Additive Optics Manufacturing of Micro and Nanoscale Components

Additive manufacturing methodologies have shown promising results in the fabrication of high-performance optics. The evolving capabilities of the various additive optics fabrication approaches lead to unique features and performance for the devices and systems these components apply to. The exact capability of this exciting 3D Printing technology is difficult to determine based on the information out there. Nevertheless, a review done by Techbriefs clearly describes a promising portfolio of processes with mounting evidence that additive manufacturing of custom optics could potentially revolutionize optical fabrication in the not too distant future.

Additive Manufacturing for Custom Optics

Based on the current research and development in 3D AM for optical fabrication, much remains to be done, particularly in the manufacturing of regular size optical elements, e.g. optics in the size of a few inches (as, for example, Luximprint ‘Printoptical Technology‘ may provide them). Especially at micro and nanoscale levels, the most promising results appear to only have occurred in lab settings to this day rather than real production environments. Although there are many unanswered questions and issues before this technology can be widely adopted, the first interesting commercial projects come to the light. Issues to be investigated include, but are not limited to, things such as index distribution, optical geometry, volume shrinkage, aging and temperature resistance of the optical elements.

This News reference was excerpted from TechBriefs and is solely intended to inform our users on the range of evolving capabilities around printed optics. For the full article, please refer to the Techbriefs Research Study.