07

This is crazy cool! I love the look of it as well!

author
seamster made it!(author)2017-01-04

Very nice! This is a great looking light, and a good instructable too.

About This Instructable

17,811views

191favorites

License:

Bio: I build stuff.
More by HasseB:Stop motion paper effect with premiere!Plant peter - Your personal gardener!Bir Bot - The only bot that keeps your beer safe!
Add instructable to: