The Institute of Photonics at the University of Eastern Finland is launching cooperation with Dutch company LUXeXceL that offers rapid prototyping of optical components for prototypes and short-run batches.
LUXeXceL is the creator of the unique Printoptical Technology, a 3D printing method which allows the printing of optical quality components, such as lenses, without any need for post-processing.
In photonics, the problem with various 3D printing methods is that the quality of the surface can not meet the requirements for visible light. Surface structures that are not completely smooth can cause scattering of light which, in turn, results in significant losses and reductions in quality.
The first phase of the project spans 18 months and the majority of funding, €950,000, comes from the Leverage from the EU 2007 structural funding instrument of Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation. In addition to LUXeXceL and the University of Eastern Finland, the project funders and partners include the Finnish companies Nanocomp Ltd., Oplatek Group Ltd., Thermo Fisher Scientific Ltd., Millog Ltd., Idman Airfield Lighting Ltd., and Nanobakers Ltd.
"3D printing is becoming an important manufacturing method for small batches and single items. It is a revolution as regards component availability, development and manufacturing speed, and the concept of customisation," says Professor Jyrki Saarinen, Responsible Project Leader at the University of Eastern Finland. "Although Finland hasn't been a pioneer in 3D printing, this project will bring Finnish photonics 3D printing to world-leading level," he concludes.
Posted in 3D Printing Technology
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