We present a disposable miniaturized confocal imager, consisting mostly of three-dimensional (3-D)-printed components. A 3-D printed laser scanner with 10×10 mm2 frame size is employed for Lissajous scan, with 180 and 315 Hz frequencies in orthogonal directions corresponding to ±8 deg and ±4 deg optical scan angles, respectively. The actuation is done electromagnetically via a magnet attached to the scanner and an external coil. A miniaturized lens with 6-mm clear aperture and 10-mm focal length is 3-D printed and postprocessed to obtain desired (≤λ/5 surface roughness) performance. All components are press-fitted into a 3-D-printed housing having 17 mm width, which is comparable to many of the MEMS-based scanning imagers. Finally, line-scan from a resolution target and two-dimensional scanning in the sample location were demonstrated with the integrated device.
State-of-the-art, polymeric, refractive micro-optics simultaneously require an ultrasmooth three-dimensional (3-D) surface and a precise geometry for excellent optical performance with minimal stray light. In earlier work, we have established a surface finishing process for thermoplastic polymer master structures that is only effective on the surface and does not affect the designed optical geometry, thus enabling polishing without touching. Therewith, the high curvature corners of a 50-μm-tall optical diffuser device were maintained while the surface roughness was reduced to about 10-nm root mean square. For this, 3-D master structures were first fabricated by direct write laser-lithography with two-photon polymerization. The master structures were replicated into poly(methyl methacrylate) through a poly(dimethyl siloxane) intermediate replication stamp. Finally, all structures were surface-polished by selective high-energy photon exposure and thermal postprocessing. In this work, we focus on the comparison of the surface smoothening using either postprocessing or dedicated direct writing strategies. For this comparison, strategies for modifying the exposed voxel size and the writing discretization being the primary source of roughness were tested by sweeping the laser exposure dose for two different resist materials and objectives. In conclusion, the postprocessing smoothening resulted in a lower roughness compared to a direct writing strategy—even when 50-nm vertical discretization steps were used—and still enabled 10 times shorter writing times.
In fringe projection profilometry, highlight usually causes the saturation and blooming in captured fringes and reduces the measurement accuracy. To solve the problem, a regional-projection fringe projection (RP-FP) method is proposed. Regional projection patterns (RP patterns) are projected onto the tested object surface to avoid the saturation and blooming. Then, an image inpainting technique is employed to reconstruct the missing phases in the captured RP patterns and a complete surface of the tested object is obtained. Experiments verified the effectiveness of the proposed method. The method can be widely used in industrial inspections and quality controlling in mechanical and manufacturing industries.
A magnetically actuated microscanner is used in a laser scanning microscopy application. Stress distribution along the circular-profiled flexure is compared with a rectangular counterpart in finite-element environment. Magnetic actuation mechanism of the scanning unit is explained in detail. Moreover, reliability of the scanner is tested for 3×106 cycle. The scanning device is designed to meet a confocal microscopy application providing 100 μm×100 μm field of view and <3-μm lateral resolution. The resonance frequencies of the device were analytically modeled, where we obtained 130- and 268-Hz resonance values for the out-of-plane and torsion modes, respectively. The scanning device provided an optical scan angle about 2.5 deg for 170-mA drive current, enabling the desired field of view for our custom built confocal microscope setup. Finally, imaging experiments were conducted on a resolution target, showcasing the desired scan area and resolution.
We have recently demonstrated a simple and low-cost fabrication technique, called low one-photon absorption direct laser writing, to realize desired polymeric microstructures. We present the use of this technique for fabrication of three-dimensional magnetophotonic devices on a photocurable homogeneous nanocomposite consisting of magnetite (Fe3O4) nanoparticles and a commercial SU8 photoresist. The fabricated magnetophotonic microstructures show strong response to an applied external magnetic field. Thus, various three-dimensional submicromechanical magnetophotonic devices, which can be mechanically driven by magnetic force, are designed and created. Potential applications of these devices are also discussed.
Selective laser sintering (SLS) is an efficient process in additive manufacturing that enables rapid part production from computer-based designs. However, SLS is limited by its notable lack of in situ process monitoring when compared with other manufacturing processes. We report the incorporation of optical coherence tomography (OCT) into an SLS system in detail and demonstrate access to surface and subsurface features. Video frame rate cross-sectional imaging reveals areas of sintering uniformity and areas of excessive heat error with high temporal resolution. We propose a set of image processing techniques for SLS process monitoring with OCT and report the limitations and obstacles for further OCT integration with SLS systems.
This paper investigates a filament-fed process for additive manufacturing (AM) of fused quartz. Glasses such as fused quartz have significant scientific and engineering applications, which include optics, communications, electronics, and hermetic seals. AM has several attractive benefits such as increased design freedom, faster prototyping, and lower processing costs for small production volumes. However, current research into glass AM has focused primarily on nonoptical applications. Fused quartz is studied here because of its desirability for use in high-quality optics due to its high transmissivity and thermal stability. Fused quartz filaments are fed into a CO2 laser-generated molten region, smoothly depositing material onto the workpiece. Spectroscopy and pyrometry are used to measure the thermal radiation incandescently emitted from the molten region. The effects of the laser power and scan speed are determined by measuring the morphology of single tracks. Thin walls are printed to study the effects of layer-to-layer height. This information is used to deposit solid pieces including a cylindrical-convex shape capable of focusing visible light. The transmittance and index homogeneity of the printed fused quartz are measured. These results show that the filament-fed process has the potential to print transmissive optics.
Stellite 6 cobalt-based alloy powder was used to produce Co–Cr–W alloy using laser additive manufacturing technology, and then different heat treatment strategies were carried out on the deposited sample. The characteristics of microstructure under different heat treatment conditions were investigated using scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive spectroscopy, transmission electron microscope, and x-ray diffraction. The results show that the as-deposited sample has few cracks or pores, and the microstructure is typical dendritic structure, and lamellar eutectic carbides are rich in Cr in interdendritic. The matrix mainly consists of γ phases and a few ϵ phases. Some γ phases transform into ϵ phases after 900°C/6 h aging treatment and lamellar eutectic carbides transform into blocky carbides presenting as a network, most of the carbides are rich in Cr and a few are rich in W. When heat treated at 1200°C/1 h followed by water cooling and then treated at 900°C/6 h followed by furnace cooling, it can be found that some γ phases transform into ϵ phases. The carbides transform into elliptical M23C6 carbides that are rich in Cr with the size of 1 to 3 μm and a part of W-rich carbides.
Ti-Fe-Y alloys were designed using a “cluster-plus-glue-atom” model and then were prepared by laser-aided direct metal deposition (LDMD) on a pure titanium substrate. The influence of the Y addition on the microstructure and properties of the alloys were investigated. The results show that the alloys are composed of β-Ti solid solution and FeTi compound. The addition of Y not only suppresses the formation of Ti4Fe2O oxide but also increases the supercooling degree of the melt, leading to the grain refinement and the increase in the solid solution of the β-Ti. Meanwhile, the microstructure changes sequentially from eutectic to hypereutectic to hypoeutectic with the increasing of the Y addition. The strengest Ti-Fe-Y alloy has a dispersed eutectic structure and exhibits a good combination of mechanical, tribological, and forming properties, which is superior to that obtained for the binary Ti70.6Fe29.4 eutectic alloy. This makes the alloy a promising candidate as a LDMD material.