Old Lumens Flashlight Challenge 2019 - Final Results

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Joshk
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3D printers can be a nightmare to get setup and working properly, but once they do, there’s really minimal talent to operating it. The hard part is good design that takes the print process into consideration.

I know it’s cooler if contestants own and operate their own printer, but I was hoping with this barrier broken, even kids with no workshop can design and build for the competition. It’s a gateway drug Big Smile

As for downloading a battery holder, it seem odd to me to me they can order one on Amazon and use that, but not download one. Either way, it doesn’t count as talent during judging. I don’t have strong feelings either way on this one.

Joshk
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I tried 3D printing for hire many years ago. There were two main issues, #1, obviously their cost expectations. And #2, their expectations that 3D printers can print anything, even bad design. A good print is all about the understanding of the stacking process the printer uses. The people that got it, sent good models that printed great. The people that didn’t, got an email saying there was no way that would print.

MtnDon
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I think if an entrant wants to 3D print they should do the design and printing themselves the same as I come up with a concept, set up my tools and cut wood or aluminum or whatever and that the machinists have to plot out their approach to turning and milling metal and the same as those who handcraft with manual tools.

Joshk
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pinkpanda mentioned Tofty earlier. What Tofty does requires Shapeways metal printing service.
Tofty flashlights
Tofty Shapeways store

pinkpanda3310
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Joshk wrote:
  • You do not need to own/operate the 3D printer you choose, but you must say who did.  (Metal 3D printers welcome!  Think shapeways.com

  • I do not agree with this part either. Even you yourself have noted all the pitfalls of doing something like this -
    Joshk wrote:

    The issue seems to be that the weeks/months worth of planning, drawing, 3D modelling, fixing, repeating seem to be thought of as free and effortless. Then you still need to hire the actual printing in this cheating scenario.

    Joshk wrote:
    Something else to point out is that 3D printed parts are rarely solid plastic. And even if they were, plastic cracks and melts when you start modifying it. You usually can’t fix mistakes with drills, dremels, and grinders. You go back to the PC, fix it, and do another print.

    Joshk wrote:
    Outsourcing is tough too because of all the communication that needs to happen. Then there’s shipping cost every time you need to fix fitment or something. The only way I see outsourcing working for something like alpg88 or I did would be to have another person just source all the parts and do all the work. And at that point, there’s no point.

    Joshk wrote:
    3D printers can be a nightmare to get setup and working properly, but once they do, there’s really minimal talent to operating it. The hard part is good design that takes the print process into consideration.

    Joshk wrote:
    I tried 3D printing for hire many years ago. There were two main issues, #1, obviously their cost expectations. And #2, their expectations that 3D printers can print anything, even bad design. A good print is all about the understanding of the stacking process the printer uses. The people that got it, sent good models that printed great. The people that didn’t, got an email saying there was no way that would print.

    Let me condense all that. Someone with no experience at all with 3d printing can use a pc to glue together some basic shapes (even i’ve done that) and send it off to a 3rd party only to have to go through a long winded process of relying on someone else’s knowledge and ability and present it as a contest entry. How can a judge then decide how much of the work was actually done by the contestant and how much was 3rd party? It’s very confusing and can only be judged as a ‘collaboration’.

    Joshk wrote:

  • If you download and print anything (like a battery holder), it will be thought of as
      purchased parts.  If you do this, you must attribute the original creator, as well as show a link to the download page.



  • If that one part happens to be a fancy design on the exterior that changes the whole perception of coolness and is the icing on the cake then is that little 3rd party boost really fair?

    If the contest were to continue down this path that would mean adjusting the rules to those who don’t have other tools / machines. I could draw up a super-dooper whizz-bang light to be cnc machined and just fill it with electronics. To keep costs down I’ll do a run of 50 and sell off 49 of them. That scenario is not likely but plausible and all I needed to actually do with my hands is a little soldering.

    I am not a fan of 3rd party involvement.

    However if such a ruling was excepted I would be open to a ‘collaboration’ catagory and must be a collab between existing blf members.

      

    Joshk
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    pinkpanda, there is a big miscommunication is what I was referring to at the different times. Outsourcing the 3D Modeling would be a nightmare. Outsourcing the 3D Printing is relatively easy.

    pinkpanda3310
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    Sorry I misunderstood that. You did mention some people are good at dwg to suit how a printer works and others dwgs cannot be done.

      

    Joshk
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    No problem.
    As far as banning all downloaded models, sure I’m on board. A battery holder is trivial to design anyway.

    alpg88
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    how is outsourcing someone with cnc mill is different from outsourcing someone with 3d printer. or have a design drawn out and send it to a glass blowing shop to fabricate a glass part of the light, imo, if you don’t own a 3d printer, and are not designing\ printing yourself, do not enter 3d print category,

    Joshk
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    Let’s talk PCBs, it’s the same thing. You have an idea, draw it in Eagle, then what? Do you need to CNC router it from a copper-clad board yourself to be in the competition? Or is it ok to send it to oshPark?

    Neither PCB nor 3D Print services do any actual problem solving for you. They just blindly mail you parts.

    alpg88
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    we are allowed to use drivers made by third party, that pretty much covers pcb’s. right?

    btw my first contest build i made driver pcb myself, bought copper clad from radioshack, used sharpe to draw the traces, and used chemicals from radio shack to dissolve uncoated copper. it came out ugly but it worked just fine, i have seen people make pcb thsi way, and they looked like factory boards,

    i thought the contest was about what you can make yourself, not what you can get someone else make for you, cuz this way it loses the whole point.

    Agro
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    alpg88 wrote:
    we are allowed to use drivers made by third party, that pretty much covers pcb’s. right?

    btw my first contest build i made driver pcb myself, bought copper clad from radioshack, used sharpe to draw the traces, and used chemicals from radio shack to dissolve uncoated copper. it came out ugly but it worked just fine, i have seen people make pcb thsi way, and they looked like factory boards,

    i thought the contest was about what you can make yourself, not what you can get someone else make for you, cuz this way it loses the whole point.


    I guess the point is not that we are allowed to use 3rd party drivers but why we are allowed to do so. I believe the reason is that very very few would be able to build drivers themselves and even fewer would be able to do good ones.

    With 3D printing it’s kind of similar and kind of different.
    Plastic 3D printing is something that few members can do by themselves. Metal is unlikely to be available to anyone on the forum.

    And yes, actually machining is a bit similar – (relatively) few members have access to lathes, allowing 3rd party services would make this category much more available.

    At the same time I kind of get pinpanda’s argument that the competition is about doing something with ones hands. Here – 3rd party machining differs a lot 3rd party printing. Machining, implemented the way I see it on BLF, is a very manual process.
    Printing is not. Seen this way, printed builds don’t fit the spirit of the competition all that well as the only manual process necessary to complete a build is assembly. OTOH they make the idea of building a light of your own, one that nobody else has much more available. Which is beautiful.

    pinkpanda3310
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    JoshK raises a good point that there is an element to the comp that is unrestricted so to speak. Meaning the drivers, electronics, type and number of batteries etc… The comp was always about the making the host by hand – Old-Lumens style.

    I guess the rules (or lack thereof) regarding drivers/electronics is one of Justin’s legacies. He obviously wasn’t a big electronics guy. In the first OL challenge hand-made category could use an electric hand drill (not a drill press) and a Dremel and that was all the power tools you were allowed to use. Everything else had to be hand tools. Drivers and electronics were unrestricted though and some made up master/slave set ups and there was even a custom made driver.

    Now I wish Justin RIP but his rules are outdated. Now times have changed and I guess we should be changing with it. That said I still believe the host should be made in-house but that doesn’t mean we can’t have new categories to cater for evolution and allow otherwise. The best way would be to make a poll asking if people would actually enter given the opportunity of new outsourcing rules and have further discussion on those rules and restrictions. Someone could start the poll now or we could wait until gearing up of the next contest to stir up interest.

    We’ve had 19 people finish their builds this contest which as far as I’m aware is the largest number yet. 19 people…. isn’t really that much is it? So if new categories attract new participants then I’m good with that. CRX’s new modified category was a great idea – an extra 7 completed builds.

    So whilst I still prefer hands dirty, home made I’m open to other ideas providing it’s categorized and ruled appropriately. I just hope we don’t end up with 7 categories and 10 participants.

      

    G0OSE
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    I think a thing to remember here is that 3d printed entries would (in theory) be ONLY against 3d printed entries.
    There should not be a scenario where a 3d printed entry will be up against anything other than another 3d printed one. Peoples choice was a waste of time this year, if you take out our votes, and the entrants basically no one bothered to vote – it’s a bit of a dead category. ‘How many flashlights are in your kitchen?’ is apparently more appealing to voters – puts it in perspective. Facepalm

    Because there is no earthly way for anyone (judges whoever they will be) to be able to check what has or has not borrowed/used/changed/downloaded plans parts etc etc then I’m almost inclined to let them do what they want, so longs as the entire outside is by them/designed by them.
    Surely if they are all on the same level playing field, and only against each other, does it really matter? I dunno, maybe I’m wrong?

    Ultimately this is an entirely new category, it’s about 3d printed stuff only – so maybe let the people who do the 3d stuff sort rules etc out between them and judge it /organise prizes? seems quite a good idea to me? Smile

    It’s also fairer, because most of us know nothing about 3d printing – I know about engineering (albeit old school) but couldn’t tell you the first thing about 3d printing really, so wouldn’t, wasn’t maybe fairly equipped to judge in some ways, as in considering all the work that went on behind scenes etc to get that ‘good print’.

    legan710
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    This challenge/contest is awesome and one of the things that make this forum stand out as a community for enthusiasts and “guests” like myself. The build-threats are so much fun to read and learn and be entertaint by. I really enjoyed all of it. Thank you participants and organizers!

    If I may add my 2 cents from an outsider perspectiv regarding the 3D printing.
    It’s a new and coming technology and very much exciting as was demonstrated in this challenge.

    The core of this challenge is building a light from start to finish, showing skills, craftmansship and knowlegde of the tools and processes involved – and having fun doing it.
    That’s why – to me – it feels different to design a light and print it myself compared to designing the parts and let some company do the printing. This is also true considering CNC work.
    Having somebody do “the work” leaves only design and assembly for oneself. And that does not feel like “building”.

    But why is it diffent from using a storebought driver, batteryholder or O-rings, screws and the like? Those are standardparts available for everyone and do not make a light unique and stand out.

    3D printing is use of a machine equal to using CNC or lathe, so I’d say same catergory. But one has to do the work oneself to demonstrate the skills and knowledge needed for the tools one chose to use.

    But all that is really based on my understanding of “building” versus “assembling” a light.

    alpg88
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    i’d hate to be printing parts for someone, you print his file, and parts do not fit right, cuz you printed them in different orientation, and shrinkage is different in z axis vs x and y. with abs, or you printed someone’s part, and have a rough surface due to supports, when you design, and print yourself you know these things and design\print to avoid that, drawing part in 3d software without knowledge how it prints, will result is problems for both. cnc is easier in that regard. no supports, no shrinkage to compensate, 5mm on the drawing translates in 5 mm in material, not always so with 3d print,

    MascaratumB
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    Just wanted to give an update on my prize: I’ve used the voucher on led4power store, and added some other stuff I need.
    Currently, the mail from there cannot be sent to Portugal, but we are in contact and as soon as possible, it will be shipped!

    No mods for a while here Tired

    Stay safe folks!

    grin
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    Mine is at the post office waiting for pickup but cant get there until monday.

    My 2 cents on the 3d printed category
    downloaded files for models should be allowed. Plagiarism is part and parcel of the internet, programming and computers.
    But the printer is your machine and the person who enters should operate the machine that makes the light. That is what the competition is about. Making a light.

    alpg88
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    i have not gotten any news on my prize, no tracking yet. i hope i get it this time, i’m still waiting on hke xeno light from 5th contest.

    Joshk
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    The surface finish of even the shapeways prints is quite bad, so you wouldn’t really get good results with just assembling them as-is.
    How about a requirement that 3D Printed parts have a surface treatment by the contestant? That adds back in the personal touch and skill.

    Again using some Tofty pics:

    Shapeways Metal as-is

    Shapeways Metal with sanding and polishing

    Shapeways plastic as-is

    alpg88
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    idk why his sideway plastik looks that bad, it can be pretty smooth if printed at 0.1 res. even 0.2 is still better, i used 0.2 res, and no fume smoothing, in my build, you actually get better finish on sides than top, but you have to orient it right for printing. that is why i believe designer and “printer” should be same person.
    actually top can be pretty smooth too, if you use ironing option, but that is for fdm printers. sla printers offer much better res.

    Joshk
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    Shapeways uses powder based printers, so the surface is powdery. And that stuff can’t be vapor-smoothed either.

    alpg88
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    powder plastic?? that is something i never knew

    Joshk
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    Yep, it’s called SLS (Selective Laser Sintering)

    CRX
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    alpg88 wrote:
    i have not gotten any news on my prize, no tracking yet. i hope i get it this time, i’m still waiting on hke xeno light from 5th contest.

    Message sent to Skillhunt.

    Old Lumens and CRX say:

    Y’all need to be makin’ proper hand made lights with hacksaws & files!

    Big Smile
    Joshk
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    Reylight got mine in the mail quick and it is in New York today Sick

    MascaratumB
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    CRX wrote:
    alpg88 wrote:
    i have not gotten any news on my prize, no tracking yet. i hope i get it this time, i’m still waiting on hke xeno light from 5th contest.

    Message sent to Skillhunt.

    Old Lumens and CRX say:

    Y’all need to be makin’ proper hand made lights with hacksaws & files!

    Big Smile

    Sir, yes sir Big Smile Evil

    (not making a light, though Innocent )

    Joshk
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    CRX wrote:

    Old Lumens and CRX say:

    Y’all need to be makin’ proper hand made lights with hacksaws & files!

    Big Smile

    Oh ho ho, don’t think us 3D Modelers don’t have skills. I grew up on a family farm. I was making bird houses as soon as I could lift a hammer. Plywood Christmas tree decorations as soon as I could lift a jig saw. My Dad and I had an epic shop. We built metal weldaments constantly, and I did a lot of various builds myself too. My dad bought a junk riding mower once just so I could have fun tearing it and the engine apart to the last bolt. My knowledge of everything mechanical was so well known, an local mechanic with epic skills himself offered me a job as his first employee just based on what he heard. I took that job and worked there for years until I started college. I did an incredible job finding and fixing hard problems fast on both cars, trucks, and tractors. During college I took a 3D Modelling class. After college I moved away from home and no longer had a shop that lived up to my expectations. But discovered 3D Modeling was even more fun and useful. I sent a lot of metal working jobs to local shops that I modeled. I discovered CAD was a better fit for my work/family/life. Plus I just don’t have room to built a massive shop to meet my expectations. So I spent $4254 on a Solidworks license and built a $1200 PC to run it. I really know how to have fun. Life is good. Smile

    So yea Silly

    CRX
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    Joshk – Hand Made entry for the 8th!
    If I can turn you all there won’t be any problems with new rules & categories LOL
    Right, who’s next to bite… Big Smile

    _the_
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    CRX wrote:
    Old Lumens, _the_, and CRX say: Y'all need to be makin' proper hand made lights with hacksaws & files! :D

    There. Fixed that for you. Smile

     

    Joshk wrote:
    Oh ho ho, don't think us 3D Modelers don't have skills.

    Ok, ok, if you 1st create the 3D modeler app from scratch. Big Smile

    (and no, I haven't done that, but I have been involved in developing one for almost 25 years) 

    =the=

     

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