Additive manufacturing of tunable lenses
von Andreas, Heinrich
K. Schlichting, T. Novak, A. Heinrich; Proc. SPIE 10101, Photonics West 2017: Organic Photonic Materials and Devices XIX, 1010116, doi: 10.1117/12.2252353; 2017
Individual additive manufacturing of optical systems based on 3D Printing offers varied possibilities in design and usage. In addition to the additive manufacturing procedure, the usage of tunable lenses allows further advantages for intelligent optical systems. Our goal is to bring the advantages of additive manufacturing together with the huge potential of tunable lenses. We produced tunable lenses as a bundle without any further processing steps, like polishing. The lenses were designed and directly printed with a 3D Printer as a package. The design contains the membrane as an optical part as well as the mechanical parts of the lens, like the attachments for the sleeves which contain the oil. The dynamic optical lenses were filled with an oil. The focal length of the lenses changes due to a change of the radius of curvature. This change is caused by changing the pressure in the inside of the lens. In addition to that, we designed lenses with special structures to obtain different areas with an individual optical power. We want to discuss the huge potential of this technology for several applications. Further, an appropriate controlling system is needed. We´ll show the possibilities to control and regulate the optical power of the lenses. The lenses could be used for illumination tasks, and in the future, for individual measurement tasks. The main advantage is the individuality and the possibility to create an individual design which completely fulfills the requirements for any specific application.