Dutch optical 3D printing specialist LuXeXcel is launching a cooperation with the Institute of Photonics at the University of Eastern Finland.
LuXeXcel is the creator of a unique digital 3D printing method with the ability to print optical quality components (such as lenses) that do not require any post-processing. Prof. Saarinen of the University of Eastern Finland was impressed by the LuXeXcel technology and saw posibilities to develop photonics 3D printing. He said the following: “this unique process is a great base to develop photonics 3D printing. From this base we can start further optimization processes and Research and Development to built in featuresthat have not previously been carried out. The aim is to take advantage of the printer with other modern manufacturing photonic devices such as laser ablation, and see what they offer”
The founder and CEO of LuXeXcel, Richard van de Vrie, also commented very positively on the starting cooperation; “People get convinced that the Digital Manufacturing Revolution will change the game and companies are looking for answers how to manufacture with digital methods. In the optical space LUXeXceL has invented such process to create optics On Demand. Our Company has the ingredients to become a global player in the 21st Age Optical Industries and therefore I am excited that such a cooperation with the University of Eastern Finland helps to accelerate this process. This University is becoming the leading European R&D center for optics and photonics and we are looking forward to collaborate with Prof. Saarinen, his team and other European companies to further increase our printing capabilities and to bring photonics 3D printing in Europe at a world leading level”.
The cooperation can expect a €950.000,- funding from the EU 2007 structural funding instrument of Tekes (Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation). “In my previous business life in the optics industry, there were so many product ideas but the tooling requested huge upfront investments, inventories and long inflexible R&D cycles. That kept us away from a lot of new product research. And small volume productions usually had to be made by hand and were very expensive. Now I foresee that this 3D printing will become an important manufacturing method starting for small batches, single items and complex designed structures. It is a revolution as regards component availability, development and manufacturing speed, and the concept of customization,” describes Professor Saarinen.
The project will take off quickly as an improved printing platform for 3D printing photonics is expected to be ready at the end of this year.