Ink-Jet Printing of Gradient Index of Refraction Lenses
Final rept. 25 Apr-31 Dec 2000, Phase 1
MICROFAB TECHNOLOGIES INC PLANO TX
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This is the Phase I Final Report developed under SBIR contract for topic SB001-010. The overall technical objective was to design a rapid-prototypingmanufacturing machine capable of fabricating GRIN gradient index of refraction lenses as large as 6 inches in diameter by direct-write, 3D inkjet printing processes, using CAD files of optical models as input data. The design of this GRIN Lens Printing Platform was completed, and a bill of materials was generated with vendors, model numbers and prices for all key systems, subsystems and components. In addition, a set of UV-curing optical epoxy inks of differing indexes of refractive was developed and used in test printing of small gradient index lenses, in order to study material interactions and to verify printing process concepts. Ongoing efforts to increase the temperature capability of our print heads is expected to enable the printing of low-melting IR infrared glasses, which would extend the application wavelengths of printed GRIN lenses from the near to the middle and far IR. Successful development of this machine during a Phase II effort would enable both greater flexibility in GRIN lens design fabrication and significant cost reductions in the fabrication of a wide range of optical elements.
- Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering and Control of Production Systems