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Ann R. Thryft
July 12, 2016
3 Min Read
Researchers at the University of Stuttgart in Germany have produced the smallest optical lenses ever made using additive manufacturing (AM) processes. Combining the ultra-short laser pulses of a femtosecond laser with optical photoresist, the team created lenses with a diameter and height of only 125 microns (0.125 mm).
The extremely short pulses of the femtosecond laser, which are less than 100 femtoseconds in duration, made such high precision possible. The process can be used to create not only the more typical spherical shaped lenses, but also lenses with free-form optical surfaces.
About the Author(s)
Ann R. Thryft has written about manufacturing- and electronics-related technologies for Design News, EE Times, Test & Measurement World, EDN, RTC Magazine, COTS Journal, Nikkei Electronics Asia, Computer Design, and Electronic Buyers' News (EBN). She's introduced readers to several emerging trends: industrial cybersecurity for operational technology, industrial-strength metals 3D printing, RFID, software-defined radio, early mobile phone architectures, open network server and switch/router architectures, and set-top box system design. At EBN Ann won two independently judged Editorial Excellence awards for Best Technology Feature. She holds a BA in Cultural Anthropology from Stanford University and a Certified Business Communicator certificate from the Business Marketing Association (formerly B/PAA).
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