Micro-continuous liquid interface production 3D printing of customized optical components in minutes

Rihan Hai, Guangbin Shao, Cheng Sun

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


We have recently reported high-speed 3D printing of customized optical lenses using projection micro-stereolithography (PμSL) process. However, at the reported printing speed of 24.54 mm3 h-1, it still takes hours for 3D printing an optical lens with the size of millimeter. To further increase the printing speed, we focused on the micro Continuous Liquid Interface Production (μCLIP) process to completely eliminate the time-consuming resin recoating and dwelling steps in PμSL process. While the commonly used oxygen permeable Teflon AF2400 film is found to create rather rough surface of 3D printed structure, we report the use of the home-made Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) membrane as the alternative oxygen permeable membrane to overcome this issue. In this study, we demonstrated the significant increased printing speed of 4.85×103 mm3 h-1, which corresponds to a 200-fold improvement in comparison with previously reported PμSL process. We further combined grayscale photopolymerization and meniscus coating steps in the μCLIP process to tackle the inherent speed-accuracy trade-off in 3D printing optical components. We demonstrated the fabrication of an aspherical lens with 1,6-Hexanediol diacrylate (HDDA) using μCLIP system in about 2 minutes. The printed aspherical lens shows impeccable surface finishing, with the surface roughness (RMS=13.7 nm) well below the wavelength of the visible light. It is capable of resolving Element 3 in Group 7 of 1951 USAF resolution test chart, which corresponds to the imaging resolution of 3.10 μm. With significantly improved printing speed, this work unleashes the unprecedented potential of further utilization of 3D printing techniques for rapid manufacturing of novel optical components, such as freeform optics and integrated photonic systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvanced Fabrication Technologies for Micro/Nano Optics and Photonics XIII
EditorsGeorg von Freymann, Eva Blasco, Debashis Chanda
ISBN (Electronic)9781510633476
StatePublished - 2020
EventAdvanced Fabrication Technologies for Micro/Nano Optics and Photonics XIII 2020 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: Feb 2 2020Feb 5 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceAdvanced Fabrication Technologies for Micro/Nano Optics and Photonics XIII 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


  • 3D Printing
  • Aspherical lens
  • Customized optical components
  • Micro-CLIP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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