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3D printing in optics

In industrial production, 3D printing is already part of everyday life in many companies. Machine parts of all sizes are printed as a whole instead of being welded together as in the past. 3D printing is now also used in medical technology. 

The process overcomes limitations of conventional production methods and grants almost unlimited freedom of design, as only CAD data and material need to be exchanged. Global production facilities can be replaced by local hubs that do not have to specialise in specific products. 

Significance for optics: 

In addition to the possibility of reproducing special machine spare parts on site in a very short time, 3D printing also offers many possible applications in the optical sector. For example, precisely fitting spectacle frames are already being produced using corresponding 3D printers.  

The head and face contours of the spectacle wearer are measured with a 3-D scan. Based on the available data, an individually adapted model is produced by the printer. Thanks to the polyamide material used, these glasses not only have the exact fit, but are also very light and resilient. In addition, the process is resource-friendly because mainly those frames are produced that are also sold.  

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