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Spie Press Book

3D Printing of Optics
Author(s): Andreas Heinrich; Manuel Rank
Format Member Price Non-Member Price

Book Description

Additive manufacturing - the layered deposition of material - has opened up new design possibilities, approaches, and solutions for optical systems. This Spotlight explores the 3D printing of optical components, including the construction of a printing system, the materials involved, and the printing process, as well as the necessary rework and characteristics of the produced optics. It serves as an introduction to newcomers to the field as well as a resource for experienced users. An undergraduate level of mathematics and basic knowledge of physics are the only prerequisites.

Book Details

Date Published: 3 August 2018
Pages: 42
ISBN: 9781510619982
Volume: SL39

Table of Contents
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1 Introduction

2 Brief Overview of 3-D Printing

3 How to Build a 3-D Printer for Optical Components

4 Materials for 3-D Printing of Optics
4.1 Polymers
4.2 Available resins
4.3 Optical properties of the resins
4.4 Surface quality
4.5 Shape deviation
4.6 Light propagation

5 Post-Processing of 3-D Printed Optics
5.1 Raw printouts and cleaning
5.2 Post-processing
     5.2.1 Robot-based polishing (fluid jet polishing)
     5.2.2 Manual polish using scratch remover
     5.2.3 Surface coating

6 Rules and Possibilities for the Design of 3-D Printed Optics
6.1 Rules
     6.1.1 Tolerancing
     6.1.2 Orientation and supports
     6.1.3 Radii
     6.1.4 Slicing
6.2 Examples of 3-D printed optics

Appendix: Video of 3-D Printing


Additive manufacturing generally refers to the layer-by-layer deposition of material in order to build a part. This process opens up completely new design possibilities compared to conventional, subtractive manufacturing methods. Thus, for example, complex-shaped parts with integrated functionality can be realized as monolithic components. Therefore, this manufacturing method offers a high potential not only for mechanical components but also for optical components, which creates new approaches and solutions for optical systems.

This Spotlight is intended to introduce the 3-D printing of optical components. It also offers experienced users of the technology a better understanding of the topic. The entire process chain of the 3-D printing of optical components is considered. It deals with the construction of a 3-D printing system, the printing materials, and the printing process, as well as the necessary rework and the characteristics of the 3-D printed optics. The minimum requirements are an undergraduate level of mathematics and basic knowledge of physics.

Manuel Rank
Andreas Heinrich
August 2018

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