F.A.Q.

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About optics prototyping with Printoptical © Technology

What are the advantages of 3D printed optics?

3D printed optics offer several benefits. The process of rapid prototyping for optics with Printoptical © Technology is faster and more cost-effective than traditional manufacturing methods. Our 3D printed optics can be used for visual prototyping and functional prototyping. Rapid prototyping for optics helps with design validation.

Are the manufactured optics usable for end user applications?

This depends largely on the application for which you want to use the optics. For some applications our lenses are not yet suited for extended functional usage. Our rapid prototyping for optics service focusses on delivering high quality optics for visual and functional prototyping.

How do the costs relate to other, traditional manufacturing methods?

The cost of rapid prototyping for optics with Printoptical © Technology is significantly different than other, traditional methods. You can have your first 3D printed optic within 5 to 8 working days. Minimum costs are €500,-. Please request a quote for a price indication for your design. 

How can I get a quote? What do you need to provide a quotation?

Please upload your file at our request a quote page, or simply This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and attach your file.

We work with almost all file formats, although we prefer .STEP or .STL.

Don’t have a CAD file yet? That is no problem. If you want to discuss your project and how you might benefit from rapid prototyping This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and, if possible, attach an initial draft of your lens design.

What if I am unsatisfied about the optics?

Please contact us so we can resolve the issue.

Printing materials

What materials do you use?

We use a UV curable acrylic. The optical properties and most other data can be found in our material overview.

Are the used materials RoHs compliant?

Our material is RoHS compliant . The RoHS Directive (2011/65/EU) restricts the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment and vehicles. These restrictions were imposed to improve recycling possibilities, preserve the environment and minimize exposure to employees.

Reflectors

Is it possible to make reflective surfaces?

Yes, we can point you towards one of our coating partners. Please contact us to discuss the possibilities.

Lifespan

What is the lifespan of your products?

Under normal circumstances the optics will last at least 5 years, as long as the lenses are used within the operating parameters of the product.

The lifespan is guaranteed for a period of one year, this makes the process perfect for prototype manufacturing for optical projects.

Cleaning

What can we use for the cleaning of the lenses?

You can use water, or a gentile all-purpose cleaner.

Do not use isopropyl alcohol (IPA), our polymer is based on an acrylic, and they are soluble in alcohol.

Temperature

What are the operating temperatures?

Between -20° C and + 60° C ( -0.4° F / + 140° F).

What happens if the temperature exceeds the maximum temperature?

Heating outside of the indicated range might result in a color change. If the heating is excessive, deformation will result.

What happens if the temperature gets below the minimum temperature?

It might be possible that the optical structure develops cracks.

UV or strong blue light

Can I use your optics for purposes within the UV spectrum?

No, the polymer used to build the optical structures absorbs the light in the UV- and near UV spectrum (under 420nm).

What is the UV stability of your optics?

To ensure lifespan the products should be shielded from UV light as much as possible.

Is there yellowing in your material?

In our product with the highest transmission values we have a yellow glow. Around the 3.000k light temperature, it will increase the light temperature about 50K, with a standard fresnel lens.

How does the yellowing change under strong blue LED illumination?

A bleaching effect will appear if the light is close to the 420nm range, then a degradation of 3% over the course of 1,5 years have been measured.

How does yellowing change over time?

There is a slight increase in absorption in the lower regions of the visible light spectrum over time. 

Infra-red light

Can I use your lenses for infra-red LEDs?

No, the temperatures caused by the wavelenghts of the infra-red spectrum are too high. Depending on the energy intensity of the used diode it might be possible to use our lenses for lab testing.

Optical properties

What is the refractive index of the optics?

Luxexcel printed optical structure N=1.53

What are the values for transparency?

Transparency for LUX Opticlear: 99.4% (per mm)
Haze: 0.1%
Clarity: 99.4%

Please also check out our material overview.

What are the CIE values for the printed material?

CIE X:0,318 Y:0,338

Delivery time

What is the delivery time for production?

Our production time is 5 working days.

Production time might differ, depending upon number of lenses, size, and accuracy/complexity. For more complex designs, where we print on both sides of a plane, delivery time is 15 working days.We will be able to give you an indication when we have received the design.

Batch delivery is possible.

Design Guidelines

Does my design need to have a flat side?

There is no need for a flat side in your design. We can print on both sides of , for example, a lens. Both the lenses need to be printed within our current printing capabiliites. Our current capabilities can be found at our design guidelines page.

Feel free to contact us if you have specific design requirements and are unsure wether or not it is feasible to print.

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