Daria Casciani is a lighting specialists, a product designer and research fellow at the Department of Design of the Politecnico di Milano. She has specialized in lighting design by getting a doctorate in 2014 with a research about the social experience of urban lighting. She has spent a semester at the Intelligent Lighting Institute of Tu/e where she developed and tested a process of analysis, design and evaluation of the relationship between light, city and people, through a series of experiences of urban-based social oriented lighting. She currently works at the Department of Design of the Politecnico di Milano teaching at the Master in Lighting Design & LED Technology and also as adjunt Professor in the School of Design. She is also collaborating in research activities developed at the Laboratorio Luce about the new perspectives of the design of LED lighting systems.
Towards the Digital Fabrication of LED Lighting Prototypes
One of the fascinating aspects of the Solid State Lighting technology is that it gives designers and industry an almost unlimited freedom to develop new lighting ideas by completely revolutionizing the way the lighting fixtures can be conceived, modelled, built and realised. The rapid evolution of LED technology in terms of performances (both quality and quantity of light) at lower costs, followed by the reliability of the technology (data from datasheets and tests to derive effective performances under stress condition) is encountering the world of digital fabrication, enabling the customization and design of any shape and geometry from digital models. This allows to frame new ideas for hitherto undreamt lighting solutions in terms of appealing aesthetics, infinite configurations, technical reliability plus perfect adaptability to architectural features.
Paper topic and methodology
Following the emerging trend of customization whereby do it yourself projects can be easily realized through rapid prototyping and digital fabrication, the research is now focusing on integrating additive manufacturing (3D printing) in the design of the different functional and aesthetical components of new LEDs lighting engines and lighting fixtures which go beyond simple commoditisation. Focusing on reliable manufacturing tools and methods, completely disruptive and attractive lighting systems can be designed and realised in order to inspire the industry and to realize demonstrators for educative or experimental scopes.
This paper would present more the fantastic than the logic behind new lighting solutions through design experiences done at the Laboratorio Luce of the Politecnico di Milano. The methodology used for research through design is conceived as a sum of procedures, enabling us to cope with more complex lighting products using simulations, rapid prototyping techniques and measurement tools. The design path is focused on virtual simulations and modelling that inform the design of the product to evolve in a physical functional objects. Even if, the digital fabrication of architectural and functional lighting fixture is in an infancy stage, it promises appealing possibilities in terms of customisation of functional components such as optical lenses through printed and laser cutting technology and thermal heat sink through direct metal laser sintering in order to realise customized functional LED lighting engines with an improved visual appearance.
The research aims, on one side, to show the experimental methodology through an iterative design process passing through concept design, modelling, simulation, making/prototyping and testing. On the other side it strives for showcasing the possibilities to transform new concepts of lighting system from fictional to real ones.
HIGHLIGHTS AND MAJOR OBJECTIVES OF THE TALK/LECTURE
- To present the current and future situation of 3D printing in modern manufacturing of lighting systems;
- To frame new ideas for hitherto undreamt lighting solutions;
- To provide open access to research data gathered through the literature review and the realized experimental demonstrators;
- To inspire technological creativity beyond traditional manufacturing techniques.