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LLNL’s Direct Ink Write (DIW) 3D-Printed Glass Optics for Cameras, Telescopes and More

Dept. of Energy

Photo credit: Jason Laurea/LLNL.

A new 3D-printing technique developed at LLNL could allow scientists to print glass that incorporates different refractive indices in a single flat optic, making finishing cheaper and easier. LLNL researchers have successfully 3D-printed optical-quality glasses on par with commercial glass products currently available on the market. The additive manufacturing capability gives a new degree of freedom to combine optical materials in ways. This technique eventually could be applied to any device that uses glass optics and could result in optics made with geometric structures and with compositional changes that were previously unattainable by conventional manufacturing methods.

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