IMPORTANT: This is still a work in progress, currently under development.
introducing.......(drum roll please, & you might want to get your popcorn ready).....
The "MBI Core Ti"
...possibly "the world's thinnest titanium light" ???
First let's get straight into the photos....
Original Concept Image/Design
The beamshot (well kind of )
So here's how the MBI Core Ti started...
Lover of all things small (with batteries), and always on the lookout for the absolute "smallest" flashlight,
I'd read just about every pendant, keychain & "how do you edc?" thread on cpf I could find over the years.
I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a couple of those hard to get, 10180 lights from the UK (*ee), which are great little lights and look decent on a neckchain too, but I wanted something thinner, that didn't necessarily bulge under a t-shirt, or whack my dog in the eyes when I bend down to pat him.
As many of our cpf brethren will tell you, "its only useful if you have it with you".
Beginning with something that I just really wanted to have for myself, I started conceptualizing the design of a pendant/necklace that would look reasonably fashionable, kind of like the Cartier version of a dog tag, that would be thin, and not even look like a flashlight, as well as something that could live on your neck, your bag, or your keychain.
Not that there's anything wrong with something that looks like a flashlight of course, but having become accustomed to the familiar "whooaa" & "woooww" from my non-flashaholic friends whenever I show them my latest surprise, producing light from something that looks like its way too thin, and perhaps like it came from a high-end jewelry shop or cool designer brand, is an added bonus.
In fact I wouldn't be surprised if I gave it to someone as a gift and they wore it without ever realizing it was actually a flashlight!
From there, it was a fast and purposeful leap to choosing titanium as the material of choice.
the marketing blurb on titanium.....
Originally named after the "Titans" of Greek Mythology, titanium is anti-corrosive, non-allergenic, non-toxic , biocompatible, light weight and the highest strength to weight ratio of all the known elements.
No wonder titanium is so popular for many of the custom lights here on cpf!
I did actually consider platinum as a possible choice but its a little too expensive for using in prototypes. Maybe, just maybe, that could be a possibility for the future??
Well, next came the all important internals.
First was the design decision that it "had" to be reasonably thin.
(That was my non-negotiable item for the Core-Ti)
So now I was left with the choices of what I could fit inside??
I had considered a power led (like a Cree), but with not much room for a standard lithium battery (or any complex electronics), the options for a battery powerful enough to get some serious juice out of a power-led would likely be a custom Lithium Polymer (Li-Po) rechargeable.
Whilst a custom Li-Po is in the realm of possibility, and I did locate some custom providers, I was hoping for something that could be easily giftable and not reliant on needing to recharge it all the time, so that meant no special batteries (for this version at least....).
Narrowing down the choices even further, to no special flashaholic batteries, and very modest power output, the thought of using a power-led, though exciting was to be put on hold for a later version, as I wanted THIN!!
After reading all the "how low is your low" kind of posts, and playing with a bunch of 5mm led style lights,
I did realize that whilst I like (ok...love) massive lumen output powerful lights, even a few lumens is often enough for many edc kind of tasks and definitely useful to have with you during an emergency. I do have aspirations (even some basic designs done) for a slightly thicker big brother of the Core Ti (perhaps in the near future), but for version 1 I have decided to settle on a very thin profile (flat actually) led similar to the 5mm types, but just flat.
similar to this
The output for the proto is only a few lumens (maybe 5) though it is possible we may be able to squeeze out a little more in the production version if I can find the right led (or possibly get a custom batch made). The current lumen output, is a limitation of the led component to a certain threshold at least (15 or 20 lumen max is my guess), beyond which we would need a more powerful battery.
The current battery is a CR1616 (16mm diameter x 1.6mm height) though any 3V that fits inside should work.
Ideally, the final Core Ti will be water resistant as a minimum and with a few more miracles during the final design phase, it might possibly be water proof too (I'm working on it) as it would be great to take advantage of (and even put to the test) titanium's famed non-corrosive properties (meaning it wont rust in seawater).
Even the momentary button (yes, its momentary only), is constructed from pure titanium.
It sure is tricky working with such small sizes as the design needs to take into consideration both the physical limitations of the materials and the tooling process, which normally don't pose any problems when working with larger sized objects/designs.
The prototype (alpha) was completed earlier this week and whilst I have a stack of photo's in hand from the workshop, the physical proto is currently on-route to me and should arrive one day next week.
Estimate timing for a possible first production run is currently end of November ~ early December depending on what changes might be required after looking over the alpha prototype and if it lives up to my expectations.
...and the name,
well that came whilst I was working on some design mockups..
...seemed like it could be part of a Circuit Board
(I was working on the Torpedo driver at the time I thought of the name)
and Core.... because when all else fails, you always have this basic, Core light with you,
if you are a flashaholic to the core, this is one piece of Ti you will want to get your hands on!
and so it stuck!
Ok, so that's the quick rundown,
thanks very much for reading and I will post more updates as they become available.
As always, I would be really really happy to hear your feedback, comments and questions, good, weird or other.
p.s. this one is direct drive
p.p.s. whoooo... that took a long time to write
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