Aug 16, 2016 | By Tess

More and more it’s seeming that home projectors are the new best way to watch TV and films in the comfort of your own home. In my opinion, turning your whole wall into a screen is really the next best thing to a movie theater experience (providing there’s popcorn of course!). There are still a few setbacks however, as good quality projectors can be very expensive and ample space is a often a necessity to set them up. Fortunately, in a world full of innovators, a student designer has decided to rethink home projections with his latest design product, .Lantern.

 .Lantern, a final design project at Loughborough University in the UK, is a concept for a home projector device that is only about the size of a milk carton and can project clear images of up to 70” in size from extremely short distances. This means that you’ll no longer have to set up your projector in the middle of a room, but can place the .Lantern wherever is most convenient.

Of course, as a design project, the .Lantern is extremely well conceived but is still far from commercialization. Created by Industrial design student Raymond Ng, the 3D printed .Lantern is equipped with a rotary adjustment and angular tilt which can be customized by the user through an accompanying smartphone app. These features allow the user to adjust the angle and internal short throw mirror of the projector so that no matter how close the device is to the projection wall, the picture will be clear and crisp.

The inspiration for the 3D printed projector came from the reality that smaller homes and living spaces are becoming a bigger trend. Considering this, huge TVs and extensive media systems are not always ideal, and more compact and useful systems need to be initiated. According to the designer, his hope is that his .Lantern device will help to enable in demand content for its users in an efficient and sociable way.

On the designer’s Behance page he says of the innovative product design: “The strength of the product relies in its adaptability, and the projection image should reflect this. The short throw mechanism is an innovative feature and opens up the possibilities of what a projector system and the conventional home entertainment system could be.”

The .Lantern was also designed to be compatible with Bluetooth 4.0 and Wifi through its accompanying app LanternCast. Through the app, the user can easily navigate media libraries and storage similarly to a remote. For easy use, flash-drives can even be plugged directly into the projector.

The compact projector structure was developed and made with the help of 3D printing technologies. As Raymond Ng explains, 3DPrintUK, a London-based SLS 3D printing service, helped to manufacture the prototypes for the projector as well as the final prototype design. The base of the projector was also manufactured using SLS 3D printing, which was necessary to account for its complex structure. According to Raymond, his first choice for manufacturing was to have the part made using a 4-axis CNC router, but the cost of using such equipment was too high. 3D printing allowed the designer to create the same part but for a much lower cost.

While the .Lantern projector may never hit the market, not as it is at least, we certainly hope it does, as the compact, sleek, and dare I say stylish projection unit would be the perfect replacement to even the largest TV screen. Especially as living spaces become more compact and efficient, the .Lantern projector would be a perfect fit in any small or micro-home.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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shaun lamont wrote at 8/23/2016 7:09:36 PM:

again, mistaking a concept and 3d print for a product. It's obvious that the article author has no idea of the reality of projectors, nor bothered to even wonder about the constraints imposed by such a device. Do you really think that existing manufacturers of projectors make them large just for fun?

Joe D wrote at 8/16/2016 3:35:44 PM:

I have always disliked projector specs that say things like, "images of up to 70” in size". As a general rule, any projector is capable of projecting an image that you can measure in miles. However, it would be too dim to be of any practical use. But, needless to say, such specs are purely up to the marketing department, and does not have any basis in the actual performance of the projector. The two important numbers are the lumen output, and the throw ratio. I.e. how bright, and how wide of a beam. This article omits both, and so has omitted the most important technical specs.

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