Additive Manufacturing of Glass for Optical Applications
Glasses including fused quartz have significant scientific and engineering applications including optics, communications, electronics, and hermetic seals. This paper investigates a filament fed process for Additive Manufacturing (AM) of fused quartz. Additive manufacturing has several potential benefits including increased design freedom, faster prototyping, and lower processing costs for small production volumes. However, current research in AM of glasses is limited and has focused on non-optical applications. Fused quartz is studied here because of its desirability for high-quality optics due to its high transmissivity and thermal stability. Fused quartz also has a higher working temperature than soda lime glass which poses a challenge for AM. In this work, fused quartz filaments are fed into a CO2 laser generated melt pool, smoothly depositing material onto the work piece. Single tracks are printed to explore the effects that different process parameters have on the morphology of printed fused quartz. A spectrometer is used to measure the thermal radiation incandescently emitted from the melt pool. Thin-walls are printed to study the effects of layer-to-layer height. Finally, a 3D fused quartz cube is printed using the newly acquired layer height and polished on each surface. The transmittance and index homogeneity of the polished cube are both measured. These results show that the filament fed process has the potential to print fused quartz with optical transparency and of index of refraction uniformity approaching bulk processed glass.
J. Luo et al., "Additive Manufacturing of Glass for Optical Applications," Proceedings of SPIE Laser 3D Manufacturing III (2016, San Francisco, CA), vol. 9738, SPIE, Feb 2016.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2218137
SPIE Photonics West LASE 2016, Laser 3D Manufacturing III (2016: Feb. 15-18, San Francisco, CA)
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Intelligent Systems Center
Keywords and Phrases
3D printers; Amplitude modulation; Carbon dioxide; Glass; Hermetic seals; Manufacture; Refractive index; Fused quartz; High quality optics; Index of refraction; Optical applications; Optical transparency; Optically transparent; Scientific and engineering applications; Working temperatures; Quartz; Additive manufacturing
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