3D Printed Bike Light Cheap and Lifelong V2




Introduction: 3D Printed Bike Light Cheap and Lifelong V2

Hi everyone,

There it is, a second version of the battery free bike light.

I really wish you'll enjoy making it for yourself, maybe with friends, maybe upgrading it ( please do it) but at least riding a bike with an eco friendly and lifelong working blinking light.

What a pleasure ! ( and made by yourself !

Ready ?

Step 1: Materials

There it is !

As I wanted this thing to be easy to reproduceI prepared a kit but also listed everything below for makers who'd like to make it by themselves in another way.

So here is the kit I prepared :



in several links on eBay if you prefer :



And here is what you need in any case. You can find anything in your near hardware store or your favorite electronic shop :

- Relay 12 VDC

- LEDs x 2 red and x2 white at least 10 000 mcd

- Strongest neodymium magnet possible

- 1 x 10-32 screws and bolt

- 6 x 4-40 small screws

- 1x hose clamp

- 15 meters of PETG or ABS filament

- 3D models linked to the kit : everything is here my dear : https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2643838

In order to avoid several deplacements, shipping fees,3D remodelling to fit with components etc....I personnaly thought it's way easier to regroup everything in a kit.

But as everyone has its own fun, I would be really happy to hear what you did and found out.

Step 2: Step 2 : Tools

About tools :

- a 3D printer able to print ABS or PETG ( you can try PLA but I don't advise it).

- a soldering iron

-a flat, philip and square ( yiii I know but it's so good) screwdriver

Step 3: Time

If you want to do workshops, or prepare this as a present or because you decided to become zero waste starting with this project as I did, believe it or not it takes less than 1 hour to assemble and mount it but around 4 to 6 hours of printing.

A bit long ?Well, that's right, but it works life long ! Try it, and you'll tell me what you think once riding.

- Count 1/2 hour in front of the screen to download and slice the 3D parts

- Count 4 to 6 hours of printing ( could be exponential if you print 0.05mm height - OMG ! - print speeds , etc ....)

- 15 minutes soldering and assembling the light

- 15 to 20 minutes to mount it on your bike.

Ready ? Let's go !

Step 4: Download and Slice 3D Models

There it goes !


Actually there is no order in the way to do it but I just advice to do it this way

First : Print the first part called "liens" so that you can learn from your material if it's your first time with PETG ofr instance. It's an easy part to print permitting to check you do well.

Liens_angle = the rear light

Liens_droit = the front light

Infill 100% or at least enough perimeters so that the screws could be screwed very tight

Second : print boitier_k_44 (AB3D if you want to try having letters on it :))

I advise to print it as shown on the picture without any support it bridges pretty well

Infill 100% _ inside_out , same comment that above, at least enough perimeters to fill 100% the part.

Third : Magnetic supports or "supports_aimants"

I'll advise perimeters = 5 or more, same principle, mechanical forces would be applied.

At this time . I advise starting the next step of assembly as heating the soldering iron or .... having a break if you need one.

I personnaly started to learn how to draw ;)

For busy people, checking mails works very well.

Step 5: Soldering and Check Leds Direction

Aaaah this moment we all love .... Soldering !

Here is a bit tricky but only 3 components ( 2 LEDs, 1 coil).

1) Place the LEDs in the support so that the LEDs are in an opposite direction each other

(when magnet will pass over the coil it will make a positive and negative voltage AC to be said, check the video to better get it )

2) Place the coil as on the picture

3) Solder the LEDs on the coil

4) switch off the solder iron

and you know what ? That's it !

Congrats ! You made it !

N.B : Just check that LEDs work well, one should light when the magnet approaches and the other one when the magnet goes away.

If not you soldered both in the same direction, which is the wrong way.

Congrats ! You're making AC power !

Step 6: Put Everything in the Box and Screw Screw Screw !

As the title and the picture say.

Just put the last assemble in the box with the transparent top red or transparent transparent for the front light.

If you use glue, just don't use acrylic one to seal. It will blur the leds and drastically alffects the brightness

I advise epoxy if required ,normally it works press fit.

Take the largest screw, the "link" part and start screwing all the parts together.

( To be said, I deep fried the light in epoxy to seal it, and was pretty suprised of the finish, did I discover THE way to finish 3D printing ? hmmmm it's smooth but not perfect, would work on flat surface only but it hides very well the famous 3D printed lines).

Step 7: Pick Up the Magnets Supports

Are the supports of the magnet baked ? if not come back to this step when it's done.

Yes ? yyyyeeeee !... Ready then !

Place magnets on each sides of the support so that it will magically stand.

This is the best way I found to make them stand.

i know metallic support will help, but I'm afraid of rust, to be honest I'm working on it, while typing those words.

If you have any guess, I'll be happy to build together.

Step 8: Screw the Magnet on the Wheel

Time to install everything together .... trlrlrlrlrlrlrlrlr ( drum roll) ...

So screw the magnet supports on the wheel as shown on the picture. About middle height of the wheel.

( too high, the magnet will go too fast, no force, no light. Too low, will work ! but not as bright as half placed).

Notice : it must be pretty tight.

Not too much to crack the plastic but clearly enough to stay in position while turning high speed.

If you never experienced the well known "centrigual force" a crash course is gonna be offered to you.

In few words, you'll propulse in the air what you tried to fix on the wheel.

Anecdote : My first try was on my friend's bike ( I was very happy to film my first prototype way far from this model !). This guy just sprinted and in half a second, I could just hear " chbling " (magnet support leaving the wheel) followed by a " wwwwuuuu" (flying in the air)... might still be in orbital around the Earth.

Sir Musk or if you hear about it, please keep me informed. I try as much as possible to recycle the plastic I use.

Thanks by advance ;)

Step 9: Fine Tunning

Last step before the ride.

Slightly adjust the light on the bike frame. I must be very close to the turning magnet installed on the wheel.

it must be as close as possible ( 1 or 2 mm) without touching it. Adjust using the big screw.

And here is why printing at 100 pecent or 5 perimeters infill makes all its sense. you can screw very very very tight and then it won't never crack and neither move !

Lift the bike and give the wheel a spin...

There it goes Induction light is here.

Congrat yourself you did well, very well !

Step 10: Enjoy and Share

There it is ! Ride your bike !

( I'm actually waiting for my friend to film if it's still empty after the 20th of November 2017 mail me)

But ...

You made it ! YOU MADE IT ! Awesome !

You used the 3D printer to do something, useful, ecofriendly and zero waste.

THANK YOU for that ! I really hope you enjoyed doing it.

If you have any comment, remark to go further, I'll be more than likely to build it together.

Looking forward reading from you, I wish you the best everyday !



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    5 years ago

    As long as you're using epoxy already, it wouldn't be too much trouble to add a bit of fiberglass for strength. Tow is probably best, though cloth would still be a vast improvement over unreinforced plastic. Keep in mind that there's epoxy intended for glue, and there's epoxy intended for laying up composites. You'd want the latter, though it might be a good idea to attach the laid up fiberglass down with the glue type for better adhesion. You can also get pre-cured carbon or fiberglass. Maybe use a scrap of circuit board with all the copper etched off? I realize that's not 3D printed anymore. Then there's this obsolete composite that's very easy to work called wood. Tongue depressors?

    Alex Pop
    Alex Pop

    Reply 5 years ago

    Hi Ir10cent,

    Thanks for your comment, yes, definitely it could work with gled wood too.

    I just had the idea to make something really useful with those 3d printing I see some in fablabs harvesting the dust and it broke my heart. So I thought spreading out 3D models and kits would help to use those magical machines.

    I wish to teach it soon because it could help to understand how AC / DC electricity works

    About upgrades I guess you were talking about the magnet support isn't it ?

    it requires a metallic plate to increase the magnetic field, I'm working on it.

    What is your specific field by the way ? and do you cycle ?


    Reply 5 years ago

    On further thought, it occurs to me using a big washer and a threaded insert or a captive nut on the other side would allow you to tighten the screws more. I was only concerned about the strength. However, if you're going to add a plate to increase the field, I guess it could be steel and then you could make the entire support, or most of it, out of the right kind of steel. Not 3d, I'll admit.

    I'm into mechanical design, and have worked with stuff like electronics packaging of various kinds. (telecom and medical devices, a few short stints with other things)

    I don't ride any more. I got sick of having a chip on my shoulder all the time. For a while, I was living further from the city and I didn't get hassled much, but now I've moved closer in. However, the risk of cycling and being irritated may be lower than the risk of having less exercise. Maybe I'll take it up again when most cars are driven by computer.


    Reply 5 years ago

    Good, let's keep working together man I PMed you,

    Take care,



    5 years ago

    Good Day!
    I want to create a bikelight that you design and use it to my bike as my everyday it is my everyday service to work. May I know what would be the value of capacitor, diodes, and resistors respectively for the steady light? To incorporate with the blinking diodes.

    Alex Pop
    Alex Pop

    Reply 5 years ago

    I'm sorry but I don't have the knowledge for that, I tried an expensive harvester at about 120 CAD but even couldn't have what I expected. I'd be really glad to be able to continue. I tried a windmill for the front


    Reply 5 years ago

    Thank you very much for the quick response. I have checked on some instructables using capacitors and LED's only and also the Reelight site.
    Keep Up the good work! The force is with you. It is true that words and ideas can change the world. Grazie mille.


    Reply 5 years ago

    Thanks man,I'm always looking for some help to get this project working to keep the force up.

    If you're interested, we could definitely keep contact.

    Looking forward exchanging soon,



    Reply 5 years ago

    Warning: info below is from someone who's not the greatest with electronics, but has thought about similar problems to this one before.

    Here's one way that might work. You could use a bridge (aka full wave I think) rectifier, such as a TSS4B03G which you can get from Digikey for a bit over a buck. Unfortunately, you'd lose a volt or so. What's so elegant about the design as it exists is that you use that volt instead of wasting it. Then use a capacitor that's rated for sufficient voltage. Maybe a 1 F supercap rated for 6 volts? That would be about $5 from Digikey, I think. If you want 9 volts, it's not much more. It seems possible that 1F is more than you need to keep the light steady. I'm only guessing on the voltage, though. You need it high enough that it won't get fried at the fastest speed the bike will encounter. You'd only need one LED. The original one had two so as to act as their own rectifier, so that there would be light both for positive and negative voltage. I suspect you'd need a more effective coil, a more powerful magnet, or more magnets, since, on the average, the steady light will use more power. The original design presumably has LED's that can handle enough current so they don't get fried at any reasonable speed. Depending on the specifics of how you get more power, they may or may not be right for your application.

    Using the above, it's probably a good idea to keep the wheel from turning when transporting the bike on a car, so as not to overpower the light. If you don't want to worry about things like that, you might want to use an LM317 as a current or voltage regulator. The spec sheets for the LM317 show how to do that. Of course there are other chips that will do the same job.


    5 years ago

    damn this idea is going to save me some batterys good job alex

    Alex Pop
    Alex Pop

    Reply 5 years ago

    My pleasure ! it's made for that !
    You'll also save on possible fines ;)

    Keep me informed what you think on the kit I'll definitely try to make it better and better if there are itnerests.