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Proceedings Paper

Simple scattering analysis and simulation of optical components created by additive manufacturing
Author(s): M. Rank; A. Horsak; A. Heinrich
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Paper Abstract

Additive manufacturing of optical elements is known but still new to the field of optical fabrication. In 3D printers, the parts are deposited layer-by-layer approximating the shape defined in optics design enabling new shapes, which cannot be manufactured using conventional methods. However, the layered structure also causes surface roughness and subsurface scattering, which decrease the quality of optical elements. Illuminating a flat sample with a laser beam, different light distributions are generated on a screen depending on the printing orientation of the sample. Whereas the laser beam is mainly diffused by the samples, a line shaped light distribution can be achieved for a special case in which the laser light goes parallel to the layer structure. These optical effects of 3D printed parts are analyzed using a goniometric setup and fed back into the optics simulation with the goal to improve the design considering the characteristics of the real sample. For a detailed look on the effect, the total scattering is split up into surface contributions and subsurface scattering using index matching techniques to isolate the effects from each other. For an index matched sample with negligible surface effects the line shaped distribution turns into a diffraction pattern which corresponds to the layer thickness of the printer. Finally, an optic simulation with the scattering data is set up for a simple curved sample. The light distribution measured with a robot-based goniophotometer differs from the simulation, because the curvature is approximated by the layer structure. This makes additional analysis necessary.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 October 2017
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 10448, Optifab 2017, 104480N (16 October 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2279781
Show Author Affiliations
M. Rank, Hochschule Aalen (Germany)
A. Horsak, Hochschule Aalen (Germany)
A. Heinrich, Hochschule Aalen (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10448:
Optifab 2017
Julie L. Bentley; Sebastian Stoebenau, Editor(s)

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