24 Sep 2015
3D-printed optics system Printoptical Technology will “democratize the way optics are made.”Luxexcel, which specializes in 3D printed optics and associated manufacturing systems, has developed a new solution for the rapid prototyping marketplace called Printoptical Technology, which enables the printing of optical products without visible layering.
The Netherlands-headquartered company, with a US office in Burbank, CA, says this development will “democratize the way optical products are made”. Luxexcel is cooperating with Trinckle 3D, Hennigsdorf, Germany, to develop the first two lens creator tools. The partnership anticipates that Printoptical Technology will enable users to create custom plano convex or concave lenses to order and tailored for particular applications.
Trinckle 3D creates web-based software solutions to support the preparation of 3D model files and enable the creation of customized designs. The company was founded in the environment of the Free University of Berlin in January 2013. Its investors and supporters include the early stage funding of the BFB (Frühphasenfonds Brandenburg) and the Berlin based Venture Capital Company.
Luxexcel said it wants to redefine the way optical products are designed and manufactured. “The platform of Trinckle 3D enables Luxexcel to make this first step to bring optics design within reach of every designer. Instead of a user needing to create a CAD file, our lens creator will automate most of the work,” said the company in its launch statement.
In order to get a custom 3D design of a plano convex or concave lens, basic optical values such as focal length and lens diameter are entered into the system. Once the file is created and saved it will be available in a dedicated “gallery”. Here the design is ready for ordering.
Within five working days the custom lens is printed and shipped to the customer. The lens creator tool is complementary to Luxexcel’s online ordering platform and the company says this process “democratizes the way optics are manufactured”, adding, “It is also possible to upload your own custom 3D file created in other software programs.”
Peter Paul Cornelissen, Head of Marketing & Online Business Development at Luxexcel, said, “With our new design tool we want to take the next step in opening up the world of optical development. Lowering the bar to make use of optimized optics for its application, and taking away the limitations of standard stock products will be a game changer for many designers that use optics in their products.”
For more complex designs Luxexcel provides a different solution. At the company’s online Designer Hub visitors will find a choice of Luxexcel-approved designers who can help with complex lens designs and custom solutions.
About the Author
Matthew Peach is a contributing editor to optics.org.