[Case Study] Enabling the Creation of Novel and Whimsical Art

Flashforge Industrial Case


Umbra + Lux combines art with innovative modern technologies to create elegant and whimsical sculptural lighting. Umbra & Lux has long utilized FDM technology to create many of their parts and diffuser designs. Seeking higher print quality, they collaborated with 3BA printing, a Flashforge reseller in Canada and used the Creator 4 pro to produce prints that far outclasses those made by lower-end models. The heated chamber allows for high consistency in tolerances, while the linear rails powered IDEX system allows for high print speeds.  


Figure . Close up of transparent PETG diffuser

Traditional Manufacturing Methods and Lead Times

Traditional manufacturing methods would have required Umbra + Lux to invest in an injection mold for each of their many components. This would have been financially unfeasible, as injection molds for complex components can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Furthermore, a large mold investment would have hindered Umbra & Lux’s ability to constantly innovate by making ongoing small alterations in their diffuser designs. When asked about the cost saving value of 3D printing, Jean Gélinas, environmentalist, R&D specialist, and Co-founder of Umbra & Lux went as far as to say that “As for cost savings: we simply could not do these types of products any other way. Many of our designs are not easily moldable and we have such a large cross section of parts that it would be economically feasible to do this with injection molding.” Umbra & Lux manufactures many eclectic clear and colored transparent PETG items. Transparent PETG is far cheaper, and easier to work with than glass diffusers. The heated chamber on the Creator 4 can slightly increase the transparent effect of some PETGs.



Lead times are also significantly reduced when using 3D printing, especially when operating a fast IDEX machine such as the Creator 4.  3D printing with the Creator 4 allows for the quick production of small batches of items, allowing Umbra & Lux to respond to customer needs without keeping large inventories of small parts.


About the Creator 4



For 3BA, adopting the Creator 4 was an excellent decision. It allows them to offer faster lead times, higher reliability in terms of print success rate, and tolerance guarantees (+/- 0.2mm),  and more material options, due to the 3 unique print heads. In the case of Umbra & Lux, the Creator 4 allows for the production of small batches of parts, all with tight tolerances, and high print quality. Furthermore, the low failure rate of parts reduces waste, which is perfectly in sync with Umbra & Lux’s environmentally friendly approach to business. 3BA estimates that the high success rate and tolerance consistency of the Creator 4 has allowed them to offer clients parts with 25% faster production lead times.