Finland Hosts First 3D Printer for Photonics Manufacturing
Finland will be the first country where a 3D printer for photonics manufacturing R&D will be up and running. The apparatus is currently being set up at the University of Eastern Finland in a collaboration with the Dutch company LUXeXceL and should be ready by the end of the year.
The cost for the completion of the device is estimated at around one million Euros. However, the device will bring cutting edge of photonics technology, allowing scientists to do things which weren’t possible before.
The 3D printer uses UV curable plastics and creates 3D objects by printing each layer, one at a time. From this concept, researches are looking at combining the abilities of a 3D printer with laser ablation.
The new 3D printer is able to print smooth surfaces such as lenses directly from a CAD file without further processing.
This will enable the quick turn-around for optical prototypes and low volume batches which, according to Professor’s Jyrki Saarinen of University of Eastern Finland beliefs is going to revolutionise the way optical components are currently manufactured and ensure the ability to cope with larger volumes of products.
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