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May 20, 2019

Researchers develop new lens manufacturing technique

Posted by in categories: engineering, physics, robotics/AI, transportation

Researchers from Washington State University and Ohio State University have developed a low-cost, easy way to make custom lenses that could help manufacturers avoid the expensive molds required for optical manufacturing.

Led by Lei Li, assistant professor in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, and graduate student, Mojtaba Falahati, the researchers developed a liquid mold from droplets that they can manipulate with magnets to create lenses in a variety of shapes and sizes. Their work is featured on the cover of the journal, Applied Physics Letters.

High-quality lenses are increasingly used in everything from cameras, to self-driving cars, and virtually all robotics, but the traditional molding and casting processes used in their manufacturing require sophisticated and expensive metal molds. So, manufacturers are mostly limited to mass producing one kind of lens.

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