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Building your own flashlight is an excellent way to learn about electricity as well as how to use a variety of tools. Using a 3D printed frame make the process even quicker and easier and results in a nice, polished final project.

Printing the Flash Light
By following the links below, you can access the source file to modify the flashlight frame and insert, or download an stl file for fabrication via a 3D printer. I learned the hard way that it's not a good idea to print more than one frame at a time (otherwise they turn out too brittle and will break when you try to screw on the end cap).
  • Flashlight Frame
  • Flashlight Insert
  • Pop Riveter
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Drill (with 1/8" drill bit)
  • Volt Meter
  • File
  • Soldering Iron (with solder, helping hands, and flux)
  • Needle nosed pliers
  • Diagonal Cutting Pliers
Bill of Materials
 Item Supplier  Part Number Quantity Cost
 White, Green, or Blue 5mm Super Bright LED
 (Do not use red or yellow without a resistor)
White: COM-00531
Green: COM-08285
Blue: COM-00529
1 $0.95
 Rocker Switch COM-10727 1 $0.50
 Copper Tape - 5mm (one roll for 100 flash lights) PRT-10561 1 $2.95/50ft
 Electrical Tape        
 1/8" Short Aluminum Rivets Lowes   1 $5.28/100
 1/8" Medium Aluminum Rivets Lowes   1 $5.28/100
 1/8" Aluminum Washer Lowes   2 $1.60/30
 1/2" PVC Schedule 40 Threaded Cap Lowes 23890 1 $0.76
 Battery Spring 534-211 1 $0.13

Next time I build one of these flashlights, I'm going to try using a brighter LED from Digikey (should be about 3½ times brighter).