3D Printing Freeform Optics

Case ID:

Researchers at the University of Arizona have developed a novel apparatus and method for additive 3D printing of visible wavelength optics. The materials used have a low refractive index, and the laser parameters are tailored to deliver high figure and surface quality, making the printer suitable for freeform optics and rapid prototyping of complex surfaces.


3D printing has revolutionized the way that items are built. When it comes to printing optics, the quality of lenses that conventional 3D printers can produce remains low. The objects are often rough and turn yellow after a certain amount of exposure to UV light. In addition, there are few materials available with a low refractive index.



  • Fabrication of freeform optics
  • Rapid prototyping


  • Low-cost and commonly available materials
  • Fast and flexible iterations
  • Allows for complex optics
  • Improves surface quality
  • Thermally stable
Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Richard Weite
Senior Licensing Manager, College of Optical Sciences
The University of Arizona
Lead Inventor(s):
Rongguang Liang
Zhihan Hong