Expanding wand/diffuser

LRJ88

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Hello once more one and all. I was messing around at work per usual today, having a few minutes left after most work was done i turned an old spice jar on the lathe to get rid of the design on the outside, the ID quite perfectly fitting on my Streamlight Stinger.

Doing this a thought popped up again though, why is it that expandable wands/diffusers are pretty much impossible to find? Hasbro has managed to make it on Star Wars toys for ages now, surely there would be a market for a 1' diffuser that can fold down to 1", it'd allow you to use your flashlight as a fluorescent light pretty much and allow for even spread over a larger area without having to rely on ceiling bounce.
 

Guitar Guy

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That could work. I remember having an expandable / collapsible camping cup many years ago. It was made from plastic rings that gradually increased in size. When collapsed, it was around the size of a snuff can, but when opened up, the 5 or 6 rings tightened against each other enough to hold water. I could see this design working for what you are talking about.
 

IMA SOL MAN

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That could work. I remember having an expandable / collapsible camping cup many years ago. It was made from plastic rings that gradually increased in size. When collapsed, it was around the size of a snuff can, but when opened up, the 5 or 6 rings tightened against each other enough to hold water. I could see this design working for what you are talking about.
I remember those! BSA produced them, and so since we were in Scouts, we had a couple. The Boy Scout one was red, and I think the Cub Scout one was blue. Wow, I haven't thought about those for a long time! :D

Yes, I don't see any reason why expandable light wands couldn't be made that way, although, for those who use them a lot normally, LE, EM, etc, I think the solid ones would be preferable, as the collapsible ones might have a tendency to not stay extended all the time they were needed. I don't know, maybe they can fix that somehow.
 

LRJ88

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There's probably no demand for them.

I can't remember the last time I saw a LEO using a wand to direct traffic.
Even outside of that use it's a versatile tool, slap a wand on your flashlight and all of a sudden you have a 360° soft diffused light perfect for lighting up a larger area without blinding yourself with a spot, a good worklight if paired with a magnetic tail flashlight, there's a list of different uses for it despite having it as a direct marker.
 

LRJ88

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Just to illustrate my point, ceiling bounce hits too close, pointing the light at the stuff is too much concentrated light, this gives you a good and useful light. I found some silicone wands, but they're under pressure when folded and need something to keep them folded.
 

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ghostguy6

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I see a few problems with your design.
One is the pieces would fall out when not attached to the light. With those toy light sabers the cone part was never removable. To make the telescoping design only an inch high you would need double the plastic. Doubling the plastic would also double the thickness of the wand meaning less efficient light penetration though the wand. Also I never found those toys to be very durable. It seems anyone what does traffic control now has moved away from using traffic wands on flashlights to those dedicated traffic "batons" that use 3 C cells and have a series of LED lights in them. Except me, I'm to cheap to buy one. Hell I even 3d print my own traffic wands now.:crackup:
 

LRJ88

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I see a few problems with your design.
One is the pieces would fall out when not attached to the light. With those toy light sabers the cone part was never removable. To make the telescoping design only an inch high you would need double the plastic. Doubling the plastic would also double the thickness of the wand meaning less efficient light penetration though the wand. Also I never found those toys to be very durable. It seems anyone what does traffic control now has moved away from using traffic wands on flashlights to those dedicated traffic "batons" that use 3 C cells and have a series of LED lights in them. Except me, I'm to cheap to buy one. Hell I even 3d print my own traffic wands now.:crackup:
These aren't necessarily all things which are issues, an interlocking design can be made to allow for the rings to only go out one portion of the base, 3D-printing can also be used to use shapes that'd otherwise be hard to create. The thickness through most of it can be 1mm, based on your way of manufacturing it, the spice can i showed above is thicker than that. They can be durable based on the material used, they might not be able to stand up to someone bashing them like a gorilla but we have other plastic details easily standing up to regular use and light abuse already.


Mind you, i'm basing this on the dimensions of a Streamlight, smaller flashlights like the HDS or Olight Baton won't be the same.
 

ghostguy6

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I found that you really don't want to get more than 1MM thick when a printing a traffic wand with Prusa's orange PETG. I generally print mine at 0.8mm which generally corresponds to 2 wall thicknesses on a standard printer (if your familiar with 3d printing). To get the telescoping design you would need some overlay, so even at the minimal thickness of 1.6mm you would have a drastic reduction of performance. You also have to remember that when you 3D print something, like wood it has a grain to it so the object is weakest on the z axis.

If is far more efficient and stronger to print the wand in one piece than to print approximately 25 1" sections to get your total length of 1'

Now you could injection mould the pieces for strength but you would require a separate mould for each piece and that would translate to lots of money.
 

LRJ88

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I honestly didn't know more had happened to this, i didn't get any blips like i'm supposed to.

In regards to the telescopic design i don't see the need for that much of an overlap, that'd mean a series of conical tubes which would actually cause more issues. What i had in mind is more like this, with a slight taper on the inside of the segments going up from the base, i haven't added the tabs keeping it together here since i wanted to throw it together before work starts proper, but you get the overall gist of it from this.
 

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