Plastic optics for lighting fixtures can now be custom manufactured by a new one-step process, which affords flexibility and freedom of design never before possible, at prices competitive with injection molding. LUXeXceL offers its patented new ‘’Printoptical’’ 3D printing service for on-demand manufacturing of optics directly from a CAD model, with no need for expensive molds or tooling.
Photopia software from LTI Optics LLC is among the most widely used tools in the lighting industry for creation and verification of such CAD models. With the combination of Photopia as a tool for parametric optics design and LUXeXceL’s Printoptical technology for mass customised manufacturing, lighting fixture manufacturers can now get new products to market and offer a broader range of products, while cutting both their initial product development costs and their working capital requirements.
Mark Jongewaard, President of LTI Optics LLC, publisher of Photopia software, explains: ‘’We originally developed Photopia to enable simulation study of alternative designs prior to incurring the high expense of tooling for an optic to be physically produced. Now as a software partner for LUXeXceL’s zero-tooling Printoptical manufacturing services, Photopia has a second value proposition to enable rapid custom variations of a proven design for immediate manufacture, yielding fast times to market for new products, rapid adaptation to changed requirements, and a low cost innovation of niche and mass-customised lighting products.’’
According to Richard van de Vrie, CEO of the LUXeXcel Group: ‘‘the combination of Photopia software and Printoptical manufacturing is the digitisation of plastic optics design and fabrication. A Photopia design becomes a digital ‘’mold’’, enabling any correction or change to be implemented immediately. The Printoptical manufacturing service is on-demand with an economic order quantity of one (‘’EOQ1’’), so inventory is also digital, requiring minimal working capital and eliminating write-offs of obsolete stock. Using Photopia as a design tool for creation of optics to be fabricated with Printoptical technology, LUXeXceL offers customers in the lighting Industry a way to launch more new products, get them to market sooner, innovate with previously impossible design features, and earn higher profit margins.