Manufacturing and analyzing of cost-efficient fresnel lenses using stereolithography

Additive manufacturing (AM) has provided a new aspect of manufacturing 3D objects in the past few decades. The use of AM for the production of 3D objects has accelerated the rate of designing and manufacturing. These AM techniques can be utilized in manufacturing optical, mechanical and electrical prototypes. The manufacturing of optical prototypes involves the production of spherical lens prototypes and special forms of aspheric and concentrator lenses such as fresnel lens prototypes. Different designed fresnel lens prototypes are manufactured using a transparent clear resin material and stereolithography apparatus (SLA) process. It uses a photochemical process to develop 3D structures. These manufactured fresnel lens prototypes are difficult to postprocess using hand polishing, hence they are post-processed using lacquering to get more transparency. These prototypes are tested using a laser source to evaluate the attenuation of light and focal length of manufactured fresnel lens prototypes. Similar tests using a commercially available convex lens of the same focal length are carried out. The results of these tests show that the difference between the mean of attenuation of light beam when passed through a fresnel lens prototype and the convex lens is 1 dB. The focal length of manufactured fresnel lens prototypes has a 10 mm deviation. Therefore, it is feasible to manufacture complexity and cost reduced fresnel lens prototypes using SLA and lacquering.