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Optical / Photonic Applications

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Posted · Optical / Photonic Applications

I am interested in investigating applications of 3d printing related to plastic optical fibres (POF) and related components. Can anyone point me towards appropriate filaments?  I am particularly interested in finding the optical specifications of the materials, such as their attenuation at different optical wavelengths and the refractive index of the materials. I am open to research collaboration in the area.

 

Thank you

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Posted · Optical / Photonic Applications

I think you would best contact the manufacturers directly, such as for T-glase (is that Eastman Kodak?).

 

Most of us have tried printing transparent parts, but with very limited success. Due to the inevitable entrapped air, both in-between the extruded sausages as in the center of the sausages, it is very difficult to get a better clarity than "frosted glass" or shattered glass. This is good enough to show a watermark, and let some light shine through. Suitable for model trains, and lenses for rear lights of bikes. But far from usefull for long real light guides and optical datacables. Another problem are surface defects due to layer lines, which act like lenses and which deform the light path. All these defects combined will probably play a much greater role in the disturbance of the ligth than the pure material characteristics. For good transparency, you will have to mould and cast, I think.

 

See these blocks (20mm x 10mm x 10mm), with a hollow watermark halfway inside, printed at different speeds (50mm/s and 10mm/s, top and bottom) and different layer heights (0.40; 0.30; 0.20; 0.10 and 0.06mm left to right). This material is waterclear PET (brand: ICE, from Trideus in Belgium), but yellowed due to printing too slow at the bottom, thus subjected to heat for too long.

 

In the second pic, one of the blocks is polished, to remove the outer defects.

 

dscn6020.thumb.jpg.21bd5e7778868e4014e264253ecc0044.jpg

 

DSCN6032.thumb.JPG.956086cf9ab2ee915b21b6eaba774967.JPG

 

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