Polymer Optics supports the design and manufacture of our customers’ projects, with advanced prototyping processes, most of which are produced in our own in-house facilities.

These include: direct machining and polishing of plastics; laser cutting, milling and etching; fusion deposition modelling (FDM) 3D printing; micro-lithographic 3D modelling; and electronics prototyping. This enables us to make mechanically and optically functional, rapid prototype assemblies, to prove early proof-of principle models and demonstrate the expected optical product design performance. 

We can also use these processes to support initial low volume pre-production quantities of parts, allowing further product development, testing and marketing, prior to committing to production tooling builds or during tool build lead-times.

Our prototyping services:

3D printing | Laser machining

  • SLA (Stereolithography), SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) – For sample manufacture of mechanical parts, housings etc.
  • Clear SLA – Clear colourless resins for windows, light guides and simple lens components

Tooling options

  • Aluminium tools – lower manufacturing time/cost – soft and poor optical finish
  • Soft steel tools – medium manufacturing time/cost – not fully hardened, but good optical finish
  • Fully hardened steel production tools – higher manufacturing time/cost – best tool life and highest performance

Direct Machining

  • CNC machining and polishing of cast PMMA acrylic and precision diamond turning
Prototyping 5
Prototyping 4

SLA to Vacuum Casting

  • SLA model sealed and polished, then used as master for a silicone rubber tool
  • Parts cast in clear polyester resins – expect 70-80% of production performance
  • It is possible to produce a sample batch of up to 20 parts from the silicone tool

More services