Jim T, my experience has been less satisfactory, in that it seems that smooth flowing and quick cure were mutually exclusive. The smooth flow urethane paints could be brushed on and after a few hours they would be very smooth, while the fast setting epoxy stuff looked like it had been applied with a stick. But that was a few years back. Also, the solvents in the urethane paint were fairly toxic, but they smelled so bad that nobody ever got enough of them to do any damage.
The 'big-thing' here is the smooth flowing of the resolution stepping. I typically work a lot with 2-part epoxies and make bonds under a microscope; this article reminds me too, of that; where I watch the epoxy flow and quick-cure into smooth fluid lines.
Yes, I agree, 78RPM, there is value in that yearly visit, although personally I have not been to an optometrist in a really long time, and I still wear contact lenses. But it's true that there is a service they provide that printing your own lenses isn't going to do for you. And it would have to be a very exact science for the printing to work well.
William, I'm equally amazed, especially having written about the lenses used for machine vision cameras (which if course this does not address, at least not yet). I hope the company decides to tell us more in the future about how they're doing it, perhaps after the second machine is developed with the University of Eastern Finland.
Elizabeth M, I agree that printing your own contact lenses would be convenient and cheap. But for a long time I thought that going to the optometrist was just a way of getting the right strength of glasses and contacts. I have learned to appreciate their service as giving you good insights into your general health as they look at your retinas, corneas, lenses, and fluid. Now I make a point of going for a checkup every year. Of course, it would be cool to print your own lenses after your visit.
After what I had seen in the line of 3D manufacturing I am amazed that s suface as demanding as an optical lense can be produced. I can immagine illumination grade lenses, but for glasses that is amazing.
Elizabeth, the idea of using this technology for the online order-on-demand type of glasses and contacts would make a lot of sense. It would be another example of what's called "mass customization" in 3D printing, often used of one-off items like custom-fitted hearing aids and dental models/appliances.
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