Home Applications & Case Studies 2.5 million euros EU funding for 3D-printed lenses

2.5 million euros EU funding for 3D-printed lenses

The companies Printoptix and Viewpointsystem are working on a groundbreaking technology for 3D printing of micro-optics with the support of the EU. Their project “3DPrintoptixMarket” is being funded by the European Innovation Council (EIC) with 2.5 million euros. The goal is to produce complex lens systems on a microscale cost-effectively and in series.

According to Stuttgart-based Printoptix, the special 3D printing process enables the production of microcomponents that would not be feasible using conventional methods. Multi-part lenses including apertures are printed in a single step. This simplifies and speeds up production considerably.

The aim of the project is to reduce the size of the micro-optics by 50 percent so that they can also be used in augmented reality glasses. It should also be possible to reduce the printing time to less than ten minutes. The 3D-printed optics should thus become an attractive solution for small and large companies. As a partner, the Viennese company Viewpointsystem will use and test the optics in its smart glasses.

“With smart glasses, it is important to be able to adapt the micro-optics for different face shapes and individual eye characteristics,” explains Frank Linsenmaier, CTO of Viewpointsystem. “The flexibility and personalization possibilities of the 3D printing process allow us to further improve our functionality and user experience, at a manageable cost.”

“Our technology opens up completely new design possibilities and free-form shapes that are simply not feasible in conventional manufacturing processes,” emphasizes Nils Fahrbach, CEO of Printoptix. “This enables technological innovations in areas such as medical endoscopy or augmented reality. In addition, the manufacturing process becomes more robust as assembly and mechanical alignment of optical components is no longer required.”

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