Innovative Wireless Bluetooth Headset
“Not only did VCC design & prototype a custom light pipe on an accelerated timeline, we delivered a solution that was 5 times as efficient as the original.”
Light Ray Simulation Analysis
Same-Day 3D CAD File Delivery
Custom Light Pipe Design
When one tech manufacturer was getting ready to debut a new wireless Bluetooth cable at the world’s largest electronics show, Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the OEM realized the light pipe designed for the product was underperforming, to say the least. CES was in two weeks, and the client was in desperate need of a working sample for the trade show booth.
Fortunately, one of our manufacturer’s reps was able to refer the electronics company to us just in the nick of time — two days before we closed for the holidays.
This project was a two-phase assignment, each with its own design and time constraints.
Our team of expert engineers quickly met with the client to learn more about the application requirements, which included:
For the Consumer Electronics Show (CES)
- Accelerated deadline to make CES a success
- No alterations to the already-tooled design
- Low-voltage LED (2V)
- Maximum visibility
For Production of Device
- Optimized “from scratch” light pipe
- Uniform illumination
- Accelerated production timeline
“VCC was able to quickly optimize the light pipe design in a single day so our client could showcase a winning product at the Consumer Electronics Show!”
Thomas Macon, Jr.
VP of Sales, VCC
- Analyzed the design and came up with a solution
- Conducted ray tracing simulations
- Delivered 3D CAD file for the client to print prototype in time for CES
Because of the time crunch and existing design constraints, the improvements were great for the show, but not as good as they could be if we had more input into the design.
With a successful trade show behind them, the client asked us to provide a custom light pipe design.
- Ran ray tracing simulations
- Created a new light pipe design
- Tested and validated the design
- Printed SLA prototypes in house
- Hand-polished the samples
- Sent prototypes and final designs to the client
Due to the position of the PCB component inside the Bluetooth device, there was a slight interference taking place on the right side of the indicator, which caused the illumination to not be uniform.
We couldn’t modify the PCB component, so we created the following improvements, with great results:
Minimized light loss
- Designed a light pipe that was more narrow to capture more light rays toward the target
- Optimized the entrance area
- Reduced the distance between the LED and the entrance surface
Maximized total internal reflection (TIR)
- We increased the critical angle to 45 degrees for total internal reflection.
- The VCC team also added interior finishes, which also helped with TIR.
- Our designers added patterns to the interior light pipe surface to move the rays in the intended direction and increase uniformity.
- Adding an SPI-D2 bead blast finish also improved light uniformity.
“VCC’s fast service and extensive light pipe expertise helped the client have a successful showing at CES, and better yet, a more efficient light pipe to use in the end product.”
Thomas Macon, Jr.
VP of Sales, VCC
Results & Benefits
The prototype solution was exactly what the client needed to successfully demonstrate the new product at the Consumer Electronics Show.
Once it was time to order the new parts for production, VCC dug deeper to create a new design that was even more efficient for use in the final product.
For the manufacturer:
- Adherence to an extremely tight deadline, even during holidays
- Successful product launch at the world’s largest trade show with working prototypes
- Enhanced light pipe performance and reliability
For the end-user:
- Enhanced visibility for ease of use
- Aesthetically pleasing indication
- Longer operating life of indicator
Light Pipe Efficiency
Having the expertise and technology in-house made all the difference in delivering the ideal light pipe solution, which included value-added services like:
- Same-day design services
- 3D printing
- Molded plastics
- In-house prototyping
- Expertise in complex light pipe design