Collapsing product lifecycles have made rapid prototyping critical to the success of devices, instruments, and platforms that rely on optics and imaging. With new technologies being introduced at a breakneck pace, decreasing the time it takes to develop prototypes has become a necessity. The faster you can prototype, the faster a product can get to market. Depending on your timeline and sourcing requirements, there are several different solution spaces for rapid optical prototyping: utilizing stock components, modifying stock components, or quickly creating custom solutions.
13 Creative "Hacks" for Rapid Optical Prototyping
While every application has its own specific timelines, credentials, and specifications, there are several techniques that can be commonly utilized to decrease the amount of time required for prototyping. Below is a list of 13 creative "hacks" that can be used to quickly and efficiently make prototypes of optical sub-systems:
Go monochromatic to reduce element count and complexity
Approximate custom "best-form" elements with available stock singlets
Flip imaging lenses to use them as objectives
Customize compound assemblies with stock optics
Utilize inner diameter threaded prototyping tubes
3D print mechanics like shims, spacers, and monolithic mounts
Modify standard windows and use them as cost-effective substrates for mirrors, filters, beamsplitters, and more
Correct aberrations with compensator plates
Modify standard lenses to save time over completely-custom lenses
Swap apertures and change coatings in assemblies
Engage your supplier early and often to expedite fully-custom prototypes
Know your vendor's tolerances to understand your options
Design for manufacturability to reduce cost and lead time
To learn more about these 13 "hacks" for rapid optical prototyping, watch the webinar below presented by Edmund Optics' own prototyping experts, Jeremy Govier and Andrew Lynch.
What limitations do you face today in your optics applications? What are the next problems that you need to be solved? Contact us today to work with our team of engineers to discover solutions to your application questions.