24 November 2016 Direct fabrication of silicone lenses with 3D printed parts
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Abstract
The traditional process of making glass lenses requires grinding and polishing of the material which is a tedious and sensitive process. Existing polymer lens making techniques, such as high temperature reflow techniques, have been significantly simple lens making processes which cater well to customer industry. Recently, the use of UV-curing liquid lens has ushered in customized lens making (Printed Optics), but contains undesirable yellowing effects. Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is a transparent polymer curable at low temperature (<100°C) provides an alternative to lens making. In this work, we showed that PDMS lenses are fabricated using single silicone droplets which are formed in a guided and controlled passive manner using 3D printed tools. These silicone lenses have attributes such as smoothness of curvature, resilience to temperature change, low optical aberrations, high transparency (>95%) and minimal aging (yellowing). Moreover, these lenses have a range of focal lengths (3.5 mm to 14.5 mm as well as magnifications (up to 160X). In addition, we created smartphone attachment to turn smart device (tablet or smartphone) into a low-powered microscope. In future we plan to extend this method to produce microlens array.
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Tahseen Kamal, Rachel Watkins, Zijian Cen, W. M. Lee, "Direct fabrication of silicone lenses with 3D printed parts", Proc. SPIE 10013, SPIE BioPhotonics Australasia, 1001336 (24 November 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2242967; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2242967
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