The ROTOR® - E-series compatible 18650 body

Please vote for your choice of body style

  • Tube with threaded tail

    Votes: 11 31.4%
  • Tube with integral tail & McClickie or FETtie

    Votes: 24 68.6%

  • Total voters
    35

precisionworks

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NOTE: The ROTOR split body concept is inspired by the efforts, design work & machining first conducted by Scott Thomson of TBSB (TranquilityBase). TBSB also designed & sold an 18650 non-split design that fit the E-series head with a C-series tail (circa 2005). Thank you Scott for your split body design that has withstood the test of time & will continue to be popular for many years to come.

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There's a lot of interest in custom parts that work with E-series components and a body seemed like the logical place to start. Also there is no question about how popular the 18650 power source is. So I started thinking about something that works well & looks good.

Pablo (PEU) has done quite a bit of E-series development work, machined a number of Pineapple bodies, and has a deft touch in the SolidWorks 3D design program. I wanted to build an 18650 powered E-tube & it made sense for us to join forces.

So we did :D

Pablo has access to a full fledged CNC shop where he did his previous production runs. All of them sold out & this alone should speak to the superb quality of the CNC work. We talked about different designs & PEU convinced me that the best route is using a two part body. This avoids the problem inherent to a one piece E-tube bored for 18650 which is the thin O-ring area.

We bounced a number of design ideas back and forth, and started the process using an original angled groove design Precisionworks developed for the V10R:
el8BK.jpg


uZ44H.jpg


EyBYc.jpg


7gEEm.jpg



This design feels good in the hand and offers a secure grip without sharp edges. PEU tought it would be nicer to have only 3 flats evenly spaced instead of 4

A2Qfg.jpg


PEU worked on that more and came up with this:

vHndZ.jpg


Precisionworks asked for a modification of the beveled face like this:

uMzs3.jpg


And another one to add a groove, but PEU added two equidistant grooves for a total of five, also modified the top side of the body so it’s more symmetrical:

yZuaD.jpg


PEU then added a twist (pun intended :D ) to the flats, these rotations are not random, but the pattern is difficult to understand at first sight:

ByR12.jpg


PEU restyled the top part, these grooves hide the two parts seam, making it look like it is one solid piece:

51e6x.jpg


We discussed tritium slots in the head, but there isn’t enough metal depth to mill the slots:

q8rpM.jpg


And we stopped here as both of us were happy about this milestone - a truly original design that is great looking and offers an excellent grip.

PEU already machined a prototype and he has more renders, the next post will also be used for future updates on his side since he cannot edit this post.


Now all we have to do is find out how much it will cost to make it.


We hope you all like it.
 
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PEU

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First of all, thanks Barry for the confidence :)

Barry's post outlined most of the design process, let me post some more renders so you can fully understand the ROTOR shape:

51e6x.jpg

NvD5m.jpg

FDS3A.jpg

Ldq01.jpg

wjRtG.jpg


Yesterday I went to the shop with some e-series blanks I kept from the pineapple body run, I knew at the time they would be handy, many years later I proved myself right :D

Cut two blanks and used only one side of each, using a manual lathe then I threaded both pieces, also added an oring groove for sealing purposes:

itCsu.jpg

IU6Rn.jpg

59cpf.jpg

U5DAR.jpg

s7BTY.jpg

Z654y.jpg


The grooves at the top part were a feature of the pineapple bodies, since this is a prototype, I don't bothered in turning them out with the lathe, please ignore them.

And here is the finished unit with an ultrafire 18650 battery:

lSbl5.jpg


you can barely see the seam, with the design grooves it will be almost invisible:

yHL9U.jpg


it shines!

9lcvd.jpg



As Barry said, we hope you all like it, our plan is to make them in HA3 ALU, Bronze and 6AL4V Titanium.


Pablo
 

Obijuan Kenobe

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I will take minimum one...no, two in Ti.

Super design idea and initiative.

Please consider making a one piece tail with thread for a clicky.

obi

Sent from a long time ago...in a galaxy far, far away.
 

precisionworks

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Very nice. Have you had a chance to work out the cost?
TYVM :)

Argentina's Bicentenary Celebration was last week & it is a national holiday. Shops are closed until Monday, March 5. We should have pricing sometime during that week.

Please consider making a one piece tail with thread for a clicky.
+1

My suggestion was to make a head, body, tail, one piece body with clicky, etc. PEU brought me back to reality & said "let's start with the body & try to gauge interest."

I'd been thinking about a titanium 18650 tube for a long time. In an email to PEU I said:

It is so tough to find a shop willing to run a small lot of custom Ti parts. I deal with half a dozen local shops, each of them top flight. One has a pair of newer Mazak lasers, one has an Omax waterjet, another runs a 3mx7m high def plasma & the other shop does wire EDM and ram EDM. Nobody wants to quote under 50 pieces.

PEU mentioned the shop he uses & suggested I consider them ... at this point it was still I & not yet we. He checked titanium prices & sent a drawing of the E-series dimensions he'd used before. Sometime around this point and a dozen emails later we decided it would be beneficial to do this project together. He suggested that in addition to Ti-6-4 we also offer an aluminum HAIII version & a bronze model.

As soon as we have pricing we'll be able to better determine what next to do.
 
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precisionworks

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Another designer/manufacturer contacted me this morning & asked if we'd contacted the original designer of the two-piece tube for E-series. I responded that we had not & did not in fact know who is responsible for the design. Some digging around the web indicates that TranquilityBase is the inventor & we very much want to get in contact with TB. Searching through seven archived pages of TB threads did not produce an email or a website address. If anyone has contact info for TB please post it here or email it to me.

It is not our intention to knowingly or unknowingly duplicate someone's design or to disregard their intellectual property rights. At the very least that person deserves acknowledgement & credit for a design still used by a number of makers on CPF.
 

precisionworks

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I'd say lose the two-piece design and make it Z41 compatible.
One small step at a time :)

There is a segment that wants to use the tail cap they feel is most suited to their purposes & the bare tube satisfies that market. Others will want an integral tail with McClickie or FETtie switch. To further complicate this some will want a slim tail & others will want a fat shrouded design with lots of trit slots. All these are possibilities but the bare tube lets us offer the lowest initial price.
 
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PEU

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Argentina's Bicentenary Celebration was last week & it is a national holiday. Shops are closed until Monday, March 5. We should have pricing sometime during that week.

We have too many holidays here (yes I said it :) ) this one was: bicentenary of the creation and first oath to our national flag.

Blueprints are in the shop waiting for a quote. We will know more next week.


Pablo
 

sledhead

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"Searching through seven archived pages of TB threads did not produce an email or a website address. If anyone has contact info for TB please post it here or email it to me."

You might just be able to PM him. He posted on 2/19 in the PF 17 get-together thread. Better yet, come to the get together. The date for PF 18 should be announced soon. :thumbsup:
 

Bimmerboy

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I like the looks of this thing a lot... quite reminiscent of either a Wankel, or even the cam of a regular ICE (hence, "The ROTOR" I suppose). Either way, it's very different.

If I'm understanding the reason for the flats pattern... is it that no two flats are ever lined up in order to ensure grip no matter how the light is rotationally oriented in the hand?
 

precisionworks

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You might just be able to PM him. He posted on 2/19 in the PF 17 get-together thread.
That's a great idea :thumbsup:

Better yet, come to the get together. The date for PF 18 should be announced soon.
The Photon Festival has always sounded like lots of fun. How about slightly relocating it to the dead center of the USA ... Chicago. No particular reason except it's only 300 miles away :)
 

PCC

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One small step at a time :)

There is a segment that wants to use the tail cap they feel is most suited to their purposes & the bare tube satisfies that market. Others will want an integral tail with McClickie or FETtie switch. To further complicate this some will want a slim tail & others will want a fat shrouded design with lots of trit slots. All these are possibilities but the bare tube lets us offer the lowest initial price.

My point is that, by going to a one-piece body, you side-step any legal issues that could possibly pop up with a two-piece design if TB has patented it. Also, by using titanium, you may be able to get away with front loading an 18650 without resorting to a two-piece body since titanium would be less prone to breaking compared to aluminum due to it being made really thin at the threads for the head.
 

precisionworks

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My point is that, by going to a one-piece body, you side-step any legal issues that could possibly pop up with a two-piece design if TB has patented it.

From the research there's appears to be no patent on the split E-body. Patent or not we want to do the right thing for whomever developed the split body.

Also, by using titanium, you may be able to get away with front loading an 18650 without resorting to a two-piece body since titanium would be less prone to breaking compared to aluminum due to it being made really thin at the threads for the head.
I agree & I have a complete set of drawings that can be used to build an 18650 E-tube with a thin O-ring groove wall. I can't tell you how many aluminum Surefire E tubes I've bored for 18650 & no one has yet had one fail. Ti-6-4 is about twice as strong as aluminum & even less likely to have a problem. BUT when a person becomes a custom flashlight builder (as opposed to a modder) warranty becomes a consideration. The split tube, in any material, eliminates any potential for failure at the front of the tube.
 

Obijuan Kenobe

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I have something which might help.

Steve Ku produced some E series bodies...they are also essentially one piece (battery cannot exit via the tail). They are very thin at the head end. I would prefer to avoid this large weakness. It is fine for what it is, but I suspect you are aiming for more.

I would be happy to send this to you if you think it would help in any way.

obi

Sent from a long time ago...in a galaxy far, far away.
 

precisionworks

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I have something which might help.

Steve Ku produced some E series bodies...they are also essentially one piece (battery cannot exit via the tail). They are very thin at the head end. I would prefer to avoid this large weakness. It is fine for what it is, but I suspect you are aiming for more. I would be happy to send this to you if you think it would help in any way.

Obi,

I am touched by your generous offer. Not many members volunteer to ship away their prized light for any reason.

At this time our design is not carved in stone (or aluminum, bronze, titanium) but it is very close to final form. There may be some changes depending on machining costs but PEU & I both feel the two piece tube is a bullet proof design. We will certainly let you know if we need to look at the kuku tube.
 

archimedes

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Tried to send you a PM .... BTW, MirageMan has also produced a split-body design, although I don't really know much of the history of MM (or TB, for that matter).

Anyway, just thought I'd mention that, on the chance you weren't already aware of it.
 

nfetterly

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Very nice! Certainly interested in AL (HAIII) and probably Ti as well.

Hate to say it, but the angles on the body would look GREAT anodized (Ti) - as I find the changing angles when you look at it really plays well with the colors. I guess what I'm saying is if I buy a Ti body it will be even more expensive, because I'll end up anodizing it.
 

PEU

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Very nice! Certainly interested in AL (HAIII) and probably Ti as well.

Hate to say it, but the angles on the body would look GREAT anodized (Ti) - as I find the changing angles when you look at it really plays well with the colors. I guess what I'm saying is if I buy a Ti body it will be even more expensive, because I'll end up anodizing it.

All angles will have a radius, it may be invisible to the eye, but when you HA3 aluminum you need radiuses (radii?)

What we need to know at this time is if there is interest, having more units done at the shop lowers the cost for all !


Pablo
 
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