Intro: Durable Flashlight With Wooden Accent
This project is a continuation from my previous Wooden LED Flashlight project. You can see the link to this instructable project here: https://www.instructables.com/id/Wooden-LED-Flashlight/
Although the previous wooden flashlight was a beautiful product and had many great features, it did have some limitations when it came to the actual practicality and functionality of the device.
The main objective of this new flashlight project was to create a much more robust, durable and functional device that incorporated a unique, sleek and stylish wooden accent.
Step 1: Features and Functions
Firstly I needed to select the features and functions that I wanted to incorporate within the flashlight. The following is a list of what was decided:
- Removable and rechargeable battery via internal USB point
- Wooden accent sleeve
- Water resistant
- Top located switch with illuminated battery level indication
- Anti-Roll feature
- Multi-mode LED @ 7000k: High, Medium, Low, Strobe, SOS
- 2m impact drop proof
- Aluminium body with hard anodized treatment for anti-corrosion and anti-abrasion
Step 2: Hardware Selection and Arrangement
I wanted to make the flashlight a pocket sized light that was practical and portable.
Therefore, following the above features and functions, I created the following list and sourced the best hardware that suited the desired style and size of the flashlight:
- Anti-Scratch & toughened glass lens
- Mirror reflector
- Internal copper heat sink
- 18350 Li-ion battery
- XM-L2 CREE LED
- Silicone switch
- Waterproofing O-Rings
- Custom built driver circuit Board with USB charging point
- External cooling fins
Using detailed specifications obtained from the individual hardware pieces, I created a 3D model of all the equipment and assembled everything together using 3D software. This was done with the attempt to keep all parts as confined and tight as possible, giving more freedom for the outer body design and maintain a minimalistic flow.
The internal cross section image above shows the placement of the internal hardware with corresponding numbering from the above list. The outer body shown in the cross section is the final body design, which will be discussed in the next step.
Some of the selected hardware can also be seen in the images above.
Step 3: Shaping the Body
The next step was to design a strong and durable body shell that incorporated the selected hardware and sleek wooden accent. To dramatically increase the strength, the wood had to be reinforced by an inner aluminium sleeve that is part of the main body. The perfect placement and quantity of wood was a short cylinder sleeve located towards the front of the body, behind the cooling fins. After the size and placement of the sleeve was confirmed, the anti-roll chamfering, pushbutton switch and cooling fins were integrated.
As stated, the material used for the body was hard anodized treated aluminium, giving it good weight properties and a high level of anti-corrosion and anti-abrasion.
After the final 3D model was chosen, the aluminium body was made using a high tolerance CNC machine and then anodized. In the above images you can see the result of the main flashlight body shell, I made them in 2 colours; matte black and matte silver:
Step 4: Wooden Sleeve
Once the shape and size of the wooden sleeve and body was decided the challenge remaining was to find a species of wood that could be worked and remain durable and strong.
The wood chosen was a seasoned high density teak species that is treated with a waterproof coating, preventing splitting and damage when exposed to changing climates. As mentioned, it is reinforced by the inner aluminium flashlight body. A fully removable sleeve allows for the future personalization of wood species and colour. I designed the flashlight to incorporate a unique wooden accent while maintaining a minimalistic sleek flashlight. If I was to add any more wood the flashlight becomes too chunky.
Above are some images of the different types of wood species samples that were worked and tested for durability, strength and style:
Step 5: Completed Flashlight
Above are some images showing the completed flashlight.
Step 6: Testing Results
The above table consists of the values obtained from testing the overall output performance and durability of the flashlight.
Step 7: Future Improvements for Next Prototype
Currently I am already working on the next model flashlight and am aiming to improve on the following areas:
- Increase rating to IP68
- Refine the overall design to reduce the overall body thickness
- Create a better flow of body to wood integration
- Remove cooling fins and expose the copper heatsink for better heat dissipation
- Include a lower moonlight mode
In the image above you can see the direction I am heading towards for the next project.
Thanks for taking interest in my project, I hope you enjoyed it! :)