Flashlight/Candlelight – Intro to Fab – Week 1

A black plastic cube with battery and led light inside. The top was covered in plastic and decorated with colorful paper rolls

assignment

Build a flashlight using any tools or techniques you’d like.  I’m defining a flashlight as:

  • portable
  • creates light

Brainstorming

I played around with multiples ideas to make a flashlight since the requirements are simple: to be portable, and to have light. I thought of making a piece of jewelry such as a ring or a bracelet yet at that moment, I didn’t have enough voltage of a battery to support three led lights. Also, I brainstormed several options for hooks to function as the switch of the project but the right material didn’t come to my mind.

drafts of bracelet in plastic tubes with three led lights coming out. Battery is attached in the back of the bracelet.

A day ago, I swapped my Intro to Fabrication class from second half of the semester to the first half so that I can be less busy as the semester goes on. Hence, there are several options that I could have explored but I will catch up what is learned in the first class and spend more time to practice my craftsmanship.

Inspiration of the Final Idea

Since my time is short, I had to draw inspiration from my surroundings. I realized how simple it is to turn on a led light with a 3v coin-shaped lithium battery and how compact it is. Given that last night, I attended my best friend’s birthday party, I had an inspiration of creating something similar to a cake. On top of the cake will be the light. I chose the colorful paper straw not only because it resembles a candle on the cake but also it can fit the yellow led light.

I selected the straw in the kitchen, a yellow led light, and a 3v lithium battery from Duane Reade. I glued the led light into the straw so that it is stable inside. Since the straw is too long, I cut one third of it to be the candle.

a straw, two led yellow lights, and a 3v battery

I glued the positive part of the led leg onto the positive part of the battery. Then, I made sure the positive side of the battery is facing downwards to the inside of the black box as below.

gluing the positive pin onto the positive of the battery

I glued the part together onto the black box. Since it is missing a lid, I want to cut a plastic sheet from the package of the battery to function as the lid. Since I don’t have a switch in the project, I planned to use the twist of the straw to control the negative leg of the led light. Therefore, I need the lid to be openable so that when something goes wrong, I can still fix it. That’s why I didn’t use electric tape to tape it since I know the battery is gonna run out by Thursday noon.

A black plastic cube with battery and led light inside. Ths top is covered with plastic sheet.

I tried to cover up the plastic sheet so that the inside won’t be so transparent.

I didn’t like the previous idea and changed to use the rest of straws to function as decoration on the lid.

I glued the design on top of the lid and realized the part where I glued the plastic is ugly. Therefore, I cut the straw in half as below to cover up the edge where you can see the clear glue trace.

A black plastic cube with battery and a yellow led light inside. Ths top is decorated with colorful paper rolls.

I cut the edge-protecting straw in to the same length as the side of the black box and tah-dah!

This is when the light is on.

A black plastic cube with battery and a yellow led light inside. Ths top is decorated with colorful paper rolls.

If you want to see what’s in side, you can lift the lid up gently.

A black plastic cube with battery and led light inside. The top was covered in plastic and decorated with colorful paper rolls

Here is the video demo for the flashlight. With a twist of the candle/straw, you shall have light! Make a wish!

Published by Yiting Liu

NYU ITP '21

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