For 3D printers there is already a large amount of materials and colours to choose from. Now, there may be another…

Ekaggrat Singh Kalsi used light to print in 3D.

3D printers use a technique where they print layer-by-layer until the item is complete. Ekaggrat decided to implement an entirely new concept in the print process, he decided to use LED lights in the place of traditional filament. Using a camera, Ekaggrat was able to visualize a complete 3D object built out of light.

He took his camera, set it to BULB mode, and took a photo using a very long exposure value. This was while the 3D printer moved using the LED light on the path he defined in gcode. The extruder was turned off, so that it didn’t print with the usual filament.

The printer didn’t print any actual product, it was more of an art piece.

You can see each layer that was printed, with the printer shining the LED light on each one.

The entire project took two days and Ekaggrat plans on using an RGB LED to add colour next time.

Explaining how we did it, Ekaggrat said: “What I did was attach an LED to the print head of a 3dr delta printer. The LED is attached to pin 1 on the Ramps board of the printer. I wrote on a custom script in grasshopper 3d. This script takes any 3D model, and converts it into a gcode which is specially meant to control the printer with the LED, The gcode just makes the printer move on a path and turns on and off an LED without actually printing anything. This is a twist to an age old technique called ‘light painting’.”

View a video of the process below.

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