Led by Professor Blair Kuys, the Centre for Design Innovation (CDI) and lighting manufacturer LimeLite applied efficient 3D printing technology to develop the OnTrack range: a suite of export ready, energy efficient lighting products with advanced control electronics.  

This project was funded by LimeLite and the federal Government’s Innovations Connections program and included over 11 months of market research by CDI as well as 3D printing and material trials at Swinburne. 

One of the final products developed for LimeLite’s OnTrack range, designed by the product development team in the CDI.

An opportunity to innovate in the lighting industry

LimeLite Sales and Marketing Pty Ltd are a commercial lighting manufacturer based in Victoria, Australia.  

When LimeLite first approached CDI, they wanted to innovate their product range but were unsure of how. The business had been primarily focused on importing components for commercial lighting and had rarely engaged with design before. 

LimeLite visited Swinburne University and met with the CDI product development research team and Professor Blair Kuys, who walked them through the costs of introducing a new product using injection moulded plastic parts. 

The team then decided that the project would pivot toward a faster, more agile and cost-efficient method: 3D printing. 

This approach would be an unprecedented initiative both in the lighting industry and large-scale commercial product development.

The 3D printed lights come in a range of colours and styles promoting the complex geometries only possible through 3D printing.
  • “Without the Swinburne team this range simply wouldn’t have occurred. We are very excited about the OnTrack range and its great export potential.”

    Paul Hearne , LimeLite CEO

The outcome: game-changing 3D printed lighting products 

The resulting products were five 3D energy efficient printed lights that consisted of complex geometries impossible to manufacture any other way.  

LimeLite CEO Paul Hearne was greatly thankful for the product range and development process. “Without the Swinburne team this range simply wouldn’t have occurred. We are very excited about the OnTrack range and its great export potential,” says Paul.  

To get the products to market, LimeLite invested in a new state-of-the-art production line in their Melbourne factory, which included 30 high-end printers. 

These lights, and their mode of production, enabled LimeLite to penetrate a new area of the market not yet seen within the lighting industry.  

“The most exciting part of this project was creating truly unique designs without the manufacturing constraints of plastic injection moulded parts. 3D printing allows complex geometries to be created unlike injection moulding. Using 3D printers also avoids massive investment in retooling, and low risk of an expensive, unpopular design languishing on the shelf. If no one orders it, it simply doesn’t get printed,” explains Professor Kuys. 

The OnTrack range has effectively transformed LimeLite, a local lighting company, into a major force within the Australian market.  

Project timeframe 

October 2017 – September 2018 

Research team 

Professor Blair Kuys, Director 

Mr Nathan Loutit 

Mr Nicholas Chia 

Mr Andrew Weeks 

Mr Ali Bahrman 

  • Back view of LimeLite's 3D printed lighting range
    The back view of the 3D printed lighting range showing the exposed heatsink.
  • LimeLite product range - flash complete
    Mass manufacturing of 3D printed lighting for LimeLite Australia.
  • The ‘Elegant’ light from LimeLite being used in an interior setting
    The ‘Elegant’ light being used in an interior setting.
  • LimeLite 3D printed lighting range - interior space
    The lights are designed to complement any interior space.

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We always welcome new partners. If you are interested in transforming ideas into commercially competitive outcomes, need the support of our research or have any other queries, contact us on +61 3 9214 6072 or email cdiadmin@swinburne.edu.au.

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