This article reports that rapid prototyping has evolved from a relatively simple modeling technique that allows design engineers to "test" their ideas in three dimensions to a sophisticated custom-manufacturing tool that may one day find its place alongside the copy machines at the local copy center or in the parts department at the local automobile dealership. Direct metal deposition is a laser-melting process that uses a powder nozzle to deposit metal powder onto existing tools to build the components layer by layer. While the last few years have seen the development of new rapid-prototyping technologies and processes that overcome the geometry problem, the available materials have not had adequate properties to enable them to build production-quality parts. INSET: High-power lasers enable metal-powder prototyping.
The article focuses on enhancement of advanced freeform optics by using subaperture stitching. Topics include advancement in freeform fabrication technology with improved diamond turning, grinding, and polishing machines; information on profilometry which is a cost-effective technique for measuring aspheric shapes; and an information that subaperture stitching lacks the ghosting and other diffraction artifacts in a computer-generated hologram that can corrupt mid-spatial frequency estimates.
COMPUTER software, RAPID prototyping, LIGHTING, ENERGY consumption, and OPTICS
The article offers information on software tools that design freeform optics for illumination. Topics discussed include newly developed tools integrated with commercial illumination software quickly create freeform reflective and refractive surfaces, freeform optics tailor resulting illumination pattern to meet system requirements such as enhance the visual appeal and improve energy efficiency.
RAPID prototyping, SOLID freeform fabrication, SUBMILLIMETER waves, PAPER, and DIFFRACTIVE optical elements
The article discusses the experimental research by researchers at the Warsaw University of Technology of warsaw, Poland and the University of Savoie of Le Bourget du Lac, France on the problems of fabrication process for rapid prototyping. It develops binary phased-based diffracted lenses from a commercially purchased paper to address the fabrication process problem. It suggests that nonparaxial paper diffractive lens with terahertz radiation for quick prototyping.
Laser Focus World. April 2005, Vol. 41 Issue 4, p42, 2 p.
Unlike photovoltaic (PV) cells, which generate electricity from electromagnetic radiation in the visible spectrum, thermophotovoltaic (TPV) cells generate electricity from IR radiation, for example as produced through the combustion of [...]
Laser Focus World. Dec 2003, Vol. 39 Issue 12, p59, 2 p.
Software quality and Software
Starting with an optical-design proscription, engineers can quickly build a virtual prototype of an optical system that simulates the actual hardware. Unfortunately, many designers delay building a software model early [...]
Laser Focus World. Jan 2007, Vol. 43 Issue 1, p15, 1 p.
Laser, Fiber optics -- Equipment and supplies, and Lasers
Rapid prototyping (also called generative manufacturing) is evolving from polymer-based prototyping to metal-based prototyping, thanks to the development of titanium, stainless, aluminum, and cobalt-chrome powders that can be melted or [...]
RAPID prototyping, ELLIPSOIDS, AUTOMOBILE lighting, STREET lighting, ANTENNAS (Electronics), and LIGHT emitting diodes
The article focuses on designing freeform surfaces, which are used for illumination applications such as headlights, streetlights, and antennas. It says that illumination systems using freeform surfaces may result to compact systems with long lifetime, low power consumption, and high system efficiency, if combined with light-emitting diodes (LEDs). It highlights the dominant surface construction methods such as flux mapping method and the method of supporting ellipsoids.
Laser Focus World. August 2002, Vol. 38 Issue 8, p61, 1 p.
Edmund Industrial Optics (EO; Barrington, NJ) has announced a Rapid Optical Component Prototyping Service intended to bring together optical manufacturing and thin-film coating and to deliver custom components in four [...]
RAPID prototyping, LIGHTING, LIGHT emitting diodes, and ELECTROLUMINESCENT devices
The article offers information on the use of freeform optics as a light collectors and uniformizers for spotlight and directional-floodlight general-illumination light emitting diodes (LEDs). An LED freeform illumination lens-design approach developed by researchers at the University of Arizona is mentioned. It states that the goal of a good freeform optical design for LED floodlighting is to obtain good intensity uniformity throughout the floodlit area.
Deals with the strategic planning that increases optical prototyping efficiency. Research of the Center for High Tech Materials at the University of New Mexico; Design of the lens; Significance of a strong line of communication.
Reports that applications engineers at GSI Lumonics Inc. have developed a software that allows users to create simple, virtual prototypes from the company's line of galvanometers and resonant scanners. Selection of a starting configuration by defining the scanner/mirror combination or application of interest; Graphical depiction of the performance results.
Laser Focus World. Jul99, Vol. 35 Issue 7, p28. 3p. 1 Black and White Photograph.
Reports on the microstereophotolitography process of producing micron-sized mechanical parts developed by Chris Chatwin and colleagues at the University of Sussex in Brighton, England. How the process works; Comparison with stereolithography processes; Equipment used in the process.
The article offers information on a parallel projection galvanometer scanning (PPGS) technique developed at Wenzhou University in Wenzhou, China, which enables laser materials processing on freeform surfaces. It states that three dimensional (3D) galvanometer scanning system was designed to address the challenges of handling laser materials processing. It adds that PPG method does not require the use of expensive robots or five-axis machine tools.
PHOTOVOLTAIC power systems, ELECTRIC power production, PHOTOVOLTAIC power generation, HEAT transfer, and OPTOELECTRONIC devices
Reports on how heat-transfer simulation can aid in thermophotovoltaic prototyping. Overview of thermophotovoltaic energy generation; Suitability for improving efficiency of fossil-fuel-driven power plants and powering cleanly combusting, electrically-driven automobiles; Difference of thermophotovoltaic systems from typical electronic systems; Observation of a significant amount of heat transfer to the air surrounding the thermophotovoltaic device.
TECHNOLOGICAL innovations and PROTOTYPE design & construction
Looks at researchers demonstrating linear micromotors at the Max-Planck-Institute fur Biophysikalische Chemie, Germany. How motor is fabricated; Prototyping abilities; Device free of mechanical connections.
NEW product development, LIGHT filters, OPTICAL coatings, SOLID-state lasers, and FEMTOSECOND lasers
The article offers information on several products related to the laser industry including the XtrAlign HU laser from the LAP Laser; Inspec.x HR 2.4/128 3.33x lens, industrial lens from the Qioptiq Photonics; and the Techspec multielement tube system for Optical prototyping from the Edmund Optics.
Provides information on the application of laser-based prototyping techniques which transform a conceptual design into a solid prototype. Description of the stereolithography which was pioneered by 3D Systems; How the selective laser sintering from DTM Corp. works; Main applications for rapid-prototyping equipment.
MANUFACTURES, COMPUTER-aided design, PLASTIC optical fibers, METROLOGY, and LENSES
The article reports that the manufacturing processes for plastic optics have been improved with the advances in computer-aided design (CAD), metrology software and computer-aided machining (CAM), and improvements in the quality of variety of raw materials used. It states that the prototyping lenses, that use single-point diamond turning (SPDT) technology allow the use of optical materials, used in production molding.