This paper investigates a filament-fed process for additive manufacturing (AM) of fused quartz. Glasses such as fused quartz have significant scientific and engineering applications, which include optics, communications, electronics, and hermetic seals. AM has several attractive benefits such as increased design freedom, faster prototyping, and lower processing costs for small production volumes. However, current research into glass AM has focused primarily on nonoptical applications. Fused quartz is studied here because of its desirability for use in high-quality optics due to its high transmissivity and thermal stability. Fused quartz filaments are fed into a CO2 laser-generated molten region, smoothly depositing material onto the workpiece. Spectroscopy and pyrometry are used to measure the thermal radiation incandescently emitted from the molten region. The effects of the laser power and scan speed are determined by measuring the morphology of single tracks. Thin walls are printed to study the effects of layer-to-layer height. This information is used to deposit solid pieces including a cylindrical-convex shape capable of focusing visible light. The transmittance and index homogeneity of the printed fused quartz are measured. These results show that the filament-fed process has the potential to print transmissive optics.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Intelligent Systems Center


This work was supported by Missouri S&T Materials Research Center, National Science Foundation (CMMI1538464), and the Air Force Research Laboratory. The authors are grateful to Ophir for the donation of the NanoScan 2.

Keywords and Phrases

3D printers; Amplitude modulation; Carbon dioxide lasers; Glass; Hermetic seals; Light; Manufacture; Fused quartz; High quality optics; Index homogeneity; Laser process; Processing costs; Production volumes; Scientific and engineering applications; Transmissivity; Quartz; Additive manufacturing; Laser processing

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

0091-3286; 1560-2303

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2018 SPIE, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Apr 2018