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Quickly Respond to Collapsing Product Lifecycles

Collapsing product lifecycles have made rapid prototyping critical to the success of devices, instruments, and platforms that rely on optics and imaging. With new technologies being introduced at a breakneck pace, decreasing the time it takes to develop prototypes has become a necessity. The faster you can prototype, the faster a product can get to market. Depending on your timeline and sourcing requirements, there are several different solution spaces for rapid optical prototyping: utilizing stock components, modifying stock components, or quickly creating custom solutions.

13 Creative "Hacks" for Rapid Optical Prototyping

While every application has its own specific timelines, credentials, and specifications, there are several techniques that can be commonly utilized to decrease the amount of time required for prototyping. Below is a list of 13 creative "hacks" that can be used to quickly and efficiently make prototypes of optical sub-systems:

  1. Go monochromatic to reduce element count and complexity
  2. Approximate custom "best-form" elements with available stock singlets
  3. Flip imaging lenses to use them as objectives
  4. Customize compound assemblies with stock optics
  5. Utilize inner diameter threaded prototyping tubes
  6. 3D print mechanics like shims, spacers, and monolithic mounts
  7. Modify standard windows and use them as cost-effective substrates for mirrors, filters, beamsplitters, and more
  8. Correct aberrations with compensator plates
  9. Modify standard lenses to save time over completely-custom lenses
  10. Swap apertures and change coatings in assemblies
  11. Engage your supplier early and often to expedite fully-custom prototypes
  12. Know your vendor's tolerances to understand your options
  13. Design for manufacturability to reduce cost and lead time

To learn more about these 13 "hacks" for rapid optical prototyping, watch the webinar below presented by Edmund Optics' own prototyping experts, Jeremy Govier and Andrew Lynch.


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