The Additive Manufacturing for Lighting Consortium , says the LRC, will help bridge the knowledge gap between the lighting and 3D printing industries and "build a collaboration for successful adoption of additive manufacturing for high-quality, value-added lighting." Comprising lighting and 3D printer and material manufacturers, the consortium convened its first meeting on April 2 and is now "setting a course to understanding and assimilating additive manufacturing as a viable option for the lighting, building, construction, and allied lighting industries."
The potential benefits of 3D printing for lighting include the ability for manufacturers to create and rapidly print custom products on demand that are uniquely designed for the spaces to be illuminated, improving aesthetics, functionality, and manufacturing costs. Research is still needed to advance the integration of 3D printing into the lighting industry, says the LRC, and it has conducted initial investigations into the potential for printing different types of lighting components.
First-year objectives for the Additive Manufacturing for Lighting Consortium include market assessment, education, and collaboration on pilot research projects. These activities, says the LRC, will help the group to better understand the needs of the two industries, the possibilities, and the present status of the additive manufacturing industry's capabilities relevant to lighting.
"In the future," says Nadarajah Narendran, Ph.D., the LRC's Director of Research, "we hope that the consortium will provide market intelligence, technology guidance, and standards representation, among other competency-building activities, which will enable companies to address this transformation proactively. Together with the consortium members, the LRC is leading the transformation of the lighting industry to the digital era by preparing the two industries for the changes ahead."