News and Reviews (January 2017)

Microphotonics and Micro-Optics by 3D Printing


3D Printer for the Fabrication of Micro-Optics and Micro-Photonics

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Flexibility and freedom of design are well known benefits associated with the technology of 3D printing which enable faster innovation speeds in a variety of applications. But up to now, the usual additive manufacturing technologies available on the market do not provide the resolution and precision that is needed to compete with established micro-optics manufacturing technologies.

However, a broad range of almost arbitrary micro-optical shapes including diffractive optical elements, standard refractive micro-optics, multiplet lens systems, optical interconnects and even freeform optics can now be printed in a one step-process using Nanoscribe's Photonic Professional GT 3D printers.

A recent article highlighted several of these application scenarios: It shows that, in combination with the right materials and processes, the Photonic Professional GT allows to directly fabricate polymer micro-optical components with significantly smaller geometrical constraints than standard fabrication methods, high shape accuracy and optically smooth surfaces. Its additive manufacturing workflow also drastically shortens the design-iteration phase and ideas can be turned into functional prototypes within just a few days. Polymer master structures for industrial mass replication, micro-optical components on wafer-level as well as complex compound lens systems and photonic wirebonds can be fabricated based on the same technology which makes the Photonic Professional GT a flexible tool for academia and industry alike enabling unprecedented applications in micro-optics. You can read the full article here for free (sign-up required):

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