wireless bluetooth cable sound amplifier

Innovative Wireless Bluetooth Headset


“Not only did VCC design & prototype a custom light pipe on an accelerated timeline, we delivered a solution that was 5 times as efficient as the original.”

Consumer Electronics
Design & Engineering Services
Light Ray Simulation Analysis
Accelerated Timeline
Light Ray Simulation Report
Same-Day 3D CAD File Delivery
Custom Light Pipe Design

Application Characteristics

Consumer electronics is a highly competitive space, where products like wireless cables with Bluetooth had better look and work great to win the hearts and wallets of end-users.  

When one tech manufacturer was getting ready to debut a new wireless Bluetooth cable at the world’s largest electronics show, Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the OEM realized the light pipe designed for the product was underperforming, to say the least. CES was in two weeks, and the client was in desperate need of a working sample for the trade show booth.

Fortunately, one of our manufacturer’s reps was able to refer the electronics company to us just in the nick of time — two days before we closed for the holidays.

CES vcc wireless cable bluetooth light pipe design
wireless bluetooth cable sound device 3d drawing
wireless bluetooth cable sound amplifier body

Application Requirements

This project was a two-phase assignment, each with its own design and time constraints.

Our team of expert engineers quickly met with the client to learn more about the application requirements, which included:

vcc light pipe design guide

For the Consumer Electronics Show (CES)

  • Accelerated deadline to make CES a success
  • No alterations to the already-tooled design
  • Low-voltage LED (2V)
  • Maximum visibility
vcc light pipe design guide

For Production of Device

  • Optimized “from scratch” light pipe 
  • Uniform illumination
  • Accelerated production timeline
wireless bluetooth cable sound device with ear buds

“VCC was able to quickly optimize the light pipe design in a single day so our client could showcase a winning product at the Consumer Electronics Show!”

Thomas Macon, Jr.
VP of Sales, VCC


Phase 1

Within a matter of hours, we worked within the client’s requirements and:

  • Analyzed the design and came up with a solution
  • Conducted ray tracing simulations
  • Delivered 3D CAD file for the client to print prototype in time for CES

Because of the time crunch and existing design constraints, the improvements were great for the show, but not as good as they could be if we had more input into the design.

With a successful trade show behind them, the client asked us to provide a custom light pipe design.


vcc wireless cable bluetooth light pipe design etymotic cad light pipe
wireless bluetooth cable sound device light ray study
wireless bluetooth cable sound device 3d printed
wireless bluetooth cable sound device light pipe

Phase 2

Within three days, our team:

  • Ran ray tracing simulations
  • Created a new light pipe design
  • Tested and validated the design
  • Printed SLA prototypes in house
  • Hand-polished the samples
  • Sent prototypes and final designs to the client

Due to the position of the PCB component inside the Bluetooth device, there was a slight interference taking place on the right side of the indicator, which caused the illumination to not be uniform.

We couldn’t modify the PCB component, so we created the following improvements, with great results:

nearshoring benefits lower supply chain risk

Minimized light loss

To retain as much light as possible, our team:

  • Designed a light pipe that was more narrow to capture more light rays toward the target
  • Optimized the entrance area
  • Reduced the distance between the LED and the entrance surface
nearshoring benefits lower supply chain risk

Maximized total internal reflection (TIR)

Because the original light pipe design did not include the proper angle for TIR, most of the light escaped, leaving only 2.66% of it to hit the intended target surface. 

  • We increased the critical angle to 45 degrees for total internal reflection. 
  • The VCC team also added interior finishes, which also helped with TIR.
nearshoring benefits lower supply chain risk

Enhanced uniformity

  • Our designers added patterns to the interior light pipe surface to move the rays in the intended direction and increase uniformity.
  • Adding an SPI-D2 bead blast finish also improved light uniformity.
vcc uniformity before wireless cable bluetooth light pipe design etymotic


The original design had a 2.66% efficiency and uniformity ratio of 12:1.
uniformity light study wireless cable bluetooth light pipe design


VCC was able to optimize the design to deliver an efficiency of 13.55% and a uniformity ratio of 2:5:1!
With a production deadline looming, our team quickly designed and sent out the optimized prototypes in only three days.

“VCC’s fast service and extensive light pipe expertise helped the client have a successful showing at CES, and better yet, a more efficient light pipe to use in the end product.”

Thomas Macon, Jr.
VP of Sales, VCC

wireless bluetooth cable sound device 3d drawing
wireless bluetooth cable sound device body

Results & Benefits

The prototype solution was exactly what the client needed to successfully demonstrate the new product at the Consumer Electronics Show. 

Once it was time to order the new parts for production, VCC dug deeper to create a new design that was even more efficient for use in the final product.

For the manufacturer:
  • Adherence to an extremely tight deadline, even during holidays
  • Successful product launch at the world’s largest trade show with working prototypes
  • Enhanced light pipe performance and reliability
For the end-user:
  • Enhanced visibility for ease of use
  • Aesthetically pleasing indication
  • Longer operating life of indicator

Light Pipe Efficiency

By polishing the inside of the light pipe, bringing the light pipe and LED closer together, and optimizing the design within space constraints, we were able to deliver better overall efficiency.
time efficiency icon vcc

VCC Version

  • 13.55%

Previous Version

  • 2.66%

Value-Added Services

In addition to helping the client achieve a successful product showing at CES on a short turnaround, we also helped them optimize the final design for an even better overall performance and user experience. 

Having the expertise and technology in-house made all the difference in delivering the ideal light pipe solution, which included value-added services like:

  • Same-day design services
  • 3D printing 
  • Molded plastics
  • In-house prototyping 
  • Expertise in complex light pipe design
wireless bluetooth cable sound device samples in pieces
vcc etymotic light pipe light ray study
vcc etymotic light pipe design

Light Pipe Design

Slight design modification or new light pipe from scratch, our team can develop the ideal solution (and fast). Explore our custom capabilities.

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