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Suitability of Additive Manufacturing Process in Optical Lens Production

Umesh Sable, Prashant T. Borlepwar


Additive Manufacturing is one of the non-conventional methods of manufacturing that is gaining immense popularity for its ease to manufacture customized parts. The lenses have always been manufactured using a continuous process of Blanking, Surface generation, Edging and Centering, Grinding, Polishing, and Coating. But the conventional processes demand large inventories and more time. Customization of lenses may also be possible if a process like Additive Manufacturing is implemented. Also, the processes like Blanking, Surface generation, Edging, and Centering can be avoided if they are replaced by only one process i.e. Additive Manufacturing. But whether it is suitable for the manufacturing of lenses is a question of concern. To study its suitability in the current scenario, lenses of three types namely, Plano-Convex, Plano-Concave, and Bi-Convex lens were manufactured using AM process Stereolithography, and test like the Hardness test was conducted. Focal lengths, as well as Radii of Curvature, are measured to check the conformance of the obtained values with the predecided values. As a result, due to the unavailability of proper post processing methods, the lenses were found to show low values of hardness and variance of the focal length and curvature values as compared to the conventionally manufactured lenses of similar types.


Additive Manufacturing, Stereolithography, Optical lenses, Bi-Convex, Plano-Concave, Plano-Convex.

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