The accuracy of POL’s advanced optical design and analysis softwares, mostly remove the need to prototype products, since the design analyses can be relied on to move straight to production tooling stages with confidence.
However, in many cases, customers require optically working prototypes early in the project, to validate other parts of their system, start marketing activities and some early product testing. To support this, we have developed a range of optical “prototyping with light” processes, to make rapid, working examples of the end product for all stages from proof-of-principle mock-ups to as per production performing assemblies.
Optical components are made using direct machining and polishing of clear polymers; vacuum casting in high purity clear resins which mimic PMMA and PC polymers; laser cutting, milling and etching to produce opto-mechanical parts with small light control features for lightguide and similar applications; and rapid mould tool routes to give fast, off-tool, pre-production parts.
These optical “prototyping with light” techniques are further supported by fusion deposition modelling (FDM) 3D printing; micro-lithographic 3D modelling; and electronics prototyping, so that we can supply complete opto-mechanical product assemblies to demonstrate the developed design at all levels.
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