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3DMicroPrint | Application fiber optic guides

3/12/23

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Application fiber optic guides

Small size great protection

Precision and complexity are inevitable in the field of fibre optics technology. Endoscope tips, fibre
guides and general miniaturisation of mechanisms help to decisively advance minimally invasive
surgery. By means of Micro Laser Sintering (MLS), the required components are developed flexibly
for the respective application and manufactured on demand. Size and shape are adapted
according to the different application areas.

That is what it’s all about

The basic function of any optical fiber is to guide light, i.e., to act as a dielectric waveguide:
light injected into one end should stay guided in the fiber. In other words, it must be prevented
from getting lost. Due to the high index contrast, even tiny scratches of the glass on the outer
surface could lead to substantial optical losses by scattering. Therefore, the outer surface
would have to be well protected against damage and dirt. This problem can be mitigated with
some suitable buffer coating around the fiber on the one hand and proper fiber guidance,
covering and fixing periphery on the other hand. Usually, conventionally manufactured
components are used for this purpose, whose complexity is technologically limited and the
manufacturing costs are often correspondingly high due to the required precision.

Thinking additive

The ability to produce highly complex channel guides with very low component wall
thicknesses and tight tolerances without complicated joining processes are the main
disciplines of micro 3D printing. The applications are accordingly diverse: from fibre guides,
bundles or splitters through end pieces or couplings and connectors, to tips for cameras or
endoscopes. Compared to other available metal printing technologies the advantages for
Micro Laser Sintering are a significantly higher detail resolution for filigree structures as well
as the high surface quality right after the manufacturing process which reduces the post
processing costs extraordinary.

Application fiber optic guides

The Technology

Micro Laser Sintering (MLS) is a powder-based additive manufacturing process for micro parts
and components with micro characteristics. On the basis of digital CAD data, a DMP machine
from 3D MicroPrint builds up the workpiece layer by layer without recognizing this on the
finished product. Product designers’ benefit from newly gained design freedom (cavities, inner
structures) as additive manufacturing eliminates shape constraints in many areas. Complex
structures such as intertwined or interwoven individual parts can thus be manufactured to
the highest quality. This tool-free processes enable cost-effective production of single pieces
up to individualized series products.

About 3D MicroPrint GmbH

3D MicroPrint GmbH is known for high-precision micro parts manufactured by Micro Laser
Sintering. Since the company was founded in 2013 by EOS GmbH and 3D-Micromac AG, the
additive manufacturing process has been further developed for micro parts and has been
adapted to run an industrial production. Today we are providing our customers the entire
portfolio of design consulting for additive manufacturing, feasibility studies and parts
production up to their own 3D MicroPrint Micro Laser Sintering system. Furthermore 3D
MicroPrint offers material developments for exclusive technologies on demand. The key
applications for micro parts are medical industry, wearables, semiconductors and micro
industries, high frequency applications as well as aerospace.

  • Article from our partner 3DMicroPrint

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