Simplifying Optical Prototyping by ‘Printoptical Technology’

“How Additive Optical Manufacturing can help OEM Lighting Manufactures and Optical Designers creating new designs, customize them and change optical products easily, market them faster, and increase the overall supply chain efficiency along the way”

Birth of a new Key Technology
Printoptical Technology’ is a new industry key in additive manufacturing and volume production of LED lighting optics, innovated by the Dutch LUXeXceL Group. It is a brand new form of “additive manufacturing’, otherwise known as 3D printing, focusing on the ‘on-demand’ printing of prototypes, mid – and high volume series of LED lighting optics.

Printoptical Revolution
I recently noticed that experts have called this year 2012 “the year of 3D-printing” and they expect this technology in general to break into the mainstream market on short term with new industrial viability. As “industry insider” I think they’re right. As part of this, the coming of Printoptical Technology will stimulate and speed up that process of market change significantly. Personally, I believe that this new (disruptive) Printoptical Technology is going to cause a revolution in the manufacturing of optics and will change the manufacturing landscape as we know it dramatically.

The so called “Printoptical Revolution” has started early 2011 and the developments to the technology have allowed companies involved in the LED lighting industry saving time and money, while significantly shortening the time-to-market and increasing customization capabilities at the same time.

Printoptical Technology – at a glance
Let me highlight some key benefits of this technology for the global LED lighting market:

• Significant reduction of development cost and time;
• Shortened time-to-market;
• Simplified supply chain;
• Functional, customized optics easily printed;
• Simple or complex optics produced “on-demand”;
• Easy in-process lens modifications;
• Free-form optics, virtually in any shape;
• No excessive start-up and tooling cost;
• One single manufacturing process;
• Integrated optical- and fixture design;
• New design opportunities.

Optical Prototypes and production series can be printed easily, on demand. Moreover, it will bring designers plenty of new opportunities in design and functionality, thanks to the unique digital way of designing and the opportunity to run “single-job” printing process. The creation and short term availability of optics has never been so easy and quick!

Diverse printoptical products printed in one single shot

Finally, I am really sorry for this long post and taking so many of your time. But I trust this topic has your special interest, that’s why I am happy to explain this promising technologies’ backgrounds in more detail. Thanks for your interest and spending your time here.

If you are willing to experience more on this topic, I can recommend you a recent article in LED Professional Review (LPR), the leading worldwide authority for LED lighting technology information: http://bit.ly/GDtTMF (page 50-54).

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Some ‘high lights’ to impress

Last time I wrote I promised to come back to you with further Printoptical Technology examples for the Graphic Industry. Here are some.

Luximpress - impressions of Printoptical Technology for graphimedia

Transparent 3D relief print – Integrated Optical Magnifier – 3D stained glass replica

Printoptical Technology adds value to graphic products and provide designers with new graphic design opportunities. Personally, I am convinced that it will be one of the crucial ‘tools’ that will help the industry to mutate from a commodity industry into an added value industry in the near future. This is a real “must-have” for trendsetting interior designers, 3D printing enthusiasts, lighting designers, digital 3D artists.

Bringing those innovative printing solutions to market, Luximpress will contribute significantly to the future of the printing industry and service to facilitate customer differentiation and development. The shift to a new technology is not anymore determined by volumes and capacity expansion, but more and more by flexibility and differentiation. This is where it shines out! Moreover, the coming of this brand new technology will enforce the printing industry position in an evolving value chain, which includes this kind of ‘new media’ in particular.

The possibilities are various, the designers’ creativity is the only limitation…!