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Project: Additive Manufacturing for the next generation of freeform optical components

Main Objective:
Free form optics (FFO) are now perceived as the next generation of modern optics, bringing advantages of excellent optical performance and system integration. FFO can increase the range of manufacturable surfaces, giving optical designers more flexibility and scope for innovation enhancing the optical systems performance and simultaneously correcting aberrations, increasing depth of field and expanding field of view. Optical systems can be simplified by the integration of several optical components leading to systems that own fewer surfaces, lower mass, lower cost, smaller package-size and reduced stray-light using FFO elements [14]. The innovative character of this project relies on the use of Additive Manufacturing (AM) technologies to produce FFO components, exploring the design freedom allowed by AM and overcoming the disadvantages of the current manufacturing methods used for production of FFO components. This will need the production of FFO elements with high quality using low-cost AM methods, compatible with the requirements of the applications. Several methodologies will be proposed to enhance the transmission, surface roughness and refractive index homogeneity of FFO parts, produced by VP. These methodologies will be implemented along the project and include the selection of optical transparent resins, optimization of VP printing parameters and development of post-processing methods such as: thermal annealing and refractive index matching coatings.
Reference: PTDC/EME-EME/4593/2021
Funding: FCT
Approval Date: 28-07-2021
Start Date: 01-01-2022
End Date: 31-12-2024
Team: Ana Maria Sousa da Rocha, Liliana Mendes Sousa, Lúcia Maria Botas Bilro, Rogério Nunes Nogueira, Ricardo Jorge Figueiredo Oliveira
Groups: Optical Components and Subsystems
Partners: IDMEC
Local Coordinator: Ana Maria Sousa da Rocha
Associated Publications