3D Printed Sunflower Fresnel Lens
The arrival of optical 3D printing paves the path for the design of new optical systems. Whereas additive optics fabrication lowers the bar for the physical production of optical parts, Faceted Lens Technology is a next-generation optical design software that comes along with interesting new ways of lens design. One interesting outcome to mention is the ‘Sunflower Fresnel Lens’.
Sunflower Fresnel Lens
In the growing of sunflowers, it is well known that their intelligent ‘light-gathering capabilities’ are stunning scientists to this day. The heart of the flower, surrounded by the colorful yellow leaves – that may well reflect the rays of the sun, by the way- the core of the flower exists of tiny solar-receptors that react to the sunlight by day. As a result, the flowers open and close during sunrise and sunset, and day-over they follow the sun in its cycle. The image below well illustrates how equal the physical sunflower and the optical counterpart compare.
Sunflower Fresnel – How it Works
At the core of the process is mathematical optics design software. Unlike traditional Fresnel optics, that typically exist of a series of rotational or non-rotationally symmetric grooves, sunflower fresnel lenses are much more complicated when referring to the surface structures.
The image illustrates how the individual light rays – like tiny pocket lights – are redirected from a given light source to the target surface in order to generate the required light image. This may well require defined shapes or patterns for functional lighting applications, as well as typography or artistic light effects for decorative applications.
Applications of Sunflower Fresnel Lenses
The specification area for this interesting kind of lens types is very wide. Most commonly, it finds its way in architectural lighting applications, such as tree, statue or facade lighting, but it is increasingly applied for development of lighting systems of any kind. Other purposes as may include: Automotive Lighting (typography, interior lighting), Emergency Lighting (presence detection, directional, exit signs), Machine Vision Lighting and creative Light Art installations.
There’s more to come!
With much more developments to come in the operational year, we encourage you to discover the possibilities with Sunflower Fresnel Lenses, as they are very versatile and efficient. Also, you can visit us at one of the upcoming lighting events in order to see Facet lenses live on demo.
If there’s any interest to discover this novel technology combination further, please refer to a recent publication in the LED professional Review Magazine titled ‘Additive Optics Design and Fabrication for Smart Lighting Systems and Tailored Project Solutions‘ or reach out to one of our sales engineers.