Rapid Prototyping Large-Format Optics

The Luximprint optical 3D printing process naturally evolved from industrial large-format UV inkjet equipment into a tailored, patented optical 3D printing platform. Despite the fact the core characteristics of the 3D platforms got replaced by custom replacements, upgrades and extensions, the essence of the hardware – a large-format built tray – is one of those few key parameters that remained in the new setting. Hence, custom optics can be provided as tiny singlets, but wide-format sheets of lenses can be easily provided too.

Printed Optics in Large Format
Large-Format Optics (not to confuse with a large format lens, as used in photography), include optical sheets or films that may incorporate functional lens features, textures, or frosted finishes, with resulting surfaces that are smooth straight from the 3D printer or, if wanted, carry certain ‘frosted’ characteristics (frosting). Also, a combination of both ‘smooth’ and ‘frosted’ is possible. While producing functional lens sheets with such an approach is relatively new, it got discovered meanwhile by designers and engineers of large format displays. Typical lens features may include diffusers, and fresnel-like structures, (a)spherical convex lenses, concave, just to name a few.

[caption id="attachment_6127" align="alignnone" width="1200"] 3D printed large-format optics – such as the above with Fresnel-like features – can have clear and frosted surface finishes.[/caption]

Optical Sheet Materials
Typical sheet materials include acrylic (PMMA), Polycarbonate (PC) and PET-G materials. Specialty glass can be used instead for rigid applications. In addition, a variety of custom sheets and existing off-the-shelf materials can be processed, no matter they include proprietary custom developments that are treated with the Luximprint process (i.e. correction of aberrations, adding anti-glare properties, functional lens features) or standard optics from well-know LED optics suppliers.

[caption id="attachment_6130" align="alignnone" width="1097"] Additional textures and lens features can easily be applied onto small and large format standard available lens parts.[/caption]

Large Built Tray – Functional Lens Features
Thanks to the relatively large built tray, the process is well suited for handling larger sheets and films, and have optical lens elements and textures applied onto it. Typically, sheets of 600*1000mm can be processed (standard capabilities), the platforms however allows for an even larger build. Increased sizes might be possible, depending on the texture or optical features to add, and sheet rigidness.

[caption id="attachment_6131" align="alignnone" width="1280"] Large sheets with identical or varying lens types can be easily processed by the Luximprint Printoptical Platform.[/caption]

The process of preparing master parts as an intermediate step for validation is extremely helpful, rather important, in order to ensure a well-considered investment in large-format manufacturing tooling, such as embossing.

Explore your Custom Optics Capabilities
As explained above, the options Luximprint can offer are versatile and can be tailored to customer demand. Once you are interested to explore the capabilities or opportunities for your specific custom optics project, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

Also, you might be interested in reading a previous blog post about ‘refurbishment of existing lenses and sheet materials‘.

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