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.
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 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.