If you remember old computer magazines (or browse them today), you’ll see that back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, you weren’t always sure what you were going to do with a computer. Games were a staple, but they weren’t very exciting. Visionaries talked about storing recipes, writing Christmas letters (to send via snail mail), and keeping home inventories. You probably don’t do any of those things with your computer today, unless you count e-mailing instead of sending Christmas cards. We think sometimes 3D printers fall into that category today. Sure, you want one. But what are you really going to do with it? Print keychains?
That’s why we always like seeing practical designs for 3D printed items. Like this 100W flashlight. The electronics part of the build is simple enough: a 100W LED module, an off-the-shelf driver board, plus an old PC cooler and some batteries. But the 3D printed parts makes it all come together and it looks great!
To put things in perspective, an old-fashioned flashlight (two D cells and an ordinary bulb) puts out about 15 or 20 lumens. A halogen focusing flashlight might put out over 200 lumens. An LED array like the one used here can put out 7,500 lumens!
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this sort of flashlight. We’ve even seen them with water cooling. That last post, by the way, talks about the difference between more expensive LED modules and the cheaper ones, which might be useful if you are planning on using these for any kind of photography.