A prototype of a light pipe that illuminates an integral subassembly for the 2013 Dodge Dart center console cup holder was taken from tool design to finished parts in the space of three-and-a-half weeks by Urgent Plastic Services (UPS), part of rapid prototyping and low-volume specialist 3-Dimensional Services Group (Rochester Hills, MI).
"Complicating the task was the fact that these light pipes weren't your ordinary, run-of-the-mill lighting fixtures, but rather, part of a bold new concept in automotive interior lighting," says Steve Kelly, senior sales engineer with the 3-Dimensional Services Group. "Fed by two LED light sources, the color and intensity of the light at each point in the light pipe is the same as at every other point," Kelly explains. "In other words, there is no drop off in intensity or color as the light travels away from its source. This is an example of homogenous lighting, a concept which opens the door for a single LED light source to supply light to multiple devices."