NLB Annual Forum: Journey of Illumination with 3D Printing

The National Lighting Bureau held a panel discussion as part of the NLB Annual Lighting Forum entitled “Journey of Illumination with 3D Printing.” The discussion was moderated by Randy Reid, Executive Director of the NLB, and featured the following panelists:

  • Sridhar Murphy, Signify
  • Dustin Kloempken, HP
  • N. Narendran, R.P.I.

The discussion began with the question “why is 3D printing ready now?” Dr. Narendran explained that 3D printing has been around for almost 3 decades. A lot of progress has been made in 3D printing technology up to today and offers a lot of benefits. One of the key benefits is making the supply chain more flexible. Dr. Narendran used the COVID-19 pandemic as an example of unpredictable situations stressing the global supply chain and made the point that 3D printing would allow businesses the ability to locally print/manufacture necessary components during a time when the supply chain is experiencing severe delays.

Mr. Murphy went on to explain the developing relationship between 3D printing and lighting. He said that 3D printing has been a part of the lighting industry since the last 5 years and believes that 3D printing is here to stay in the field of lighting.

Mr. Kloempken made the point that while 3D printing is continuing to advance and become more complex, many manufacturers should start with basic devices like wiring clips to get a feel for 3D printing.

Sustainability and cost effectiveness of 3D printing is vital to its success. 3D printed products can cost 40-50% less than products traditionally manufactured in factories and contribute to sustainability. Kloempken explained that lower costs don’t always come from lower cost of materials, but lower costs can come from lower shipping costs due to printing it locally.

Reid asked the question of “where will 3D printing technology be in 10 years?” All panelists agree that 3D printing will allow manufacturers to be closer to the customer, with products being able to be printed at the job site as needed.

Watch and listen to the full panel discussion here

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About the NLB
The NLB is focused on Promoting Lighting Excellence™ and helping the lighting industry solve its business problems. The NLB exists to create demand for High Benefit Lighting®–efficient lighting designed to optimize human performance, health, safety, and commerce—by educating those who make and influence decisions about lighting.  Obtain more information about the Bureau by contacting its staff at 615-379-7707, or visiting its website (, where information about sponsorship also is available. 

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