3D Printing of LED Optics
While the general adoption of 3D printing lighting components in the Lighting Industry may be in its infancy, 3D printing has yielded good results in the production of LED optics. Traditionally, injection moulding, or diamond turning has been used in optics manufacturing. Production of a new optic, from design to application, has been exceedingly expensive due to inefficient and expensive processes, and may take up to a year or even more.
Printed Illumination optics by Luximprint
At the optics front, the Dutch company Luximprint is leading the digital manufacturing revolution. The core technology was initially invented by Luxexcel, the Belgian company known by its 3D printed eyewear, who originally invented and developed the novel 3D printing process for optical lenses named Printoptical Technology. This inventive process allows functional optics to be printed directly from a CAD file, bringing 3D printing and optics manufacturing for lighting applications together.
Optical quality surfaces – no post-processing
The process requires zero post processing, thanks to the process of fluent dynamics that’s being used. By delaying the time between the jetting of the droplets and the application of UV light, the polymer is given time to flow and for each droplet to lose its spherical form. Optical quality surfaces are achieved with no post processing, such as polishing or grinding. The company offers herewith a new and affordable way to get optics prototypes and even follow up series available rapidly. The optics printing technology is been seen as a fundamental innovation in 3D optics manufacturing with disruptive potential. Although pretty young, this company is emerging fast and definitely worth considering when working on your next optics prototype!
Related to this article:
▪ Luxexcel The Movie – 3D Printed Optics: a Day from the Life of ‘John’
▪ 3D printed (LED) Optics by Luximprint – Optics directly from the printer with only one step from CAD to optic
External: Trilogy on ‘The Digitization of Plastic Optics Fabrication’ + conclusions:
▪ Part 1 – Introductions – One Step CAD-to-Optic Manufacturing
▪ Part 2 – Economies of Scale – The Long Tail for LED Lighting Optics
▪ Part 3 – Digitally Printed Optics – Ultimate Design Freedom & Increased Competitiveness
▪ Part 4 – Conclusions – Printoptical Technology Contributes to a 3rd Industrial Revolution