ProtoSpray Mixes 3D Printing And Electroluminescent Paint To Create Objects That Light Up

By on July 16th, 2020 in Hardware

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Illuminating surfaces on 3D printed objects [Source: SolidSmack]

“If you want something to stand out, the best way to do so is to light it up like a Christmas tree.”

Creators Ollie Hanton, Michael Wessely, Stefanie Mueller, Mike Fraser, and Anne Roudaut have taken this idea to heart and crafted a method to add light on any surface using a unique electroluminescent coating.

ProtoSpray combines multi-material 3D printing and the application of electroluminescent materials to create interactive touch-sensitive light displays on any shape.

3D printing an object with embedded electrical paths [Source: SolidSmack]

The process starts very similarly to how you would normally 3D print an object. During the design process, the base electrode area is printed with a conductive PLA (e.g. Proto-Pasta Conductive PLA), each having a thin channel where an electrode connects while the unlit substrate material is printed in an insulating PLA (e.g. Hatchbox Filament).

Spraying a 3D print to form an illuminated section [Source: SolidSmack]

Once you’ve printed your multi-material model, you begin spraying the area that will be lit with three layers of electro-activating materials.

  • Dielectric material layer
  • Electroluminescent material layer
  • Transparent conductive electrode material layer
Wiring up a 3D printed objects for illumination [Source: SolidSmack]

According to Ollie Hanton’s tutorial, spray two thin coats each of PEDOT:PSS (a transparent conductive polymer), electroluminescent phosphor-based paint, and clear lacquer; making sure to give each layer ample time to dry before moving on to the next.

Read the rest at SolidSmack


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