Custom led optics: advantages of rapid prototyping

by | May 14, 2020 | Custom optics

Rapid prototyping is a cost-effective way to save time and money in the early stages of product development. However, optically clear parts are difficult to prototype. CNC machining, diamond turning, and injection molding are known prototyping technologies, but each technique has its drawbacks. The CNC machining process is not scalable, as each part needs to be post processed to obtain optical quality. Diamond turning achieves great optical quality, but it’s not a scalable process, has significant lead-times, and has a high item price. Disadvantages of injection molding for rapid prototyping are high initial tooling costs and long lead-times to make the tooling.


Custom optics prototyping

While rapid prototyping of clear parts is already difficult, prototyping custom optics is even harder. Luckily, there is a manufacturing process that allows you to receive your custom optics within days – instead of weeks.

Our unique smart manufacturing process utilizes a unique additive manufacturing process combined with vacuum casting. This enables us to prototype with the speed of 3D printing, while achieving the required accuracy, precision, and surface roughness for optical applications. Our products are made in common optical polymers. This way, we offer speed, precision, and high-grade materials for custom optics prototyping. Our optical material has a refractive index (Ri) of 1,544 measured at 650Nm, Abbe value of 49,7 and total transmission value of 89,5% (Download our datasheet). Furthermore, our process is scalable: we help our customers from their first prototype all the way to market introduction.


Advantages of Addoptics

Our fast and flexible service is used for one-off prototyping and batch production. If you require optics within a couple of days, we can help you get them. Our patented process does not require any additional tooling or high upfront investments. This makes it perfect for the rapid prototyping of custom led optics.


Our fast and flexible service produces results in the shortest timeframe possible. Our prototyping process is fast, but never rushed. We utilize the speed of 3D printing. Decrease your time between initial design and product analysis, all the way to your product launch, with our smart manufacturing service for custom optics.

Proof of concept

Our technology makes it easier to test your results and get a proof of concept. An accurate, working prototype is critical for product verification. We offer high precision, quality optics made from optical polymers.


Cost reduction

As no tooling is required, product development costs can be reduced with our service. Each batch is produced using the same method without the need for further investments. This saves a lot of time – and money.

Design freedom

Rapid prototyping of optics creates new opportunities for innovation, while eliminating the restrictions of conventional prototyping. With our service, optics designers can incorporate complex shapes and surfaces that would otherwise be difficult to reproduce with conventional prototyping methods.

You are not limited by tooling or conventional methods of custom optics manufacturing. Each optic can be unique. If requested, each batch can be different. Experience full design freedom and new possibilities for custom optics.

Iterative process

With rapid prototyping of custom optics, you can easily adjust and modify your products. These modifications are easy to implement, as there is no need for the creation of new tools. Simply send us your new design digitally, and we’ll do the rest.

Rapid prototyping reduces manufacturing risks. Your optics designer can identify design flaws or usability problems early on and make modifications where needed. By using an iterative approach, you will reduce the risk of manufacturing problems later on.

Reduce time to market

Having a proven manufacturing process to produce, test, and iterate your product makes it easier and more quickly to market your product. Reducing your time to market increases your profitability and allows you to stay ahead of your competitors.


Smart manufacturing of custom optics

Addoptics delivers a manufacturing service for prototyping and batch production of custom optics. Providing you with high-grade polymer optics in a matter of days. Thanks to our unique, patented process, you get complete design freedom over your custom optics.

Request a sample today and discover our high-quality custom optics.