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Thread: New and upgraded Fraz Mechanical Smart Materials flashlights

  1. #1
    TheFraz's Avatar
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    Talking New and upgraded Fraz Mechanical Smart Materials flashlights

    Glad to be back and making a post like this finally

    My former homemade flashlight was based on a QTC design in a thread that can be found here: http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...battery-crush)

    And then, an upgraded version of that design went on to sales in this thread: https://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb...now-available)

    These new models below are the necessary evolution of the design described in those threads.


    My original philosophy still stands as it did in that first homemade thread. I think people will always like (I know I do) a very durable, simple design that can retain the most important aspects of functionality normally brought by PCBs or electronics in modern LED flashlights. But do so without the vulnerability of the failure of these drivers. Enter QTC (and now other 'smart materials').

    QTC and other compression sensitive 'electronic smart-materials' are a great and simple solution to have a variable brightness flashlight that lacks the fragility of electronic driven solutions. Adjustable brightness without solder and potting. The problem with QTC initially was that it was traditionally used in a battery-crush system, meaning it was placed directly below the battery in a flashlight, and when the light was twisted on the QTC became vulnerable to the shearing forces of this compression.

    The piston design that I used in that first thread eliminated those shearing forces and protected the QTC allowing it to last much longer than a pill simply placed below the battery. That is when I ran into other unforeseen issues.

    -Complexity of the manufacture and assembly of the design
    -Materials that I hated (solder and any epoxy or tape) were used
    -The near impossibility of reliably subbing out parts to machine shops
    -The difficulity of a layman trying to replace the QTC in a flashlight (complete dissemble was required)
    -Abrasion wear in the piston system on the contact points

    Problem number 3 on that list made it a necessity to explore all the other issues. I had to gain access to CNC machines to learn the most efficient manufacturing processes and design the light around those theories to make it the way I wanted. In doing so, I was able to eliminate the other design flaws listed above. The light still retains the functionality of the original QTC Qzark lights, but now the material is user-replaceable in less than 10 seconds. The design will allow us to sub parts out much easier (and make our own parts as needed). We also eliminated all epoxy and tape, getting the light one step closer to a LEGO solution as I envision.

    The time taken between the last posts in that sales thread and now have been dedicated to acquiring access to CNC machines, learning how to use them, and changing the design accordingly to make it efficient as possible. Also, we wanted to finalize and put multiple models through prototyping before posting anything about them. Here are the 4 models:



    The Big Nugget 18650, Big E 26350, Big Nugget 26350, and Tiny Nugget 18350. The 1st and 3rd have interchangeable battery tubes for multiple battery options. The 2nd model has the best throwing optic I've ever used with an XM-L.


    Exploded view of the light components. Some of these pieces take the place of multiple ops on our old light. All machined in Arkansas.

    I will be posting updates on Instagram regularly here: https://www.instagram.com/frazlabs/?hl=en

    And I will update this thread regularly as well.

    I am building inventory for a sales thread that I will post next. Please let me know which designs you like or if there are any changes you would like made - I can adapt much quicker with access to the machines now.

    I will add much more shortly - videos and more info. I'll be back soon.

    -Fraz

  2. #2
    TheFraz's Avatar
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    Default Re: New and upgraded Fraz Mechanical Smart Materials flashlights

    Going to update this thread with new technical information as often as I can. I have a bit of a time constraint as we are machining these lights 2.5 hours away from home. Here is the first video demonstrating the QTC change out in the new light engine. I doubt many people ever attempted to change out the QTC in the old lights as it required a near complete disassemble. The new light is more like changing out the flint in a zippo...maybe a bit quicker than that.

    The new light shown is a 26350 operating with a great new optic from Gaggione that I really like. Big throw for such a small light. Light measures in at less than 3".



    A schematic showing the interaction between the new Engine and the Housing for the Pistons that allows us to eliminate anodizing for electrical paths and bring in a new palette of materials.


    Last edited by TheFraz; 09-02-2019 at 09:52 PM.

  3. #3

    Popcorn Re: New and upgraded Fraz Mechanical Smart Materials flashlights

    Welcome back, I was just thinking about you and your battery crush flashlights yesterday! subscribed

  4. #4
    TheFraz's Avatar
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    Default Re: New and upgraded Fraz Mechanical Smart Materials flashlights

    Quote Originally Posted by Zandar View Post
    Welcome back, I was just thinking about you and your battery crush flashlights yesterday! subscribed
    Thankyou Zandar! Glad to be back! Hope you like this design better than the last one.

    -Fraz

  5. #5

    Default Re: New and upgraded Fraz Mechanical Smart Materials flashlights

    Definitely an upgrade, six years of evolutionary design coming together! Well however many years it really is, I'm still interested!!!

  6. #6
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    Default New and upgraded Fraz Mechanical Smart Materials flashlights

    Cool! Welcome back! Iíll take an 18350 in stonewash alu.

  7. #7

    Default Re: New and upgraded Fraz Mechanical Smart Materials flashlights

    I'm partial to the 26350 size lights but open to anyone of the models really!

  8. #8

    Default Re: New and upgraded Fraz Mechanical Smart Materials flashlights

    Never has the meme "shut up and take my money" been more appropriate. Totally in for an 18350. Great to have you back!

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* id30209's Avatar
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    Default Re: New and upgraded Fraz Mechanical Smart Materials flashlights

    In for each!
    Would it be possi le to order one whole flashlight (18650) and just a tube for 26350?

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* id30209's Avatar
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    Default Re: New and upgraded Fraz Mechanical Smart Materials flashlights

    I hope that body-to-QTC contact area will be made of much harder material than alu...
    After some time of use, smooth operation is impaired due to worn area.

  11. #11

    Default Re: New and upgraded Fraz Mechanical Smart Materials flashlights

    I'm still interested! Glad to see you're back with a new design.

  12. #12
    TheFraz's Avatar
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    Talking Re: New and upgraded Fraz Mechanical Smart Materials flashlights

    Quote Originally Posted by Zandar View Post
    Definitely an upgrade, six years of evolutionary design coming together! Well however many years it really is, I'm still interested!!!
    Six, but definitely feels like 30 mentally. I think you'll like the new ones

    -Fraz

  13. #13
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    Default Re: New and upgraded Fraz Mechanical Smart Materials flashlights

    Quote Originally Posted by nbp View Post
    Cool! Welcome back! Iíll take an 18350 in stonewash alu.
    Thank you, nbp! We also anodize our own stuff now, and I like the brushed/stonewashed look better than the black I've found.

  14. #14
    TheFraz's Avatar
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    Default Re: New and upgraded Fraz Mechanical Smart Materials flashlights

    Quote Originally Posted by Zandar View Post
    I'm partial to the 26350 size lights but open to anyone of the models really!
    I really am liking the 26350s now that I've been experimenting with the batteries. More than twice the capacity (typically) of the 18350s at not much bigger footprint. They pack some serious umph.

  15. #15
    TheFraz's Avatar
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    Default Re: New and upgraded Fraz Mechanical Smart Materials flashlights

    Quote Originally Posted by Eciton View Post
    Never has the meme "shut up and take my money" been more appropriate. Totally in for an 18350. Great to have you back!
    Quote Originally Posted by id30209 View Post
    In for each!
    Would it be possi le to order one whole flashlight (18650) and just a tube for 26350?
    Thank you , and yes, that is possible id.

  16. #16
    TheFraz's Avatar
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    Default Re: New and upgraded Fraz Mechanical Smart Materials flashlights

    Quote Originally Posted by id30209 View Post
    I hope that body-to-QTC contact area will be made of much harder material than alu...
    After some time of use, smooth operation is impaired due to worn area.
    I'm gonna address this issue and more of the technical details of the new engine up above, but here is a pic of the old engine (the one that wore that rut on the left) vs the new engine. You can see the small piston with a flat head on the left. The new engine uses a much larger piston with a smooth radius that interacts much better with the contact on the battery tube. Have had no troubles with wear using this new system.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: New and upgraded Fraz Mechanical Smart Materials flashlights

    A video showing the difference between a big box 1500 lumen light and the new prototype we've been developing (shown it on Instagram a couple times). Highlights the difference between a twisty when it is like a dimmer switch versus the traditional clicky PCB design that rotates between low/med/high/strobe on clicks. The clicky shown is 9.5" and a '1500' lumen light from a big box store (I'm sure you've seen it). The twisty is just under 4" and our current 18650 design.



    I will update the top posts with additional engineering information about the light tonight.

    -Fraz

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    Default Re: New and upgraded Fraz Mechanical Smart Materials flashlights


  19. #19
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    Default Re: New and upgraded Fraz Mechanical Smart Materials flashlights

    What great news to see TheFraz back in town. Used to check your website occasionally years ago to see if you were still into your flashlights.

    Are we to understand that you are capable of different body sizes and builds because of your current machining capabilities?

    Definitely interested in a single 18650 flashlight. Something other than black would be excellent.

    Maybe it is early to speak of emitters that you will use, but it is obvious you were using something superior to the store bought flashlight in the comparison video.

    Understanding that you have always prized rugged tough torches, perhaps you might offer a lighter model that still meets your minimum standards for durability.

    Wife and I with our 9 year old son live off-grid now over 6 months and counting for probably a long time and use flashlights for all lighting. Ceiling bounce with one of your flashlights would be great. Perhaps you may go with a 26650 (actually closer to 26700) sized light?

    Even if you are not willing to go with a lighter build or 26650 size, I'm still a go for an 18650. I even watched your lathe videos way back when. Thanks for your return!

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* id30209's Avatar
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    Default Re: New and upgraded Fraz Mechanical Smart Materials flashlights

    And iím waiting for drop date

  21. #21
    TheFraz's Avatar
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    Default Re: New and upgraded Fraz Mechanical Smart Materials flashlights

    Quote Originally Posted by KITROBASKIN View Post
    What great news to see TheFraz back in town. Used to check your website occasionally years ago to see if you were still into your flashlights.

    Are we to understand that you are capable of different body sizes and builds because of your current machining capabilities?

    Definitely interested in a single 18650 flashlight. Something other than black would be excellent.

    Maybe it is early to speak of emitters that you will use, but it is obvious you were using something superior to the store bought flashlight in the comparison video.

    Understanding that you have always prized rugged tough torches, perhaps you might offer a lighter model that still meets your minimum standards for durability.

    Wife and I with our 9 year old son live off-grid now over 6 months and counting for probably a long time and use flashlights for all lighting. Ceiling bounce with one of your flashlights would be great. Perhaps you may go with a 26650 (actually closer to 26700) sized light?

    Even if you are not willing to go with a lighter build or 26650 size, I'm still a go for an 18650. I even watched your lathe videos way back when. Thanks for your return!
    Thank you so much KITRO . I very much appreciate you checking my website - and I hated to take it down because of lack of manufacturing processes. But if anything I am stubborn. I was getting quotes for something like $35 for retaining rings, so I had to go back to the drawing board in a big way. Now I am capable of a lot of design flexibility. A single 18650 will also work on our 26350 (my favorite) engine designs - we have different battery tube options. The emitters used are either XM-L2 or XP-L. The engine is easy to modify by design, or I can put whatever emitter you want in it. I have plans for a 26650 tube, and hope to integrate it with the other engine designs for flexibility. I really appreciate your support.

    Here is a video of the new 26350 design from tonight. A new optic and a comparison of one of my favorite old lights. My best old thrower...the MRV. As I've said before, all the shorty throwers, aka the D-Mini, are awesome. This new Lumenite that we made tonight is my favorite light so far.


  22. #22
    Flashaholic* Obijuan Kenobe's Avatar
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    Default Re: New and upgraded Fraz Mechanical Smart Materials flashlights

    I'd love one of these. Well done sticking to it!

    obi
    Stay sharp and bright for life.
    Have your knife and light handy at all times.
    Sent from a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.

  23. #23
    TheFraz's Avatar
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    Default Re: New and upgraded Fraz Mechanical Smart Materials flashlights

    Quote Originally Posted by Obijuan Kenobe View Post
    I'd love one of these. Well done sticking to it!

    obi
    Thank you Obi - and I appreciate it! If anything, I'm stubborn.

    -Fraz

  24. #24
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    Default Re: New and upgraded Fraz Mechanical Smart Materials flashlights

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B0cmTuOAFN6/

    Some beamshot testing of the 26350 under an interstate bridge. Tested 17 lights against the new design.

  25. #25
    Flashaholic* Glenn7's Avatar
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    Default Re: New and upgraded Fraz Mechanical Smart Materials flashlights

    Great to see you back buddy. Been waiting for these for years, how long do we have to wait and where's the sign up list?

  26. #26
    TheFraz's Avatar
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    Default Re: New and upgraded Fraz Mechanical Smart Materials flashlights

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn7 View Post
    Great to see you back buddy. Been waiting for these for years, how long do we have to wait and where's the sign up list?
    Thanks Glenn . Hopefully not long at all. I was working on material for the sales thread last night and hope to have it up tonight in the custom and modified sales section. I have a few units ready to go right now. They will be in smaller batches until I can gradually scale up manufacturing. I will update this thread again right before I publish the sales thread.

    -Fraz

  27. #27
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    Default Re: New and upgraded Fraz Mechanical Smart Materials flashlights

    Here is a beamshot comparison video of the Lumenite 26350 vs. some other pretty well known lights. I always like to use this location because I think it gives a good usable real-world feel of the lights and how they perform.


  28. #28
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    Default Re: New and upgraded Fraz Mechanical Smart Materials flashlights


  29. #29
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    Default Re: New and upgraded Fraz Mechanical Smart Materials flashlights

    Sales thread up in WTS section. Currently only have one Lumenite for sale. There will be all 4 models available shortly as we anodize and assemble them.

  30. #30
    Flashaholic borealis's Avatar
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    Default Re: New and upgraded Fraz Mechanical Smart Materials flashlights

    Sooo... with no chips is this the only variable output flashlight that could survive an EMP?
    -- || --

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