Project Description

3D Printing a Flashlight Collimator for Relio flens

Smartphone flashes can’t efficiently light objects at far distance. They are simply intended to support mobile photography, nothing else. But what if you want to use your flash in a functional way? With the Relio flens add-on, you can collect your light rays and generate a more efficient light beam. Light up objects to even 10 meters away!

The Challenge

Can your smartphone be used as a flashlight? The straight answer is: No! Smartphone flashes are intended for illumination the contours of a space while taking pictures. The light is omni-directional, and therefore not useable in a functional way. Relio – an enthusiast young start-up somewhere from the beautiful hills of Northern-Italy – decided to extend the use of the mobile flash: add a TIR optic to it and you have a directional light beam that can efficiently converge the beam and then use its as flash light in random situations. The concept was proven to be working however, as a next step, they had to find a suitable umanufacturing process to rapidly create their products to finally go “live” on Kickstarter. With the current restrictions of manufacturing tooling, a real challenge!

Problem Definition

Every smartphone has a flashlight function. But it is just not good for lighting up faraway subjects. As such the f.lens project was initiated. The idea for the f.lens came up because the creators often go hiking in the hills to enjoy beautiful sunsets. Different questions came to mind, like “Why can’t we use our phones as a real flashlight?”. The inventors took this idea to their lab and tested the limits of their smartphones. They found out that is what possible today, and how to overcome those constraints!

The Solution

As a result, The Relio Flens – the first booster for your smartphone flashlight was born. With it’s converging light beam you can efficiently illuminate objects that are far away. F.lens amplifies your light by ten times. Besides, it’s just a tiny piece, you can easily carry it with you by magnetically attaching it to your smartphone, or just wear it on your keychain for future use.

At Luximprint, we 3D printed the functional lens part for the f.lens team. The collimator optic fits in another 3D printed part, the host. This led to a small, lightweight solution that you can take along with you wherever you go.

Unique Project Features

  • No Upfront Investments: Thanks to the zero need for tooling, no working capital was lost to molds or tooling parts; in addition, with a minimum order quantity of 1 (one), there was no need to source huge volumes before starting the campaign;
  • Fast Delivery: following the very short lead time of only a few business days, the Relio team got the custom parts delivered in days, rather than weeks or even months. This enabled them to speed up their product development process and rapidly launch the concept on Kickstarter.

About Relio / f.lens

The “Relio Flens” project is the conjoined effort of three young Italian professionals, namely Marco (27), Ivan (27) and Alessandro (20). They have combined their knowledge about engineering, web development and media content productions to launch the f.lens product. They have succesfully launched a Kickstarter project before (Relio), a professional photographic illuminator, which turned out to be a tremendous success.

You can also visit the official Relio website at