The emerging 3D printing technology has the potential to transform manufacturing customized optical elements, which currently heavily relies on the time-consuming and costly polishing and grinding processes. However, the inherent speed-accuracy trade-off seriously constraints the practical applications of 3D printing technology in optical realm. In addressing this issue, here, we report a new method featuring a significantly faster fabrication speed, at 24.54 mm3/h, without compromising the fabrication accuracy or surface finish required to 3D-print customized optical components. We demonstrated a high-speed 3D printing process with deep subwavelength (sub-10 nm) surface roughness by employing the projection micro-stereolithography process and the synergistic effects from the grayscale photopolymerization and the meniscus equilibrium post-curing methods. Fabricating a customized aspheric lens with 5 mm in height and 3 mm in diameter could be accomplished in less than four hours. The 3D-printed singlet aspheric lens demonstrated a maximal imaging resolution of 2.19 μm with low field distortion less than 0.13% across a 2-mm field of view. This work demonstrates the potential of 3D printing for rapid manufacturing of optical components.
- Manufacturing Engineering Division
High-Throughput 3D Printing of Customized Imaging Lenses
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Chen, X, Liu, W, Dong, B, Ware, HOT, Zhang, HF, & Sun, C. "High-Throughput 3D Printing of Customized Imaging Lenses." Proceedings of the ASME 2018 13th International Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference. Volume 1: Additive Manufacturing; Bio and Sustainable Manufacturing. College Station, Texas, USA. June 18–22, 2018. V001T01A023. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/MSEC2018-6302
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