Optical design

GloWorm®

After many years of lightguide design and development for a diverse range of industries, POAL has applied for patent on a new lightguide manufacturing technique to aid illumination control in the automotive and similar applications. Brand named “GloWorm®”, the novel lightguide technology enables the light projected from a simple lightguide to be redirected and shaped to produce a more complex illumination field or a specific illumination footprint on to a target surface.

Curved light from a simple lightguide
Curved light from a simple lightguide

The light control structure on the lightguide is digitally designed using POAL’s own proprietary developed software and with inputs from illumination analyses performed in POAL’s optical design and analysis softwares. The digital structure is bi-directionally transferred between the optical design softwares and the GloWorm® software to optimise the resulting illumination field. The resulting light control structure can then be directly machined to soft-tooled or vacuum cast prototype lightguides for customer verification, before the patterns are finally machined into the production mould tools for volume manufacture.

This technology has a wide range of applications where specific areas of a vehicle interior are to be illuminated with a defined foot-print of light, such as arm rests, console walls, door pocket interiors, etc. For example, in a typical door pocket illumination design, where the lightguide is mounted in the pocket edge to illuminate the facia of the door lining, the shape of the door facia will change the distance between the lightguide and target surface. This will give a variation in the illumination brightness and foot-print width across the door facia target surface. However, with POAL’s GloWorm® technology, we can control the illumination brightness, width and position at every point across the door facia, to give an optimum, uniform, aesthetically pleasing, illumination scheme.

… and if we can do that, we can correct for almost any automotive interior illumination geometry or produce unusual illumination effects.

Optical ServicesServices

Design and Development

The latest computer optical design and ray trace programs with optomechanical innovation are used to take full advantage of plastics materials. Complex optical surfaces combined with integral low cost assembly features.

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Prototyping

SLA (Stereolithography), SLS (Selective Laser Sintering), Clear SLA, SLA to Vacuum Casting, Direct Machining and Tooling options.

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Tooling

Proven optical quality toolmakers are chosen and assisted by mould flow analysis to optimize the tool. Our specialist toolmakers are skilled in optical surface generation and polishing.

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Global Manufacturing

Our moulders are trained in the art of optical moulding. Mould flow process analysis and thorough F.M.E.A. is controlled by the Project Manager to ensure quality and quantity.

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Technical Development

Our integrated approach to design enables optical components to become part of the total solution, including how they interface with the other non-optical components.

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Optical Coatings and Films

Plastics optical components can be coated in poly-siloxane and acrylate based resin blends to impart more robust properties.

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Project Management

Every project has a dedicated Manager to ensure as tasks are actioned, the client is kept informed on progress at each stage. Timing plans are used to monitor progress against agreed milestones and they ensure full control through-out the design, tooling, sampling and production stages.

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  • Design and Development
  • Prototyping
  • Tooling
  • Global Manufacturing
  • Technical Development
  • Optical Coatings and Films
  • Project Management