YOL D16 – Magnifier Inspection Light

Posted: August 20, 2015 in YOL 2015
Tags: , ,

I have an ongoing project in creating various lighted magnifiers to see small items, inspect surfaces, check tool edges, or just read the micro labels printed on electronic parts or other components. In 2010 I presented one of these gadgets, specifically a device for reading drill bits, using LEDs and a 9V battery. This time around I wanted to create something with more flexibility, more light, greater magnification and a larger aperture. The concept is pretty straightforward, using a light gathering lens with an integrated ring light component. It delivers over 1,740 Fc on the target, which makes seeing the tiniest details readily visible.

A multipurpose magnifier light ring tool.

A multipurpose magnifier light ring tool.

The LED light ring behind printed acrylic diffuser couples with the light gathering lens very well.

The LED light ring behind printed acrylic diffuser couples with the light gathering lens very well.

The housing was printed on our Dimension FDM printer, then smoothed and painted Blitz Black. The switch block/power entry and diffuser were printed on our Form Labs SLA printer to get the clear material for the lens and finer detail needed in the switch block that the FDM cannot produce. The LEDs are in the form of flexible tape light. It is powered by a remote 24VDC wall wart, as its final use will be in the shop where dead batteries are a constant irritation. However, a battery powered version would not be hard to create. Click on the images to get a larger view.

This shows a general idea of how much difference there is with the light and magnification.

This shows a general idea of how much difference there is with the light and magnification.

Drill bit without magnification

Drill bit without magnification

Drill bit with magification - note the print pattern on the laminate surface below

Drill bit with magnification – note the print pattern on the laminate surface below. I have other concepts in the works to reduce the highlight/shadow effects from 3D surfaces… more on that later.

Veiling glare is another problem when attempting to increase visibility.

Veiling glare is another problem when attempting to increase visibility.

The magnifier not only increase image size, but overcomes the problem of veiling reflection as well.

The magnifier not only increase image size, but overcomes the problem of veiling reflection as well. I am not entirely thrilled with the LED pips showing up on the surface, and while for most uses the convex distortion is tolerable, there are instances where that is not going to be acceptable… something to apply to the next project.

This is going to be a handy tool for a lot of applications around the shop, and will lead to other designs and improvements, which is what the exploration project has been about for some time. Cheers.

Comments
  1. Thank you for your review of the magnifying glass, it is a great device.

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