As the only company in the business of 3D printing optics, the progress that LUXeXceL Group makes piques the interest of many devoted followers of the 3D printing industry. Their latest developments have the company suggesting that their proprietary 3D printing process could replace injection moulding for the production of optical components. LUXeXceL has released both a new platform for 3D printing optical parts and a new material with which to do it.
After establishing a 3D printing facility, the company is making steps to offer their services to an even larger number of customers using their online service platform. Through the end of the year, LUXeXceL will be rolling out its online ordering system in which users can upload CAD files to a personal and secure area of the firm’s site, where they will receive a quote for 3D printing their files. The platform will give customers around the globe a method for exploring and utilizing LUXeXceL’s printoptical technology, in which a photopolymer material is cured with UV light.
Along with the new online service, the company has developed its new LUX-Opticlear material for printing clear optics up to 20 mm in height, more than three times thicker than their previous LUX Standard material. This gives LUXeXceL the ability to produce larger parts, which they believe gives them the ability to compete with traditional injection moulding processes for the manufacturing of small and medium-sized optical components. And, because of 3D printing’s ability to create complex parts in small batches, the printoptical method is ideal for prototyping and short runs.
Richard van de Vrie, Founder and CEO of LUXeXceL, says of the news, “The optical quality of the new LUX-Opticlear material combined with the digital advantages of this new additive process, makes our service an affordable and attractive solution for both prototyping and smaller or mid-sized volume manufacturing of optical components. As we do not need to post process the printed products, our process is fast and scalable, enabling optics designers to walk a perfect route from fast prototyping and easy iterating, to manufacturing the exact required volumes in days!”
As with LUXeXceL’s previous material, the objects printed in LUX-Opticlear are manufactured in a single step, which the company calls the “One-Step-CAD-to-Optic” method. As LUXeXceL continues to grow, the possibilities for 3D printed optics grow with it and, someday soon, we may see intricately designed lighting as a ubiquitous fixture in our surroundings.